Thursday, February 20, 2014

LICH settlement: Electeds' Statements today, CHA statement tomorrow

Big updates on the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) settlement have been floating around news desks today. Below are statement excerpts from elected officials. The official Cobble Hill Association will come tomorrow, Friday, February 21st.

Our most steadfast supporters, local electeds Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and City Councilmembers Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca jointly released the following statement:
We've long urged SUNY and the State to agree to a new, more open RFP process for LICH, to make sure our community and all of Brooklyn have the best possible healthcare outcome.  And, finally, SUNY has come to agreement with the community and healthcare providers on a process that achieves this basic goal, while offering added transparency and community input. Now, it's critical that the process moves forward in good faith and in a timely way, with meaningful community participation from the many neighborhoods that LICH serves. We will continue to work with SUNY, the community, and our colleagues to ensure that LICH continues to provide care, and play the role that Brooklyn needs.
An excerpt of Mayor Bill DeBlasio's statement is as follows. 
For months, we were told the free-fall closure of Long Island College Hospital was inevitable. We fought back. We went to court to keep the padlocks off the doors. We fought shoulder to shoulder with this community and used all the tools of city government to press for a better outcome. And now, we have a resolution that finally puts people's health first.
His full statement is available here

An excerpt of Governor Cuomo's follows below.
Today’s agreement is a victory for all parties involved and paves the way for putting a long-term, sustainable health care facility in place for the residents of Brooklyn,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are in the midst of a health care transformation here in New York State, and the reality is that yesterday’s costly, inefficient models of delivering service are no longer viable options for tomorrow. Under the terms of today’s agreement, SUNY is reopening the solicitation process to find a new operator for LICH that will guide the facility as it modernizes and continues its important mission of serving New Yorkers.
His full statement is available here. 

Tomorrow, we will post the official Cobble Hill Association response to the close of litigation and the start of improved health care for our community.

Monday, February 3, 2014



The LICH community expects the future LICH to change but not to change from a hospital into something that cannot be called a hospital. The number of certified beds at LICH has been higher than the number of staffed beds for over a decade: that is one area where change would be welcome. When politicians talk of 'transforming' LICH while carefully avoiding the word 'hospital', the community begins to doubt their intentions.

Last summer I went to jail alongside Bill de Blasio fighting to keep LICH open as a hospital. I was proud to support candidate de Blasio's call for a moratorium on hospital closings. But let's be clear: when a hospital becomes something that is not a hospital, that means a hospital has closed. The H in LICH stands for Hospital. It doesn't stand for Band-Aid Central or for a bogus 'free-standing' ER.

When SUNY and Governor Cuomo say there's a surplus of hospital beds in Brooklyn, they're using false numbers based on a bogus counting methodology. The trick of relying on certified beds versus staffed beds exaggerates the number of actual beds. This has been proven by the report of the Committee of Interns and Residents of SEIU Healthcare and has been widely reported by the media. (See links at bottom.)

The six community groups in the LICH litigation have crafted an RFP counter-proposal that is workable, careful, and positive. Even if in the end no hospital operator comes forward, it is the best shot  to save lives. Intsead of reading our counter-proposal, SUNY announced last week that it was still restricting consideration to its favored respondents from the first round of its rigged RFP.

We stand with our courageous elected officials in calling for a new, untainted RFP process to determine LICH's future: Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and City Council Members Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca.

Commissioner Shah's statement today that LICH would not be eligible for funds from the $10 billion Medicaid waiver proves his bad faith. His argument that LICH lacks a plan to reduce admissions flies in the face of the State's argument that LICH is an empty hospital that no one goes to. Either LICH has too many admissions or too few: the State cannot argue both at the same time.

As for Fortis's offer of affordable housing at LICH, that is a trick that has been played one too many times in Brooklyn where we are still waiting for the affordable housing to be built at Atlantic Yards. Brooklyn will not be fooled by billionaires who dangle affordable housing promises in the face of our demands for health care.

Jeff Strabone
Cobble Hill Association

Link to the CIR report:

Reporting on bed counts:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Elected Officials Join the CHA's Condemnation of SUNY's "Transparent" RFP for LICH.

This press below press release was sent out this afternoon, adding a wide range of support to the Cobble Hill Association's own disappointment in SUNY's most recent actions regarding Long Island College Hospital.


BROOKLYN -- Today, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and Councilmembers Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca sent the following letter to State University of New York (SUNY) Chairman Carl McCall regarding Long Island College Hospital (LICH):

February 1, 2014

H. Carl McCall, Chairman, Board of Trustees
The State University of New York
33 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Chairman McCall,

As federal, state and city elected officials representing the community impacted by Long Island College Hospital, we are deeply disappointed in the wide gap between your letter of January 30, which claims SUNY has embarked on a process that is “reopened and publicly transparent,” and your continued actions, which neither correct the deficiencies of the July Request for Proposals (RFP), nor add meaningful transparency. As we have told you collectively, SUNY's current path is not legal and will not lead to the best possible conclusion to address the community's needs. As such, we will not participate in this process.

For more than a year, each of us, along with community organizations and healthcare providers, have urged SUNY to adopt a truly fair and open process with the shared goal of preserving healthcare in Brooklyn. At every step, including at the meeting convened by Public Advocate James and referenced in your January 30 letter, we have been rebuffed. 

As we have expressed repeatedly, a good-faith effort to solve the crisis at LICH must include a fundamentally improved process, with healthcare focused priorities and significant community representation throughout. As you know, allotting the community merely one token representative per committee is deeply insufficient, as is the continuation of the same RFP process that has been rejected since July.

We have outlined a process to reach a reasonable conclusion. We again implore SUNY to engage it substantively. SUNY's unwillingness to meaningfully address our concerns needlessly risks extending the process indefinitely.


Nydia M. Velazquez, Member of Congress
Daniel Squadron, State Senator
Joan Millman, Assembly Member
Brad Lander, City Councilmember
Stephen T. Levin, City Councilmember
Carlos Menchaca, City Councilmember

Self guided walking tour of Cobble Hill treasures

The folks over at Curbed have published a small walking tour itinerary of some architecturally notable buildings in Cobble Hill. In this sunny weather, why not take a stroll through our historic district with an eye on these 9 noteworthy buildings.