BHA on Fortis ER: “When seconds count, we’ll be out of luck.”

The Brooklyn Heights Association has released the following statement in response to a letter you, like me, may have received recently concerning Fortis Property Group’s plans for an “emergency room” on the LICH site:

Following the announced closing of Long Island College Hospital (“LICH”), residents are confused by a letter they received that is signed by Gary Reilly, Carroll Gardens Assn. board member, bearing the return address “The Campaign for One New York”. In the letter, which he said he “was asked to send by Mayor de Blasio”, Reilly says the LICH site will have a “free-standing, high-quality emergency room”, which, he acknowledges, will not provide “in-patient services like elective surgery and some very specialized forms of care.”

LICH’s buyer, Fortis Property Group, has said it has no plans to open a hospital on the LICH site. Instead, Fortis has said that NYU-Langone, Lutheran Family Services and Lutheran Medical Center will provide ambulatory healthcare services in a new building they will build, with a stand-alone emergency department that has 20 observational beds.

What does “ambulatory health care services” mean? In an effort to prepare Heights residents for what to expect in the absence of a hospital to back up the ER, the BHA asked several doctors formerly associated with LICH to explain specifically what services the stand-alone emergency room – as Fortis has described it – would provide. They said that walk-in non-emergency illnesses and injuries such as sprains, cuts and bruises, flu, sore throats and fever could be treated there. To read Fortis’ description of medical services to be offered at LICH, click here.

When seconds count, we’ll be out of luck. Ambulance/EMT protocol requires technicians to take anyone with serious medical problems, including: acute heart attack or cardiac arrest, acute stroke, most pediatric emergencies, massive gastrointestinal bleed, pulmonary embolism, appendicitis, overwhelming infection leading to acute shock, high-risk pregnancy with bleeding, or other major traumas, including car accidents, to the nearest hospital with the capabilities to treat such conditions. The Fortis ER will not have the capacity to treat such serious medical emergencies.

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  • gc

    It would appear that deBlasio has sold us out to the real estate interests.

  • Andrew Porter

    Article in the Times about the rapid rise and spread of Urgent Care facilities. Just in BH, we have one in 1 Pierrepont bldg, affiliated with Mt. Sinai Hospital, one in the process of opening on Court Street, and other centers on Atlantic Avenue.

  • MONTague

    Can someone please actually site some hard data about ER visits to the old LICH and enlighten us as to whether a true ER and hospital is actually needed? BK hospital is less than five minutes away…all these statements never cite hard facts, just desires.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Here are the stats:
    LICH cared for more than one quarter a million people and ran at 90 percent capacity as a 250 bed hospital . So the numbers historically prove it’s needed. The people who want to close the hospital already know about the numbers but they don’t care.

    Also LICH was rated 1 of 2 best hospitals in Brooklyn by US News and World Report, as opposed to Brooklyn Hospital, which is not even rated.

    See below for more stats from US News World Report:

  • Ann B Chapin

    I have heard good things about Pierrepont/Mt Sinai. They have good doctors and perform most tests on site BUT it is not an ER. If you needed a hospital they would send you to Mt. Sinai. How helpful is that??

  • B K

    Lots of stats have been provided including the 62,000 ER visits per yr, the 1,700 babies delivered per yr, the 60,000 out-patient clients, the 15 thousands of in-patient admissions. You have to look back at 2012 because SUNY started cutting them all off in 2013 so the stats from that yr & this one are skewed. Ps: it took me 18 minutes – not 5- to get from clinton st to bk hospital at 6pm last Friday

  • TVC15

    There is nothing new under the sun here…

    SUNY was selling LICH to Fortis 18 months ago… the deal was done… all the interim stuff was just politics and palm-greasing. SUNY’s goal was to ditch LICH as soon as it could.

    There is, of course, a bigger picture….

    The SUNY Downstate nightmare continues at the main (east Flatbush) campus… the Dean of the College of Medicine has just “stepped down” (ahem), not long after the Dean of the College of Health Related Professions “stepped down” (!). The leadership is in disarray and faculty morale is at an all time low. Attending physicians and department chairs continue to flee, and multiple programs (residencies for physicians in training) are now on probation (this is really, really bad, especially if you’re a resident there!). Internal conflict and administrative in-fighting is slowly destroying a premier educational establishment in Brooklyn. SUNY could likely care less… they want to fix the $… patients, health care, education, and Brooklyn be damned.


  • Joe

    I thought DeBlasio said they were going to find a way to keep LICH open??? Didn’t he have a big news conference on this? What happened?!?!?!

