Friday, July 12, 2013

The Call Blog: "Stroller Rally" To Save Long Island College Hospital

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Real estate and health care don't mix. Only one can survive when so much money can be made or lost. Sad to say, but in today's New York City, the condo wins. It wouldn't surprise me to see a sign for COBBLE HILL LOFTS on the corner of Atlantic and Hicks this time next year.

Another rally is being held tonight by New Yorkers who want to keep Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital open. The 155-year-old Cobble Hill hospital recently stopped accepting patients by ambulance and has moved to clear out its intensive care unit. The hospital is owned by the State University of New York, and officials are reviewing options for the cash-strapped institution.

Today, mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio called on SUNY to release details of seven proposals to redevelop LICH. He wants Governor Cuomo to personally intervene to prevent its closure. He also blasted the Governor for calling his arrest yesterday a political stunt. The Public Advocate was one of 15 people charged with disorderly conduct after delivering 7,000 petitions to SUNY to keep the teaching hospital open.

Should Long Island College Hospital remain open to patients in Brooklyn? How have hospital closures in your borough affected you or your neighbors? Have your elected officials done enough to keep these institutions open while they struggle financially?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

The closing of hospitals are a terrible thing for people who don't live near more than 1 hospital. The longer it takes to get you to an ER further from where you live can cause you to die . There should be funds from state or federal agencies so hospitals can stay open and serve the people of that community .

Fresh Meadows

The governor and all the mayoral candidates should intervene so LICH wont be shuttered with the failing 911 system it would take to long to get to another hospital

Big Herman
upper west side


This is a perfect example of a government operation. Hospitals take in anyone and everyone who steps through the door expecting government to loot enough money from others to pay for their healthcare. Soon, when Obamacare takes effect, there will be no more pockets to be picked.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John,

Every politician in New York State starting with Cuomo right on down to the tip of the Island in The City. None of them consider us at all, not ever in anyway. Mind you they are being paid good money in fact with our tax payers money.


Thank you John,

Last nights antics were a political stunt. Where was de Blasio when other hospitals were closing prior to primary (spotlight time)? Slowly but surely our public educational system was destroyed and now our public health care system is being destroyed. I am wondering if our own lawmakers are not behind this and secretly pushing for privatiziation of our health care system.

Park Hill

While I believe LICH Should remain open, i wish da Blasio and the other mayoral hopefuls would get this passionate about the fact Staten Island has no city operated hospital. Forgotten borough once again.

Luke, Grant City, Staten Island

I notice do nothing Quinn's name isn't even mentioned in this notice. She claims there's not enough funds to keep it opened. She found "funds" to reward herself and her fellow Council members a ridiculous pay raise. She's using our tax funds to pay those working on her campaign! Thanks media for letting the public know about that! NOT! And Cuomo? Couldn't hold a candle to Mario. Nothing more.

Upper East Side

It's an essential part of our community! It saves lives. Other options are too far away.

Brooklyn Heights

Regardless of the perception of Bill De Blasio's arrest being politically motivated, which I don't think it was- I thank him as it has resulted in keeping this incredibly important topic in the news. This is a desperately crucial issue that needs to be addressed, and until now has not been. Between the debacle of the new 911 system and the continual closing of neighborhood hospitals, "we the people" haven't got a chance. What is happening to this once great city? Yes, Mr. Cuomo, please get involved and please keep LICH open. For the people.

Both Cuomo & Bloomberg have no interest in the people of the city of NY. After listening to Christine Quinn carry on yesterday about how "she will do everything she can to keep LICH open-well I almost lost my lunch. I have two words for Ms. Quinn: Rudin Management. Rudin Management is a huge donor to her mayoral campaign & thanks to Ms. Quinn's approval of zoning changes to the area, Rudin Mgmt is helping to develop luxury apartments at the former St Vincent's Hospital location.

Bay Ridge

Close it!! The employees and visitors take all of the residents parking. The Doctors are horrible!! I got misdiagnosed in 2009 and almost died!!


Brilliant city. The more people we have, the less hospitals we have.

Richmond Hill Queens.

This hospital has been trouble for decades: poor service, unreasonable waits. There are terrific hospitals close by: NY Methodist in Park Slope, Brooklyn Hospital on Flatbush Ave., many others right across the bridge or tunnel in Manhattan.

Close the hospital and open a few 24 hour critical care centers in the neighborhood instead: this is a solution used all over the U.S.


