Community leaders, residents, elected officials and union members gathered at the Kane Street Synagogue on Valentine’s Day to rally support for LICH, which is in danger of being shut down. According to one attendee, 357 people were in attendance.
Among them, Brooklyn Heights resident and blogger Michael DD White who writes on Noticing New York:
What I heard at the meeting was this:
• The community needs its hospital.
• The doctors and financial staff affiliated with the hospital are pretty well convinced they won’t have problems operating the hospital in the financial black if SUNY Downstate would just leave them alone to do it, thank you very much.
• That the integration of LICH into the SUNY Downstate system, which was ostensibly for the purpose of ensuring the future of LICH, has had the opposite effect.
• That instead of a good faith effort to run LICH as a successful hospital, a plan of asset stripping was being implemented almost immediately. That meant, among other things, that no money was invested in the hospital with any significant expenditures being made (theoretically for the hospital) directed exclusively to portable assets that could easily be removed from the site when the secretly envisioned closure that was being worked toward takes effect.
• That to those in power pursuing this course of action, the attraction of shutting the hospital down is to create a real estate deal, a sell-off, that will strip the real estate as the final asset out of the health care resources available in the surrounding neighborhood. This doesn’t recognize that, when used for a necessary community hospital, the real estate has greater value to Brooklyn’s Northwest communities than the construction of more high-end condos. (Elsewhere in Brooklyn, including at the other end of Brooklyn Heights, – with sort of a bookending effect- public property is similarly being sold off to shrink the library system for the purpose of creating real estate deals.)
Earlier in the week, White took a deeper look at the issue.
As for the meeting itself, here’s the Tale of the Tweets.