‘That’s A Fact’: Long Island College Hospital Is Closing

Doctors at the financially ailing Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill have been informed that the medical facility is closing, with no room for debate. According to Dr. John Romonelli, past president of the LICH medical staff, on Monday night, SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s current president, Dr. John Williams, “came in and announced the closure of LICH. That’s a fact,” he told the New York Post.

In a closed door meeting, Williams said it is necessary to sacrifice the 155-year-old LICH at 339 Hicks Street to save the rest of the enterprise: “The last thing I want to do is have people lose their jobs, but LICH could bring down SUNY Downstate and that’s something I’m trying to prevent.” LICH has only a 50% occupancy rate of its hospital beds, say officials at SUNY, which owns LICH.

Earlier Monday, the Brooklyn Eagle’s Mary Frost reported that the SUNY board of trustees would hold a brief public hearing on LICH Thursday afternoon, before deciding LICH’s fate in a vote early Friday morning.

Word is that the property could be sold and converted into luxury housing.

Twitter discussion ongoing…

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  • Baddog

    The 990 IRS tax statements from LICH shows a $22-million loss in 2010 and $32-million loss in 2009, with a $26-million loss for 2008. In transferring LICH to SUNY despite obvious economic issues at LICH, was the Comptroller’s Office
    in neglect of its duties for allowing this? Was the AG negligent in not raising questions? Is the state now
    in neglect of its duties? In transferring LICH to SUNY despite obvious economic issues at LICH, was the Comptroller’s Office in neglect of its duties for allowing this? Was the AG negligent in not raising questions? Is the state now
    in neglect of its duties?

  • attycats

    One of the reasons LICH has only a 50 % occupancy rate is that a few years ago, they closed off half of the hospital, meaning that 50 % of the beds are unavailable for occupancy. This sucks.

  • HenryLoL

    Went there once and it was horrific. Would rather take a taxi across the Bridge any day…

  • Park Lover

    Suppose the neighborhood doesn’t need actual hospital beds, which are often economically inefficient and unnecessary for all kinds of ailments (and where going to another hospital further away doesn’t create an emergency situation). BUT does this mean SUNY-Downstate should be allowed to abandon outpatient treatments/procedures/clinics, too? And I’ve had to use the pediatric ER several times, including taking a young visitor there who has a severe nut allergy and accidentally ate a hazelnut. It’s very dismissive to shut down the whole facility rather than perform “triage”, so to speak– especially to replace it with more of the privatizers’ dream, luxury housing.

  • C.

    If there is anything positive to come from this, would this mean that all of the incredible retail properties the hospital owns from Hicks up to Henry on Atlantic would become available?

  • doc

    interesting points, but you have not even scratched the surface . What is the profit and loss of the University Hospital located at the medical school on Lenox Ave?

  • K.

    Where is the closest hospital from BH then?
    I’ve had to use the pediatric ER there…

  • Wiley E.

    More “luxury” housing and no services for the community. No new taxes from the developers or residents. Seems criminal.

  • Bornhere

    Years ago, a physician-friend, who lived on Willow Street, commented that “in case of emergency,” choose (what was then) Beekman-Downtown.

  • Gerry

    You said it – horiffic. Go to Manhattan or out to Nassau County

  • Gerry

    ALL hospitals have lost money. LICH lost more due to Medicaid cuts.

  • K.

    Thank you Bornhere.

  • Gerry

    The retail strip on Atlantic ave is a hard place for a small business to make it a far walk from mass transit without the hospital it will be even more difficult for a merchant to make a living at the end of Atlantic Ave

  • Gerry

    At least a parking garage is now up. I keep 2 cars in the LICH garage that had been built to keep all of the LICH employees cars parked and then LICH opened the garage to the public they had more room then they needed.

  • Gerry

    NYU Langone is a swift trip up the FDR Drive if there is no traffic.

  • harumph

    We have used Cornell/New York Hospital which has a pediatric ER and the Hospital for Special Surgery uses it too if you have a broken bone. Yes, we have been there multiple times! And right off the FDR.

  • Gerry

    You see harumph life goes on without LICH.

  • ltap917

    Not everyone has a car. I myself have had to use the ER at LICH twice in the past three months. They took good care of me. Even if I had wanted to get into the city to one of the other hospitals, the subways were not running due to hurricane Sandy.

  • ltap917

    The elderly may not have that option.

  • ltap917

    Gerry,
    Nassau County? In an emergency. Seriously?

  • gc

    Obviously in a non-emergency situation we can take a cab up the FDR to NYU or NY Presbyterian. Where are we going to be taken in an emergency? I don’t like to think about where we will end up over here on this side of the East River. Do we have any say about where we’re going when the ambulance shows up?

  • Gerry

    Promenade Car Service will get you to an ER fast or call an ambulance.

  • Gerry

    Nassau County, or Manhattan for health care not an emergency. But now it looks like it will be Nassau County, or Manhattan for an ER vist also. LICH is closed.

  • Gerry

    Elderly are going to need to find another way we have lost LICH

  • Gerry

    No, you need to go where EMS tells you to go – and the City will bill you for the costly ambulance ride.

  • Rick

    In spite of his many heartless comments, one still hopes Gerry survives his trip over what are often traffic-clogged bridges should he ever require emergency cardiac care in an ER. Although his chances will be considerably less than if he had been able to make the much quicker trip to LICH.

  • Knight

    Does this mean we’re going to lose the only Taco Bell in the area, too? We already lost the White Castle on Willoughby Street. How much more must we bear?

  • MedicMike

    First it is not YET a fact that LICH will close. Second: The nearest 911 ER receiving hospitals in the area will be Brooklyn Hospital Center and Methodist which are already operating at capacity. Beekman or New York Downtown has the same problem as LICH (people around the hospital go elsewhere leaving the hospital to serve the under-served and dependent on Medicaid and Medicare. New York Downtown is looking at an affiliation with NY Presbyterian. Third in the event of a 911 ambulance with an unstable patient ( meaning at risk of dying, having heart attack, giving birth…) the 911 ambulance by law takes you to nearest 911 receiving which will be Brooklyn Hospital Center or Methodist. If your are a critical trauma patient you go to Bellevue or Lutheran ( Sunset Park Bay Ridge). In the way of critical emergencies the folks of downtown BKLYN are about lose a resource that many did know they had. Finally, no one seems interested in develop world class health care in ” Brownstone Brooklyn” I guess the world class brownstones are famous enough and that is until you get old. When all young and middle aged owners of the Brownstones get old they are going to wish they had a hospital nearby.

  • MedicMike

    where is the comment I left

  • MedicMike

    Did I say something offensive…..? as paramedic that works in the nabe?