Take a look at the Board members of the big hospitals swallowing the little ones. It doesn't take much to figure it out.


LICH should remain open!

However, it should be the proto-type of re-thinking: management, unions & restructuring how hospitals are maintained. Unless we (communities, government, nurses & Dr's review how hospitals are managed, more will close.

Peace & Blessings
Shere :)

We've lived nearby the hospital for over 14 years. We've seen property values in this neighborhood go through the roof. There is no question in our minds that the SUNY takeover of LICH was a real estate play FROM THE START and that they WANTED to run the hospital into the ground. SUNY knows how to run a profitable (or break even) hospital. These guys saw opportunity to make loads of money. That's what they're doing.

For example, on the end of our block, a new condo building has been under construction for years. It's a rare thing that such a large property gets developed. The building on our corner sold out its apartments before anyone could even get in there. Minimum price: over $1.2 million for a 2 bedroom apartment.

I bring this up as evidence of the tremendous real estate value of that hospital.

It's money. Money money money.


I grew up in Park Slope and watched as the Methodist Hospital bought up property and expanded and tore down historic buildings in the late 60s and early 70s. They are now threatening to tear down historic apartment buildings on 5th Street so they can expand again. Brooklyn obviously needs more hospitals not less. The closing of LICH is a travesty and will surely put much more pressure on Methodist and Lutheran which are already over crowded and over worked, as well as Kings County, but none of them are close the Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill or Red Hook like LICH.

Ann in Manhattan

Our health is the most important thing we have. What good is being alive if we have to live in pain? Why are all our hospitals closing? Do the Illuminati want to reduce the Earth's population by billions of people? The Conservatives said that by having open borders, the illegal aliens are putting a tremendous financial strain on our hospitals and bankrupting them. The same with our schools. People think these illegals are so wonderful, working for low wages. Meanwhile, we are paying for their healthcare and education, and our schools and hospitals are overcrowded. Do you think I am being racist? You should read Mexico's immigration laws. I am not saying that people should not receive medical treatment, but my God, we need to have our hospitals open. We cannot have this happen to our hospitals.

Ball parks are wonderful, but let's face it, hospitals are more important. So are firehouses. We waste money on so many things that are not important, like the Obamas' vacations. They are millionares. Let them pay for their own vacations. And let's stop wasting so much money on foreign aid, especially when it goes to countries that don't like us.

We were warned by the Conservatives that what the Democrats are doing, with Obamacare and fiscal irresponsibility, would result in hospitals closing. Looks like they were telling the truth.


You asked if there is an alternate plan for LICH. I am a physician at LICH for 22 years in a senior position and know its operations intimately. LICH can function as a full service hospital in a smaller footprint, approx. 250 to 275 bed capacity allowing sale of some of the peripheral property to support the turn around. But it has to be under an independent administration until a new operator is found. It also needs Governor Cuomo's help in discharging the current debt which was accumulated under administrative mismanagement over last several years.


Hello John:

I just want to say to Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo:

"Do you want your legacy to be that you were the mayor and governor who closed the hospitals AND the libraries?"

In a sneaky and secretive way, the mayor has closed 10 hospitals since 2006. Now he's selling off the Manhattan and Brooklyn libraries too.

And who benefits all round? The real estate developers. I just don't get it. How elitist can a mayor be? Governor Cuomo, please help us!

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

My parents live in the Rockaways and regularly discuss options if there is a medical emergency. The City allowed Peninsula Hospital to close making those options limited, at best. The people of Cobble Hill should not be forced to make the same decisions. Unfortunately one of our Mayoral frontrunners allowed the hospital in her own community to sold, wothout a second thought. My fear is four more years of hospital closures across our city.


My family lives in Bay Ridge. My mother needed psychiatric care and was taken to Coney Island Hospital. It was a horror show. The care, lack Of info and One Flew Over tje Cuckoos Nest atmosphere was scary I hope no One is ever rushed there after a suicide attempt.

After much discussion with the billing department, I got my mother released to LICH. They were awesome. The care was great. I can't say enough about the 9th floor at LICH. Their psych floor was great. The nurses and doctors were phenomenal.


I hate to see hospitals closed too, but I'm curious how many of your callers are insured and have had their LICH bills paid. LICH is not a city run hospital; it is a private hospital. Indigent care should be directed to Kings County or Bellevue. Again, I hate to see hospitals closed, but private institutions should not have to bear the burden for free medical care. Maybe HHC should expand their network???


