Following the termination of the proposal, Downstate has announced that it will issue a public Request for Information (RFI). This document was released yesterday and maintains the purpose to seek a potential operator for the hospital.
“You have two weeks to submit questions and the deadline to responding to the RFI is one week.,” said Jeff Strabone CHA officer, at the meeting. “I don’t know how long it takes them to answer questions,” he said sarcastically.
Strabone said that the “worst case” is that this process of finding a new owner was “designed to fail.” He explained his point and said that SUNY might be trying to appease the public into thinking it is trying to find a buyer when in reality they are just attempting to appease the community.
SUNY officially stated, “This RFI will not be used to evaluate, rank or select vendors, nor will it be sued to prequalify or screen vendors for a subsequent competitive bidding process, if any. No contract will be awarded based on this Request of Information or any of the responses received. “
The deadline for the RFI is May 22, 2013.
Assemblywoman Joan Millman also attended the meeting and said that she had sat down with representatives from SUNY earlier that day to discuss the future of LICH.
Millman said, “They seemed not only willing to involve the elected officials but also community groups, and I haven’t heard that before either.” She would later say that she feels cautiously optimistic.
Some discussion was had about hiring a consultant who understands the buying and selling of hospitals to represent the community. However, at this time local officials are taking these and other options into consideration.
“We don’t think this is the solution because if you’ve looked at the RFI that was released yesterday, it doesn’t clearly state that we want a full service, acute care hospital,” said Dr. Thomas Sorra, President of concerned physicians of Long Island College Hospital. “We will show that LICH is a viable hospital, a viable organization and it’s going to work regardless of whether Downstate works.”