  • Doug Biviano

    Like you, I am frustrated at the corrupt waste and lack
    of smart government in Albany that is causing this state to have the
    highest taxes pushing the middle class and businesses out and causing
    suffering of the poor. Hospitals have been disappeared throughout NYC
    for condos for over a decade now. The leadership and professionalism
    that made New York the economic, cultural and idea capital of the world
    has gone, replaced by a generation of politicians whose elective office
    will be the best and only jobs they have.

    Campaign promises have become disconnected from governing. As a cynical
    class of insider politicians have mastered the election process, the
    public is powerless to stop them. Case in point, Bill de Blasio, Steve
    Levin, Daniel Squadron, Brad Lander and Peter Sikora used LICH
    hospital as an election prop last year and they’ re at it again.

    Council Member Steve Levin makes that perfectly clear in the Brooklyn Eagle on July 1, 2014:

    …Levin also credited Sikora with coming
    up with the idea to get arrested to try to keep LICH open. “At the time,
    the candidate who was third in the polls, candidate Bill de Blasio,
    said, ‘That’s a really good idea…’”

    Now these elected officials — City
    Councilman Brad Lander, City Councilman Steve Levin, NYS Senator Daniel
    Squadron — are endorsing Sikora, a candidate who has never been
    involved in our community unless he was paid mostly working for their
    election efforts. They are supporting Sikora not to empower our
    community, but to give themselves more power to control us.

    No mater who is elected, the permanent
    government, as journalist Jack Newfield called them a generation ago,
    stays in power. Today’s elected officials are put in power by the
    permanent government and kept in power by their campaign contributions.

    Breaking campaign promises
    — whether it’s LICH, condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park or shrinking and
    closing libraries for more condos — is unfortunately only a symptom of
    the damage to our neighborhood. The worst thing today’s political class
    of politicians has done to us by controlling the election process is
    the taking of power of governing away from our community and you and
    consolidating it for themselves and the permanent government to do as
    they please.

    The progressives attacked Dick Cheney, and
    rightly so, for spinning facts and creating fake realities. But sadly
    our local parties in power (Democratic and Working Family Parties) have
    copied his methods. Mayor de Blasio recently sent out a propaganda
    letter via his PR machine, Campaign for One New York, rejoicing ‘less is
    more’ without a full service hospital. It was clearly paid by a PR
    front but signed by Gary Reilly represented as a board member of Carroll
    Gardens Neighborhood Association. This deceptive representation was
    pure Orwellian.

    The question our elected officials and the media is not asking is why did SUNY buy a losing money hospital ($300 million a year) and
    turn around to sell it to developers? Was it to save Stanley
    Brezenoff’s company (Stanley got a golden parachute). Shortly after
    taking office, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is obviously close with Sikora,
    hired Stanley Brezenoff the former President of Continuum, the company
    that took control of LICH and bleed it out. When hospitals close
    people die.

    I was the guy at the Community Board 6
    meeting in 2008 fingering Brezenoff, asking him how much he was being
    compensated as he slit LICH at the throat by trying to close Pediatrics
    and OB/GYN at the time (strategic step even just announcing it if one
    wants to slay a neighborhood hospital). Council Member Bill de Blasio
    was there and asked Brezenoff nice-nice questions about his bio,
    allowing Brezenoff a platform to not only look like a qualified and
    dedicated man but almost celebrate how lucky we were to have him.
    Apparently, Council Member de Blasio believed Brezenoff so much that he
    hired the mastermind of LICH’s doom when he became mayor or maybe it is
    just plain old corruption. How anyone could have been at that meeting,
    professing to care about our community, yet turn around to hire this man
    once elected to higher office is not unclear, it’s simply disturbing.

    It was nice to know LICH was there. LICH
    saved my child’s life when he had a bad Asthma attack a few years ago.
    I’ve met countless folks over the years and again petitioning the last
    few weeks who believe LICH saved their lives. Without full cardiac and
    stroke centers, our seniors in our community face unnecessary and
    unprecedented peril. This is shameless.

    And don’t believe that these
    elected officials are powerless. Interfaith Hospital just a few miles
    away from LICH faced a similar fate yet African American elected
    officials went straight to Governor Cuomo, flexed their representative
    power and saved the hospital. Our community elected officials all come
    from inside the political system. They put pressure on only in front of
    the cameras. In the back rooms, they bow to the permanent government
    who got them elected.

    We have to give power back to the communities — back to you the voter.
    Today’s elected will not attack the special interests that put them in
    office. I am running for Assembly because I believe this permanent
    class of politicians who have seized control of our city, state and
    country is destroying the future not only for us, but our children and
    grandchildren. We must take New York back for them.

    Doug Biviano
    Candidate for Assembly

  • johnny cakes


  • johnny cakes

    $$$ happen to find open pockets.