Brooklyn Heights Assn. Implores Gov. Cuomo To Reconsider LICH Closure

Brooklyn Heights Association President Jane McGroarty has sent a letter to NY Governor Cuomo and Dr. Nirav Shah, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health, urging them to take an in-depth look before allowing closure of SUNY Downstate’s Long Island College Hospital, “a hospital that is critical to the increasing population of downtown Brooklyn.”

BHA notes, “In January a report by NYS Comptroller DiNapoli revealed that LICH was in desperate financial condition. Within two weeks the SUNY Board voted to close. The Brooklyn Heights Association believes SUNY acted in haste and we have sent the attached letter to LICH doctors, the New York State Nurses Association and Local 1199″ following the temporary injunction against its closing in State Supreme Court, with a preliminary hearing date scheduled March 7.

“The decision now rests with Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health, which has to approve any hospital closing,” BHA says.

In the letter, McGroarty offers to Cuomo, “You must find a solution that insures that residents, students, workers and visitors in Downtown Brooklyn have access to adequate medical care, including emergency medical treatment.”

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  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Bravo to Jane McGroarty and the Brooklyn Heights Association!

  • stuart

    Now we need to get someone who the governor actually respects and likes to write in support of LICH.

  • gc

    Pretty sure I don’t totally meet those standards but I did just email my concerns to his office. I’m sure there are a number of people in this neighborhood who have enough influence to make a bigger impression. Hopefully they understand that in an emergency, when the ambulance arrives, they are just like everyone else and will be taken on a 15 minute ride to a more distant Brooklyn hospital.

  • Baddog

    You are talking to the very person Gov Cuomo who planned and is behind the closing of LICH. What do you expect to happen? Look to see who Cuomo’s best man was at his wedding?

  • Stuart

    the next closest Hospital is the one on Fort Greene Park. It is supposedly much improved in recent years. LICH is a money loser and the site it sits on is super valuable. It’s toast. The thing to press for is a new ER and out-patient clinic to be included in the new mega-development there.

  • A Neighbor

    Guys, this matter is complicated and deserves more than pop shots.

    Bad dog: According to news reports, Christopher Cuomo was his brother’s best man.

    Stuart: First, I don’t think the medical establishment agrees that you should go to Brooklyn Downtown ER if LICH closes. Second, read the Comptroller’s Report — nobody knows about the financial viability of LICH as it has been badly mismanaged by Downstate, Continuum, and it’s own administrators for years. Third, an ER is not going to be put in an out-patient clinic. It needs to be part of a hospital facility so patients can be admitted if treatment is necessary.

  • gbkm

    and after the emergency is immediately treated, you might need a bed in a hospital, maybe even a critical care unit. what you don’t need is to have your heart attack blockage cleared at LICH er & then have to get right back in the ambulance to travel through Brooklyn till they find a hospital bed someplace else for you. An er needs to be attached to a hospital. If you need an er, you need LICH & LICH needs to be kept open as a full-service hospital.

  • Henry

    Instead of demanding the status quo and continuing loses at an inefficient institution which has been losing tens of millions for years, why not examine how it can be restructured to service the needs of the community. Do we really need a fully service hospital, probably not. We do need 1) a trauma center that can handle emergencies and then pass them off to other hospitals in the city that can provided specialized treatment after the patient has been stabilized; 2) included in 1) would be emergency surgical services; 3) we need a birthing/lying-in to handle the 3000+ births a year and the necessary pre-natal care; and 4) we need a general clinic for treatment.

    So the real question — is a limited-treatment facility as above feasible in the existing physical plant as a satellite to Downstate or any other organization?

    If yes, shouldn’t this be the goal instead of fighting for something that has not worked for years?

  • gbkm

    Jeffrey Sachs was an usher at the wedding, not the best man. In 2011 the NY Times reported on his unusual influence over Cuomo & possible conflicts of interest:
    The Times inferred that Sachs had something to do with putting LICH in jeopardy of closure for the benefit of his client, Brooklyn Hospital which stood to gain LICH’s patient population if it closed. see:

  • gbkm
  • Remsen Street Dweller

    According to Senator Squadron’s office, Judge Baynes announced that he will now hear the LICH case on Friday, March 8th at 10AM. Also NYSNA, 1199, and the Concerned Physicians of LICH have decided to move the press conference and rally to Friday, March 8th at 9AM. Location of rally is at 360 Adams Street (the steps on the Cadman Plaza side)

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Concerned Physicians of LICH has an excellent Website to access for Save LICH info:

  • Robert Moses

    Glad to hear the BHA is getting on the bandwagon, belatedly. Wonder how many of the BHA directors have been to LICH — I mean been treated at LICH, not just dropped by for a chalupa at Taco Bell!!!

  • RSD

    Why do you say belatedly? Do you actually know what you are talking about? I went to the last open BHA meeting and heard Jane and others. Jane had a thing or two to say in defense of LICH when some erroneous SUNY-based information was put out there.