A group of 200 protesters gathered outside a struggling Brooklyn hospital Friday morning, calling upon boardmembers to save the medical center from closure.
"Save LICH! Save LICH!" chanted members of the New York State Nurses Association, doctors, caregivers and local politicians, at a rally to protest the proposed closure of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill.
As ambulances from the medical center passed by, the crowd would frequently erupt in cheers in response to honks, peace signs and other shows of support.
Meanwhile, Sen. Daniel Squadron, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Councilman Steve Levin and others held a press conference at the back for local media.
"Closing down any campus is completely unacceptable, we urge SUNY to develop a stabilization plan that [preserves Downstate and its affiliates] and provides a long-term solution for Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and the entire state,” stated Senator Squadron. A petition to keep the hospital open can be signed here.
George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, added to those sentiments, saying "We must protect the vital healthcare services that Long Island College Hospital provides to Brooklyn residents," he said. "LICH is a safety net hospital that serves seniors, working families and vulnerable patient populations. All other options should be thoroughly explored and exhausted before even considering the possibility of closure, especially since the Medicaid Redesign Team recommended that LICH stay open."
Sonia Taylor, a Registered Nurse, also commented on behalf of hospital employees.
"I’ve been working for LICH for 28 years caring for patients in this community and across Brooklyn,” she said. "Our hospital is in critical condition and our patients need us now more than ever. I’m fighting to save LICH for my patients.”
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