As was announced during our March meeting (last night, post to come), concerned residents of Brooklyn can visit St. Francis College tonight (180 Remsen Street) for a public presentation of the 9 proposals for Long Island College Hospital LICH). The session is slated to begin at 6 pm and is being run by 7 community organizations including the Cobble Hill Association and CGNA.
Many of our Brownstone members have supported the legal fight vs. approaches of NY State all along, and certainly will attend — as this issue is essentially ‘life or death’ to many 100,000s of residents, visitors and workers across Brooklyn Heights, Downtown, Red Hook and Brownstone Brooklyn. Our hospital has been here for 150 years, and ahead of the Bridge – and Brooklyn itself was designed with it as a foundation. It’s a vital part of our community and its well-being/healthcare, and was a ‘teaching hospital’ until beset by NY State mismanagement (recently). Baby boomers getting older is fact of American life. We will lose untold neighbors of LICH is allowed to fall to the highest bidder. The community wants a FULL SERVICE HOSPITAL — like what had existed before State agencies began managing LICH into the ground, seemingly in order to capitalize on its real estate.
Even with the $8 BILLION that’s come back to NYC for the health of our hospitals — NY State had chosen to sell the real estate in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill last year — instead of looking for a suitor to run it as a full service hospital. The New York Times has taken the bait, and supported the NY Governor’s and SUNY’s management claims – without exposing the truths that any one of a million Brooklyn residents, here can relay. Now, we are on the clock for the “best” proposal.
Our statewide elected officials (Democrats we won’t name, here) are selling out of People — and this “achilles heel” may the best hope of Rob Astorino to win the Governorship. Thus far he has been silent — most probably because our Party has overlooked the impact of a MILLION RESIDENTS/visitors/drivers on the BQE living each day within the region served by LICH. Add that many 100s of jobs (union jobs, at that), our local economy, the lives of our residents — all are ignored/belittled, despite the rhetoric of the Democratic Party.
Elected officials (of our One Party System) that had been increasingly emboldened throughout 2013 — have been awkwardly more silent, now that the standard bearers of City Hall and Albany have reached an accord on how to streamline the process of sale? It’s been our collective position for well over a year, that NY State has sought to close the 150-year old hospital — employing private security to BLOCK the emergency room entrance, turn away ambulances (!), using State agencies to bleed funds for years and actually ferry patients out in the middle of the night, on their beds.
This is an issue that shaped the NYC Mayoral race last year when the Public Advocate (that hadn’t a record to run on, in four years and scant as a career politician) was able to gain traction by being arrested (on camera) while joining what many believed was his first rally to save the hospital in mid-July, 2013. He soared from 7% polling figures. Candidates Liu and Weiner were also present, and were lost to history. They hadn’t seized the moment.
Always remember, that late as 2012… fully 100,000 patients were treated through the Emergency Rooms of LICH.. and that the total population of Albany is only 98,000.
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