Community leaders against LICH closure

In a letter delivered Thursday, Feb. 14 to New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah, 16 elected officials joined with leadership from SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East, The New York State Nurses Association and other community leaders in urging the state to save Long Island College Hospital in the wake of last week’s vote by the SUNY Board of Trustees to close the facility.

LICH serves over 100,000 patients a year, many of whom are working families, seniors and other vulnerable patient populations throughout the borough. With over 2,000 employees, LICH is also one of the borough’s largest employers, and its closure would destroy good jobs and be a severe blow to the local economy.

Calling the vote “premature and irresponsible,” the group urged the state to explore alternatives to keep the hospital open.

The text of the letter is as follows:

“Dear New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah,

We are writing to urge you to consider alternative solutions which will keep Long Island College Hospital’s vital healthcare services and jobs in the community. The vote by the SUNY Board to close LICH was premature, irresponsible, and did not allow adequate time to explore other options. LICH is located in a growing neighborhood and offers many medical services that are unique to the area. We believe that with the right planning, leadership and vision, the hospital could remain open and viable.

LICH provides crucial healthcare services to over 100,000 people a year, including seniors, working families and vulnerable patient populations. Contrary to recent misinformation, LICH operates with nearly a full census, and is utilized by many patients from the surrounding neighborhood, as well as other areas throughout the borough. There is only one other hospital nearby, and closing LICH would not only put patients at risk by eliminating services, but also result in severe overcrowding of other facilities. LICH is also one of the largest employers in the area, and a closure would destroy over 2,000 good jobs and be a severe blow to the local economy.

We are fully committed to working with all stakeholders to make sure this disastrous closure is avoided and we preserve LICH’s crucial healthcare services and good jobs.

Help caregivers keep LICH open for care. Please do not shut the door on Brooklyn patients and residents.”

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America.

We represent over 350,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland,

Washington, D.C. and Florida

Our mission is to achieve quality care and quality jobs for all.

The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for hundreds of thousands of frontline nurses.

We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.

Sincerely,

George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Jonathan Westin

Executive Director of NY Communities for Change

Jill Furillo, RN

Executive Director, New York State Nurses Association

Concha Mendoza, MD

on behalf of the “Concerned Physicians of Long Island College Hospital”

Daniel Squadron, NY State Senator; Eric Adams, NY State Senator; Diane Savino, NY State Senator; Karim Camara, NY State Assembly Member; Alan Maisel, NY State Assembly Member; Peter J. Abbate, NY State Assembly Member; William Colton, NY State Assembly Member; Rhoda Jacobs, NY State Assembly Member; Walter Mosley, NY State Assembly Member; Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President; Brad Lander, NY City Council Member; Sara Gonzalez, NY City Council Member; Lewis A. Fidler NY City Council Member & Assistant Majority Leader; Steve Levin, NY City Council Member; Letitia James, NY City Council Member; David Greenfield, NY City Council Member.

More from Around NYC