SUNY Withdraws Application To Close LICH; Will Seek “Sustainability Plan”

After mounting community pressure and a unanimous vote from the NYC Council this week to support its existence, SUNY Downstate has officially withdrawn its application the the State Department of Health to close Long Island College Hospital. According to SUNY Downstate’s press release, forwarded to us by City Councilman Stephen Levin:

“The financial conditions at LICH remain unchanged. LICH’s continued financial losses still threaten the viability of Downstate Medical and our world-renowned medical school. We are withdrawing the closure plan so we can work with the State and other stakeholders on a sustainability plan for Brooklyn’s only medical school and to ensure quality medical care throughout the borough. The current legal proceedings prohibit this dialogue,” said Downstate President Dr. John F. Williams, Jr.

We will keep you advised of developments.

And this statement from our man in the NYS Senate Daniel Squadron:

It’s good news that SUNY is withdrawing its closure plan for LICH. Now there’s a real opportunity for a collaborative process that engages the community and local leaders on LICH’s future.
We’ve been making our voices heard loud and clear: LICH is vital to Brooklyn. And it’s clear we’re being heard.
As nearly the entire Brooklyn delegation wrote last week, it’s critical that any decision on LICH’s future includes community and legislative input. I continue to urge the state to form a working group to ensure those voices are a key part of the process.
This is a positive step on SUNY’s part and I urge the state and SUNY to continue to work with us to ensure that the needs of our community and all of Brooklyn are met.

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  • Quinn Raymond

    Profoundly impressed by the community groups, unions, and politicians who fought for this against overwhelming odds. Let’s hope it sticks.

  • Rick

    This is wonderful news.
    All the people who worked so hard to make this happen have my thanks and gratitude.
    But a close eye still needs to be kept on SUNY management!

  • Arch Stanton

    Great news! Lets hope it gets taken over by a high quality hospital like Mt Sinai or NYU.

  • sue


  • sue

    Really great.. All of the electeds Tish, Joan, Brad, Nydia, Stephen and Daniel are to be commended. Why is Daniel such a publicity hound?

  • Wiley E.

    Absolutely! All the lost LICH money needs to be found, and the management cookie jar thieves need incarcerated for their action.

  • TVC15

    So, this is remarkable and impressive.

    No one knows what the actual SUNY Downstate plan was, but discussions with senior faculty and administrators have yielded the following scenario regarding the plans for LICH and UHB:

    1. Close LICH and sell off the land; $ goes to the SUNY Downstate UHB sinking ship, to try to keep it afloat.

    2. There will be a big outcry about closing LICH… ride it out until it gets to the point where patient safety is compromised (physicians are leaving; floors are closing; staff are leaving; physical plant is not maintained; services are inadequate; staff cannot cope; supplies are depleted –> it’s a patient safety issue !!). The DOH is OBLIGATED to close a hospital if pt. safety is compromised.

    3. Wait a year or so until the noise has quietened down, then close UHB — which will still be losing money regardless of what happens at LICH — end result, no more money-losing hospitals associated with SUNY Downstate; SUNY trustees are happy; Albany continues to fight internally, but who cares (business as usual); Downstate senior administrators and PITT mgt. team are wealthy.

    If this latest news stops the process between #s 1 and 2, then bravo

  • nombre

    #2 is being taken care of by the staff. They aren’t leaving. Refuse to give SUNY the satisfaction of having the hospital close itself because of them. There has been not 1 unit closed & not 1 unit without staff. The psych unit was fully staffed with nurses & aides there & doctors available yet SUNY tried to close it anyway & did transfer patients out, in violation of the court order. They were forced to reopen less than 24 hrs later – & the staff was still there. Some docs have left LICH but the rest are still there too. Supplies & equipment are readily available & the patients keep coming.