Squadron, Lander Urge Action on LICH Merger

This in from State Senator Daniel Squadron:

The deal to save Long Island College Hospital was a huge win for our community, Brooklyn and the state. Simply put, it must move forward. LICH has helped keep Brooklyn healthy for more than 150 years, and it must not be forced to close its doors now. I will continue to work with the governor, my colleagues in government and the hospitals as the merger moves forward.

City Council Member Brad Lander, who represents Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Park Slope, has urged the Governor to release the funds needed to consummate the LICH/SUNY Downstate merger. You can read his statement at Carroll Gardens blogger Katia Kelly’s Pardon Me For Asking.

Update: State Assembly Member Joan Millman joins the chorus with this statement:

The news that Long Island College Hospital (LICH) might be forced to close its doors has caused an outpouring of support from across the borough. Currently all of the elected officials are working together to convey to the state the importance of the HEAL grants for the future of LICH and SUNY Downstate. I call upon the Governor to expedite the release of this money. I join all of my colleagues in government to ensure that LICH remains a vital part of our community.

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  • Johny

    Wow, that’s sad if it happens…

    I just sent an email to the Governor to change his stance:

    Please consider to do the same:

    Help save LICH! Call, write, email the governor! You can call the governor at (518)474-8390 or email him at the following link:


  • Baddog

    Heard Columbia is interested, they would be 1,000% better. Downstate has very serious financial issues to deal with as a state entity.

  • Heightsman

    Sorry to hear but let’s be honest, if I get sick I’m in a cab/subway/car service to anywhere but LICH. Also, if a hospital can’t make money than it needs to close or up the quality of service not get subsidized by our tax dollars.

  • x


    Well known hospitals like Mount Sinai and NYU were losing money also, along with the now defunct St Vincent’s.

    It’s the sad affair that is our American health/insurance system that is failing our hospitals.

  • Johny

    To Heightsman:

    The insurance fees are killing a lot of hospital around the countries.

    A broken system that allows class action lawsuits or multi-million dollars trial against a practician/hospital. How long can it last?

    I assume you are a wealthly old fart who does not care about 95% of his fellow citizens.

  • William Spier

    I wonder if the people of BH and environs realize what a catastrophe it would be to lose LICH. How would Heightsman feel ending up in the decrepid ER at Brooklyn Hospital Center? He is ignorant of what LICH really will be with the Downstate merger: an extension of one of the most important teaching hospitals on the east coast. Does Heightsman know what is planned for LICH? Why did he comment if he had nothing on substance to say? He sounds like Glenn Beck.

    I will write more about this over the coming days.

  • Lisa

    I agree with Heightsman. Take me anywhere but LICH. They’ll kill me if I had any chance of living. I’ll take my chances and have the ambulance drive 20 more minutes. PS. Their billing department has no idea what they are doing. When asked to produce proof of a law that they quoted me they sent a newspaper article from 8 years ago. Learn the codes people!

  • Johny

    I think people that don’t like LICH are former manhattan residents that did not get over the fact that brooklyn has quality services.

    Please go back, we don’t need your arrogance

  • Miky

    A few thoughts:

    (1) I have taken my son to the LICH emergency room twice and the staff and medical professionals there did a superb job. I admit I was skeptical on the first trip and they proved themselves. As a reader of a popular neighborhood parenting listserve, I can tell you that I am not alone. Despite its many detractors on this site, there are numerous parents who have had excellent experiences at LICH.

    (2) Without having reviewed the financials of LICH, I am confident saying that class actions have not led to its current troubles. While a popular talking point, the overall cost to the healthcare system of litigation and related insurance is, in truth, minimal. Further, given that doctors and hospital do, in fact, make mistakes that lead to death or grave disabilities, I think most people would agree that at least to some extent our judicial system should hold such medical professionals financially accountable.

  • ABC

    I won’t go to LICH anymore either. I’ve had two 3 ER visits (one fine, two mediocre — all over 3 hours) and an operation with long-ish stay. To say that people who aren’t fans are people who are arrogant is bullshit.

    My favorite LICH moment was in the middle of the night, unexpectedly bleeding after surgery, and for several HOURS pushing the nurse button and screaming at the top of my lungs until I was forced to throw myself out of my bed (causing a lot of damage) and got to my cell phone and called home to get someone to literally walk over to the hospital and drag someone to my room. When the nurse got there, I was promptly yelled at (“we’re all busy here”), and then taken back to surgery to repair the issue that was causing the bleeding. Oy

    There were some departments with decent reputations: OB, pediatric emergency, cardiac, but many of the good doctors left last time they almost closed. The writing has been on the wall for so long that anyone who could leave, has.

