LETTER: Not saving LICH would be an incredible waste of money, effort
Leaving aside the alleged “milking” of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) properties by Continuum, and leaving aside whatever support was — or was not — provided by SUNY Downstate, and leaving aside whatever hopes SUNY Downstate and/or the state have for cashing in on the fabulous waterfront site of this venerable hospital, the point we must drive home is that it is inexcusable not to maintain at least so much of this fabulous medical facility as we know is serving over 120,000 Brooklynites every year and hundreds of Brooklynites every day (and every night).
Not to do so would be a ludicrous waste of millions and millions of dollars spent building and rebuilding, and equipping and re-equipping this facility to be the state-of-the-art hospital it is.
And would be a senseless insult to all the waterfront and downtown Brooklyn communities whose neighborhood practitioners need LICH for their patients, to say nothing of their patients who need both their practitioners and their hospital.
So far as it is a fact that LICH’s patient population does not require the number of beds, floors and staff it was built to serve, let us focus on how those extra floors can most profitably be used. For example, an upscale assisted living facility, housed on the upper floors of LICH, would work perfectly to take advantage of the hospital downstairs, the network of practitioners in our neighborhoods, the Cobble Hill Health Center down the street, and the increasingly affluent residents all across the waterfront and Downtown Brooklyn.
Let us put our minds together to see that LICH is preserved at a size commensurate with its communities’ needs, and that whatever is done with its excess capacity returns the maximum revenue to insure its safe survival.
Peter Flemming is a well-known Brooklyn Heights resident and attorney who has been active in civic affairs since the 1970s..