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)