According to a press release late today from the office of Borough President Marty Markowitz, the New York State Department of Health has denied the application of Continuum Health Partners to close the obstetrics and pediatrics practices at Long Island College Hospital.
The Bourough President said:
I applaud Governor Paterson and the New York State Department of Health for responding to the cry of the residents of the LICH catchment area to preserve the absolutely necessary services that have been offered by this hospital for generations and are vital to the health of our borough.
This could not have happened without the hard work of dedicated community residents and elected officials, as well as concerned LICH physicians and staff, who have all come together to form a very powerful and persuasive advocacy team.
As we have said from the start, closing Long Island College Hospital is not an option.
My office will continue to monitor the situation. We will continue to convene our stakeholder’s group and be vigilant in our advocacy efforts in the days ahead.
This is a solid first step as we move ahead with the real work of ensuring that LICH will remain a full-service hospital in this growing community for all the years to come.
This is not the end of the story, as Continuum, the consortium of hospitals (all others are in Manhattan) that controls LICH has threatened to close LICH if their application were to be denied. There are conflicting proposals to save LICH. One, supported by the Hospital’s medical staff, would seek to put it under community control. Another would have it affiliate with SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Much remains to be decided.
Update: LICH’s dentistry practice will close. City Councilors de Blasio and Yassky, and State Senator Elect Squadron, all praised the DOH for disapproving closure of obstetrics and pediatrics. De Blasio also commended DOH for “recognizing the dire financial straits that LICH is in.”