Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital Faces Potential Shutdown

The Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill is facing potential closure as it continues to lose money for owner State University of New York. According to stories in The New York Times and New York Daily News, the 150-year-old facility at 339 Hicks Street is on the table with State University trustees.

According to the Times, SUNY spokesman David Doyle confirmed that the board of the State University of New York has discussed the possibility of closing LICH. SUNY Downstate Medical Center acquired LICH in 2011.

Doyle says that H. Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY board, and Dr. John Williams, president of Downstate, have met with “stakeholders” in Brooklyn to explain that SUNY Downstate faces severe financial hardship, and that the money-losing LICH is part of the problem. He said its closing could be put to a vote of the board in the near future as part of a plan to ensure that SUNY Downstate, a major teaching and hospital center in Brooklyn, will survive.

But a joint statement from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, state Assemblywoman Joan Millman and City Councilmen Brad Lander and Steve Levin insists: “Any discussion of closure is unwarranted, premature and simply not acceptable. We stand ready to work together on a plan that preserves SUNY Downstate and its affiliated campuses…together.”

McCall mentioned other options for battling Downstate’s financial problems besides closing LICH and selling off its real estate: either using state money to bankroll a financial restructuring of SUNY Downstate or partnering with other Brooklyn hospitals to provide some services.

Craig Hammerman, Community Board 6 district manager, tells the Daily News, “The loss of medical services would be tragic,” adding that there would be an economic hit from hundreds of hospital staffers losing their jobs. (Photo: NY Daily News)

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4 Responses to Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital Faces Potential Shutdown

  1. robert kirkwood January 25, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    About a year ago I went to the ER at LICH…3 different staff membes including the MD that saw me asked me if I had my own private doctor and if so I should see that MD.
    Well, I had a severe asthma attack after business hours and I only live a block away. What was I supposed to do?

  2. CH Resident January 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    If LICH actually became a hospital that the community could rely on, then their financial woes may subside. As long as it is run the way it currently is and continues to provide subpar care, it will remain underperforming and the neighborhood residents will continue to seek medical care at other Brooklyn and Manhattan hospitals.

  3. Trudy Wassner January 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I don’t find that LICH gives subpar care at all. I am a Brooklyn Heights resident that has used their ER many times over the years (due to a chronic condition) and have also been admitted some of those times. It is a small, caring, more than competent hospital and we are fortunate to have it. Let’s support LICH as a community so that we won’t lose it!

  4. Bob Stone February 6, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    It’s hard to understand why there’s been so little local coverage or even minimal notice of the imminent closedown of LICH. The demonstration on Jan. 25 was followed by zero public outcry. We still run into people who have no idea that this is happening. SUNY, Downstate has completed the rape of this vital institution, after being seen as its saviour two years ago. After Continuum did its best to destroy LICH, SUNY continues to pay it $3M a month to do its record keeping! And pays a public relations exec. $500K per year. Although our neighborhood hasn’t supported LICH, for reasons both good and bad, we must have a close-in ER. If there’s to be an ER, there has to be an in-patient service. Our granddaughter has been taken to the LICH Pediatric ER by EMS on at least half a dozen occasions and speed was everything. I’ve attempted to drive to the Methodist Ped. ER and have spent over twenty minutes doing it.

    Then there’s the local economy: Fatoosh, Hts. Apothecary, the bodega on Atlantic, etc., etc. Please start talking to our LEOs, most of whom have been very good on this, but need to know that the public cares.