Resolution urges new operator for hospital
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
On Wednesday, April 24 at 1 p.m. the New York City Council’s health committee will vote on a resolution supporting Long Island College Hospital (LICH), threatened with closure.
Neighbors, patients and staff have been holding marches and signing petitions since the State University of New York (SUNY) voted twice to close LICH, an affiliate of financially-troubled SUNY Downstate.
150-year-old LICH is located in Cobble Hill and serves a booming section of Brooklyn stretching from Red Hook to Williamsburg.
The resolution, introduced by City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, calls on SUNY and the state Department of Health to work towards the acquisition of LICH by another health care institution.
While the resolution does not have force of law, it would be “a tremendous show of support from the City Council and would help put pressure on state elected officials, the Department of Health, and SUNY to find a solution to keep LICH open for care,” said Eliza Bates, a spokesperson for the New York State Nurses Association. The hearing and vote take place at 250 Broadway, 14th floor, Manhattan. Buses provided by the NYS Nurses Association leave LICH at noon. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-714-8863.
The resolution also stipulates that “all resources gained from any sale or transfer of LICH assets are used exclusively for the preservation of these services,” and authorizes the Speaker to file or join amicus briefs on behalf of the Council in support of the preservation of these health services.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes issued a temporary restraining order on April 3, preventing the New York State Department of Health and SUNY from executing their plan to close the hospital. The order will stay in place until a hearing on May 2.