  • Heightser

    I too have taken my kids to LICH ER on a few occasions, and I know many other that have too. They were very fast and the service was excellent. True, I would not seek medical treatment there for something that was planned in advance, but it is a great thing to have a good ER close to home. I wonder what all the neighborhood pediatricians will do? Most of them only use LICH as their hospital.

  • Heightsman

    My “substance” is fiscal responsibility both personally and in society. Americans need to understand this lesson and how it applies to everything in life.

  • Tom

    Yes “substance” for those who have financial means, you are a selfish old fart, a trustfund kid, a narrow mind MF

  • Johnny

    To Heightsman: under you polite post, we can tell there is a monster

  • DA

    I’ll join the chorus of parents who would hate to see LICH go. My daughter had to be hospitalized for a couple of days, and LICH was surprisingly great. Most importantly, we were able to walk to and from the hospital in 10 mins, which was a huge deal considering we have another child and no convenient car. Dragging to Manhattan would have made an already unpleasant situation much more difficult.

  • Buddy Holly

    Heightsman must be a barber. He likes to trim and shave.

  • Sid

    insurance/malpractice insurance is a problem at LICH. one of benefits of becoming a state institution is that the liability is more limited with a lessor time to sue and that the cases are heard in the Court of Claims and not the regular state courts.
    But it is also true that a study by NY state found that less than 10% of real cases of malpractice were in fact sued on.

  • Heightsman

    Such judgement and vinegar for someone you don’t even know….why? Remember, glass houses….

  • Baddog

    The problem is the state is 10 billion not million in the hole. SUNY Downstate is part of the state looking at a 10% cut on top of that medicaid cuts. SUNY Downstate is not a long term answer to LICH. You might be putting off closure for a few years but a real alternative needs to be developed in the Private sector. The state of NY is broke! NY can not afford to bail out a money pit like LICH.

  • Miky

    I agree that the tone of the discussion has unfortunately become too caustic. Nevertheless, there are some important facts to consider.

    Heightsman, I think the issue is that all hospitals receive tax dollars. According to some studies, roughly two-thirds of all medical bills are paid for by the government. Think about it — you have Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Military Health System, Indian Health Service, State Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Veteran’s Health Administration. So like it or not, your tax dollars are subsidizing hospitals (and in a number of cases are in fact the only funding source of hospitals).

    What’s more, a health care system that permitted only hospitals that could exist without tax support to survive would inevitably mean that lower income Americans would not have access to hospitals. Hospitals would have to turn away those who were uninsured or who could not pay. Major hospitals in neighborhoods throughout New York City would be forced to shutter their doors. Imagine a child in Bed-Stuy suffering from an asthma attack. How long would that child have to travel for emergency intervention if Woodhull didn’t exist?

  • Buddy Holly

    A little off the top and sides, please. But don’t cut the whole Hospital off.

  • gc

    Does anyone know what rights you have if you call 911 for a medical emergency? Can you ask/demand to be brought to a specific hospital?

  • Miky

    Based on experience, you can be brought to a specific hospital but if it is not the closest available hospital, the responders will inform you of that and the related risks and may requre the requesting person to sign a waiver.

  • William Spier

    I’ve read most of the posts here and am waiting for someone to get to the heart of the matter. It is not about “you” and your individual experiences at LICH and elsewhere; it is about the vital importance a hospital is to a community. How many of local residents get involved with their local hospital? How many actually know what is good and what is not so good with their local hospital? When a community loses a hospital, it loses a vital part of the human effort that makes a community.

    Perhaps, many of you should learn a bit more about the future LICH was going to have under the SUNY umbrella. If you do, you will be howling like stuck pigs over the threat of losing it.

    Heightsman’s concern with fiscal responsibility is part and parcel of the phoney argument the right makes about social deficit.

  • Yassin

    Please help save LICH

    Call the governor: (518)474-8390

    write, email the governor:


    It’ll take seconds to change the lives of thousands and arguing with heightsman is futile , save your time and breath and please support LICH

  • Sid

    Senator Montgomery’s office that at a meeting with the Governors office on Friday, the money will be forthcoming…BTW the money comes from mostly federal funds to deal with some other closings…