SUNY releases proposals for LICH
by Jason Cohen
Feb 12, 2014 | 513 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The State University of New York (SUNY) released a summary of the five proposals it received in response to a reopened request for proposals as SUNY continues its attempts to sell the financially troubled Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

“After more than a year of extreme financial stress on SUNY and delay tactics that only deprive the community of a health care solution, it is time to end the crisis and coalesce around this process,” said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. “I continue to strongly urge all of the stakeholders to have a meaningful voice and to review the proposals and engage in this process to determine the health care future of your community.”

The five companies include Brisa Builders Corporation, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization, Fortis Property Group and the Peebles Corporation.

Brisa Builders Corporation proposed a “multi-purpose campus” incorporating healthcare, residential and retail development and an Early Child Program.

Brooklyn Hospital Center will seek temporary emergency approval to operate the existing LICH emergency department and maintain continuous access to emergency services.

The Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization proposes a medical mixed-use campus including medical services, commercial, retail and residential facilities.

Fortis proposes developing a newly integrated system of care at LICH with L&M Development Partners and KF Brock being brought on to redevelop the remainder of the campus to serve as rehabilitated housing.

The Peebles Corporation proposes creating a mixed-use, sustainable development that will benefit the Long Island College Hospital community. As part of the proposal, the Institute for Family Health will provide affordable primary and specialty care with a focus on preventative care targeting the medically underserved in the community.

“We are very pleased with the thoroughness of the proposals and will give each of them their due consideration as we work to ensure a viable long term plan that benefits both the community and the State University of New York,” said McCall.

But State Senator Daniel Squadron said he still feels the entire process has been unfair and completely mishandled.

“As federal, state and city elected officials, we stand together against SUNY's latest attempt to turn LICH into a luxury condo deal,” wrote Squadron in letter to SUNY that was signed by several other elected officials. “As we have consistently said, SUNY, Governor Cuomo, and the NYS Department of Health must support a new, more open, and expedited process to solve the crisis at LICH in order to ensure the best possible outcome for Brooklyn.”

SUNY purchased LICH in 2011, but a year ago announced the hospital was losing money and its plans to sell the Cobble Hill health facility. However, a series of court orders has stopped them from closing.

This infuriated the nurses, doctors, residents and elected officials. They protested this injustice with signs saying “save our hospital” and chanting “say no to SUNY.”

Close to 100 people gathered in front of LICH on January 29 to show their support for the 115-year-old hospital.

“We are here because SUNY undermined negotiations with a group of community organizations and healthcare workers who have been fighting to preserve healthcare access in Brooklyn,” said Public Advocate Letitia James at the rally.

She said she was shocked that it took elected officials going to court to keep the hospital open.

“The community wants guarantees for long-term sustainable healthcare in Brooklyn,” James said. “We want healthcare to be prioritized over luxury condos.”

Maribel Agosto, a nurse at LICH, agreed that SUNY has not been upfront with its plans.

“From the beginning, SUNY has acted without transparency and with complete disregard for the community,” Agosto said.

Public Advocate Letitia James and State Senator Daniel Squadron.

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