The Brooklyn Heights Association is urging its members to mobilize and urge government officials to stop Continuum Partners, managers of Long Island College Hospital, from cutting services at the facility.
NYS SD25 candidates Daniel Squadron and John Chromczak discussed the issue at BHB’s The Great Debate on Tuesday night and our own TK Small and Claude Scales discussed it on Brooklyn Independent Television a few weeks ago.
The BHA’s email to its membership and a sample letter to officials after the jump.
Dear BHA Member:
We need you to get involved in the BHA Board’s effort to help save Long Island College Hospital.
The Issue at Hand: Continuum Health Partners (the entity which controls Long Island College Hospital) has formally requested permission from the NYS Department of Health to terminate the Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics Departments at LICH. Subsequent statements and correspondence from Continuum reveal their intention to cut the Hospital’s General Dentistry service, end school -based health programs and sell off key Hospital properties. Lay offs have also been announced.
What this means for Brooklyn Heights and our Brownstone Brooklyn neighbors: These critical LICH services provide essential support for the numerous private medical practices, upon which our community relies for medical care and treatment. Ultimately, the termination of critical medical departments is likely to result in a complete shut down of the Hospital. We believe that the termination of Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics (the crippling of LICH) would have a disastrous effect on the health, safety and quality of life in Brooklyn Heights. If the Pediatric Department closes, the pediatric emergency room will begin losing patients and, before you know it, we will be losing our pediatric emergency room at LICH. This is really an issue that affects us all.
What you can do to help: We urge all of our members to send an email to Governor David Paterson using this link to his website: http://220.127.116.11/govemail/, asking that he direct the NYS Department of Health to work with all parties to find a solution that maintains LICH as a full service hospital. A sample letter (also pasted below this message) is attached. Feel free to personalize the letter for added emphasis. Please send a copy of your letter to James Clyne, Deputy Commissioner of Health, Office of Health Systems Management at the NYS Department of Health,Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower Building, 14th Floor, Albany, NY 12237, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALSO, On November 10th, we urge you to attend the LICH Town Hall Meeting at 6:30 PM in the Courtroom at Borough Hall.
For additional information on ways to support LICH, please see: http://www.lichmedicalstaff.org/
The continued existence of LICH and the health and safety of our families depend upon your action!
October 29, 2008
Governor David A. Paterson
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Paterson:
Continuum Health Partners has submitted plans to close the maternity ward, pediatrics department and dentistry program at Long Island College Hospital and opt out of its contract to operate school-based health clinics in Brooklyn in an effort to reduce costs. I understand the serious financial crisis that LICH is facing but many of us believe that there are better alternatives than closing departments and clinics and selling off property. Closing vital departments with little regard to the actual needs of the community sets a dangerous precedent.
Without a sound financial plan for LICH’s future and meaningful community involvement in this process, Brooklyn residents have no way of knowing if this is only a cutback in service or the prelude to closing the hospital. The doctors at LICH have submitted their own plan to the Department of Health to keep LICH as a full-service hospital. In addition, there are other options besides closing these departments and programs, such as partnerships with other hospitals and healthcare institutions.
I am writing to ask for your leadership and help in developing an economically sustainable future for Long Island College Hospital. As the population of Downtown Brooklyn is projected to increase by over 24,000 residents over the next four years, Long Island College Hospital will play an increasingly important role in ensuring that Brooklyn residents have access to high quality health care.
Thank you for your support.