After nearly three years and , has officially been saved and will continue to serve Brooklyn and beyond.
On Tuesday morning in front of a packed room of doctors and nurses, the deal to merge LICH with SUNY Downstate Medical Center was finalized and celebrated by elected officials and community members who have fought tirelessly to keep the hospital's doors open.
"There are few times when there really is such a thing as a win-win," said SUNY Downstate President John LaRosa, M.D. "This is a win-win."
The University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital officially changed hands at midnight on Saturday night, and is fully functioning, with new signage and new management.
Maria Pagano, President of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association said the merger was great news for the community.
"It's so important that we have a world class healthcare center here," she said. "We have to raise the bar, our population is booming."
The persistence of the community and the dedication of local elected officials is what ensured the merger's success, said LaRosa.
"The people who represent you in this area really represent you," he said, adding that without the help of U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin and Assemblywoman Joan Millman, the grants needed to ensure the merger might not have come through.
"All these folks took a late Friday evening meeting and demonstrated how important this is," he said. "That's affective leadership."
Millman said the people, especially longtime Cobble Hill resident and activist, the late Murray Adams, had just as much to do with it.
"I've never seen the community come together in such a way," she said.
The new CEO of the University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital is Debra Carey.
What exactly will change in regards to programs offered remains to be seen, but LICH CEO Dominick Stanzione says the merger is nothing but good for the community.
"All our services will remain," he said. "With all the [hospital] closings going on in New York this is really a happy ending."
"We're taking our institution to the next level," he added.