Long Island College Hospital reportedly on brink – activists, nurses, doctors, community responds to avert its closing.

7 Feb

LICH

Short of a local version of Paul Revere riding down Atlantic Avenue — our local hospital may need a real hero.

Here are events to get involved right away (further down this page).

It’s certainly not looking like our Mayor Bloomberg or Gov. Cuomo (who is much closer to this issue, respective of LICH being under CUNY Downstate’s management), nor our Public Advocate, whatever it is he does.. will be engaged on the matter. 52nd Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D) and Borough President Marty Markowitz are impressively leading the charge.. but despite local outcry there’s not many others beside them — yet.

It will come down to our community (meaning, you an us).

The NY Daily News has gone bare-knuckles, publishing the high-end salaries of the SUNY directors.

For nearly two weeks, our community has voiced a strong and unified defense in support of LICH — after reports of pending decisions to close and sell Brooklyn’s longtime an vital medical institution. Nurses and doctors have organized, and led supporters to reach out to Gov. Cuomo for help and review. Under questionable and frustrating management with Continuum for years (which sold off many of its properties in Cobble Hill/Atlantic Avenue) and despite being incorporated into the SUNY Downstate system in order to ‘save‘ LICH from its seemingly self-destructive prior leadership — SUNY may be looking for a large, lump-sum payday. By selling off the actual buildings — SUNY may be seeing the dollar-signs, over the impact, history and necessity of LICH.

Beyond employing nearly 1,900 people, beyond its active Emergency room, and service to 100,000s of residents Downtown and across 7-8 densely populated neighborhoods (including Brooklyn Heights, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, and the waterfront from Red Hook, Columbia Heights, around to Williamsburg).. SUNY may make this terrible decision, within days. Discussions with LICH officials reveal that the hospital is actually economically sustainable on its own — but carries $100s of millions of debt saddled and associated with decisions of its prior and current management.

During our last meeting, we urged members to phone Gov. Cuomo (who is oddly still AWOL from publicly commenting or pledging to review, mediate or analyze decisions of SUNY Downstate).

Now, a Cobble Hill resident has send the following urgent email through the local web-ring of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association (CGNA). It is a communication from the Kane Street Synagogue, and demonstrates just how many organizations throughout our areas are working, quickly to engage the public to react and reach out.

 Help Save Long Island College Hospital – Today!

LICHDear friends,
The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) is a vital community institution. It has been in our area for 150 years, employs 1900 people, and most importantly provides life-saving services to people in our area from DUMBO to Red Hook. There were 122,300 patient visits to LICH in 2012; 25,900 of those were visits to the ER.
The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY), which owns LICH is expected to propose at its meeting this Friday that the hospital be closed. By law, there has to be a “Public Meeting/ Hearing” to get this process started. The hearing will take place TODAY, Thursday, February 7, from 3:00-5:00 P.M. at the Auditorium of the College of Optometry33 West 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Please join me and other religious, political, and health care leaders in opposing the closing of LICH. You can take these steps:

Call Governor Cuomo at 518 474 8390 and tell him that our community needs this hospital.

Attend the hearing tomorrow at 33 W. 42nd Street. Your physical presence is a statement of support.

 Attend a Rally for LICH on Friday, February 8 at LICH, at 8:30 A.M. followed by aHall  march to Borough Hall where there will be a press conference at 9:30 A.M and a public hearing at 10:30 A.M.

You can also show your concern by attending a community forum about LICH next Thursday, February 14, from 6-8 P.M. at the synagogue (236 Kane St). The forum is sponsored by the Cobble Hill Association, Brooklyn Heights Association, Carroll Garden Association, Kane Street Synagogue, New York State Nurses Association, and 1199 SEIU.

B’Shalom
Rabbi Weintraub 

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