LICH & Interfaith Team Up In Fight For Survival

Champions of the two struggling Brooklyn hospitals say Governor Cuomo is pushing an experimental for-profit healthcare agenda to the detriment of residents in need.

The fight to keep Brooklyn's ailing hospitals open rages on, with champions of Cobble Hill and Bed-Stuy institutions presenting a unified front this week.

Employees of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and Interfaith Medical Center plan to hold a joint press conference and public hearing on Friday, Feb. 8.

"In closing LICH, SUNY is setting us up for Cuomo's agenda to bring for-profit healthcare to Brooklyn," said Julie Semente, a Registered Nurse and 30-year employee at LICH, in an e-mail to Patch. "We won't go down without a fight."

Citing an experimental “pilot program” in the governor’s draft budget that would allow private investors to create a for-profit hospital in Brooklyn, the nurses say they and their communities are victims in a plan that favors wealthy residents. Those sentiments were echoed by the staff of the Interfaith Medical Center.

"Interfaith serves Bed-Stuy, a predominantly low-income, people-of-color community which already suffers from a shortage in healthcare services,” stated Ari Moma, an RN at Interfaith Medical Center in the release. “If the Governor gets his way, it’s only going to get worse.”

Representatives of the two hospitals rallied outside of Governor Cuomo's midtown Manhattan office over the weekend with the support of the African-American Clergy and Elected Officials Organization, the New York State Nurses Association, The Bed-Stuy Works Alliance, N.A.A.C.P., District Leader Robert E. Cornegy, the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU), Bridge Street Development Corporation, and the Save Our Safety Net Campaign.

Brooklyn nurses on the NYSNA site say the governor should be strengthening Brooklyn community hospitals instead of "driving them deeper into crisis."

As recently as last week, for-profit healthcare companies have come under fire with fraudulent allegations.  New York Times article from Jan. 24, reported a Missouri judge's ruling that HCA, the nation’s largest profit-making hospital chain must pay $162 million after he determined it "had failed to abide by an agreement to make improvements to dilapidated hospitals that it bought in the Kansas City area several years ago."

The LICH and Interfaith groups plan to meet at Borough Hall on Friday, Feb 8. Press conference 9:30am, hearing 10:30am.

Related Stories:

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  • LICH Employee Sends Open Letter To Governor Cuomo

Stay with Patch for updates.

Truthful February 06, 2013 at 02:15 AM
President Williams said at meeting that he was hired to close LICH. He said he would close it by march if he can.
Truthful February 06, 2013 at 02:24 AM
They merged because LICH would not have to pay 30 million in malpractice insurance under the state. There should be investigation into why continuum is not able to bill properly for lich services. They get paid three million a month to do it . 36 million a year . Hmmm that is a loss right there. That was brokered by downstate!
thenewsjunkie February 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM
People, paying top execs less isn't going to erase the fact that LICH is losing $1 million a week! It's in need of about $200 million worth of improvements and upgrades. And if gentrifiers in BoCoCa love LICH so much, then tell them to stop traveling into NYC for treatment of their conditions at institutions like NYU, Columbia Presb., Cornell Med Center, Mount Sinai and Sloan Kettering. If those people instead patronized their beloved community hospital then it wouldn't be dying a death beneath a mountain of debt! Trust me, I know. My family has used LICH a lot. And I'm what some might consider a gentrifier. I love the hospital. But when I talk to other people like me in the neighborhood I find that no one goes there for things like the neurology department, cancer care or any other routine stuff. They all trek into Manhattan. Take the maternity ward for instance. It is probably the most midwife friendly maternity ward in Brooklyn. You can birth there however you want if you've got an established midwife. But everyone in BoCoCa and Park Slope instead travels to the birthing center at St. Luke's Roosevelt even though it is a) overrated, b) overcrowded, and c) has more restrictions than you would think despite their reputation for being an open minded place. People, if you like a hospital in your backyard then you actually have to patronize it rather than go to one of the flashier institutions in the city.
thenewsjunkie February 07, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Also, another contributing factor for why our hospitals are losing money is the changing landscape of healthcare in general. Heath care reform is causing the system to change, to put much more emphasis on preventative care so that people don't wind up in a hospital. Plus over the last 10 to 15 years many more surgical procedures that used to require an in-hospital stay can now be down on an out patient basis with much less intrusive procedures. It's not uncommon for someone who undergoes coronary surgery to be home in 2 or 3 days thanks to medical advances when they used to spend a week or two in a hospital post-op. The reality is we are moving away from the big box hospital model in the US which, by the way, some say is at the core of why the US spends 50% more on health care than nations with similar economic conditions and development levels. The flip side to this is we lose hospital emergency departments but an ER is only one of many aspects of a hospital and it's finances. While we lose these big institutions, they are replaced by smaller, more modern, more efficient facilities like the Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer care facility on Atlantic Ave off of 4th Ave and the Preferred Health Partners building on Atlantic and Nevins. They don't have the burden of decades of mounting debt and are more easily able to adapt to the changes coming due to health care reform. It's the reality of the health care landscape today. So how do we replace the vital ER? That's the question.
eve February 12, 2013 at 04:45 AM
The business community stands to lose a lot of business from the 2500 employees and foot traffic from people coming and going to the hospital. Come to the townhall meeting on Kane between Clinton & Court to help save LICH. 7pm Feb 14.


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