Nancy from Hell's Kitchen says:

I really wonder what the plans are for this city. Cramming and cramming people from across the country here. Closing the hospitals, selling the libraries to rich developers, getting rid of so many traces of NYC lifestyle in favor of generic, suburban blandness. What is the future here?


Not to be an alarmist, but in the event of a terror attack we are going to need all the hospitals we can get. As we all remember, St. Vincent's Hospital was critical during the 9/11 attack.

Where are we going to take the wounded? Andrew Cuomo stepping up to the plate...good luck.

midtown east

John & The Call -

For a growing community this proposed move to close LICH makes no sense. Isn't a Hospital / Health infrastructure an essential part of a community? Something is seriously wrong with LICH is the most recent institution under review.

an investigation is necessary possibly starting with the salaries of the Administration of the Health System. These NYC Health systems especially the Private Health Systems under the auspices of Nonprofit, have executives who earn among the highest compensation packages of any industry.

Go to the web site of the New York State Attorney General's Office. The Charities Bureau has the tax returns of the Non Profit institutions including hospitals. This may provide some startling information.

John, Oakwood

As a NYC EMS worker, keeping LICH open is vital to saving lives in New York City.

We if we have to take somebody out of the way to another hospital because one right around the corner is closed down there are no if ands or nuts will definitely effect if people that need emergency care live or survive.

This is starting to become like when the city was closing down all those firehouse left and right causing those people living in the neighborhood to be the ones effected. And the places that help save lives are being shut down and that's unacceptable.

More people should become involved in this problem, because You never know when the next hospital on the shut down list is going to be the one in your neighborhood. You don't even have to live in the Area to be affected you could simply be driving in that area and get into a car accident...then what happens?

The closing of St. Vincent's and other Manhattan hospitals clearly affected how manhattan hospital era function with patient overload. It will eventually he tot the point where people won't get adequate care bc all the other hospitals will be functioning at capacity leaving people not getting the care they should get.

As a NYC EMS worker this would be detrimental to both the staff and the people of Brooklyn and all other areas of the city that this has, is, and will eventually happen to.

A concerned nyc EMS worker

Long Island College Hospital should remain open. It's being forced to close because of political greed. We are not wasting tax payers money. Suny Downstate administrators and it's cronies are stealing tax payers money. This hospital is vital to the community. Please open your eyes and get the facts before condemning the hospital to the vultures who only are interested in the sale of the hospital and it's buildings. Unfortunately if there is a disaster nearby and the bridges are closed, pray tell where are people and their families to go. Dead for sure before they get anywhere. If they do it to this hospital, who is going to stop them from coming to yours next. So open your eyes, put your self in the patients, nurses, doctors and innocent people position and you will see this situation in a new light.


Since January, the residents of the Brooklyn have known that SUNY falls under the Governor -- and that SUNY's Board was APPOINTED by Gov. Cuomo, Carl McCall is in steady contact, and they put the $500 MILLION windfall for REAL ESTATE AHEAD OF THE PEOPLE's health.

Cuomo needs to be investigated -- he's hiding in PLAIN SIGHT. He's been playing a game with the lives of a MILLION people (TOURISTS and residents alike), proven by 100,000 patients per year at LICH!

Our MEDIA needs to wash him out, get him out into the SUN and LIGHT OF DAY.

Carroll Gardens,

Keeping this open makes no sense. It's been a poorly run hospital for many years. I live in Cobble Hill and can walk down Union or 9th Street to NY Methodist in Park Slope and get seen in less time than if I walked the two blocks to LICH. My experience has been 4 - 5 hour waits to be seen, incompetent staff.

LICH now no longer accepts my insurance (Oxford)

No need to continue to bleed money from SUNY to keep a badly run facility open.

Close it down, open a few critical care facilities (some exist on 5th Ave already).

Cobble Hill

LICH should definitely stay open. This is my neighborhood hospital. I've been a patient, I've brought my father to ER, and I'm an employee. Our main problem: the unobstructed view from the hospital of the NY harbor. It's all about real estate. Brooklyn has enough luxury condos, but not enough hospitals.


we can no longer count on the politicians to help the elderly the poor or working class once in office the joke is on us, people ask the governor or better yet ask his administration.


Methodist is tearing down brownstones in Park Slope to expand while LICH is being pushed to the brink of closure. LICH saved my daughter's life when she was 7. She is volunteering there now. The Cobble Hill Carroll Gardens neighborhoods are rapidly growing with young families and they...we....need a hospital in our neighborhood.



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