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Baby bust!

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If Long Island College Hospital goes through with its plan to close its maternity ward, other Brooklyn facilities may not be able to handle the resulting baby boom, a Brooklyn Paper investigation revealed.

Last week, LICH announced it would seek permission from the state to close its money-losing obstetrics department, which delivered 2,800 children last year — but to win the state’s OK, the Cobble Hill medical center must provide a plan for where all those expectant mothers could turn.

And that’s about as easy as getting a man pregnant.

New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center told The Brooklyn Paper that their obstetrics departments are already operating at capacity.

“We are not in a position to accommodate a higher volume of maternity cases,” said Eileen Tynion, a spokeswoman for Maimonides, the Borough Park hospital that delivered 7,207 newborns, more than any other hospital in the state last year.

There’s also no room at the inn at Park Slope’s Methodist Hospital.

“We just expanded to meet demand and we are already at capacity,” said Lyn Hill, a spokeswoman for the hospital, which delivered more than 5,000 babies last year.

Woodhull Hospital, a city-run facility in Bushwick, said it could handle some LICH mothers, though spokeswoman Lynn Schulman declined to say how many.

“Last year, we had 2,000 births and this year we expect 2,200,” she said.

Brooklyn Hospital, the Fort Greene medical center that only recently emerged from bankruptcy, declined to comment, and calls to Lutheran Medical Center were not returned.

Officials from Long Island College Hospital announced the drastic measure of eliminating their maternity wing as part of a restructuring to reduce the hospital’s operating deficit and pay down its debt.

The belt-tightening would also involve the sale of additional property around the hospital’s historic campus at Amity and Henry streets.

The moves come after the recent closing of its unprofitable rape counseling center and the ouster of CEO Rita Battles, who was fired in a disagreement over the restructuring with Continuum Health Partners, the Manhattan-based company that owns LICH.

The possible loss of a birthing center at LICH raised the hackles of local elected officials, who rallied outside the hospital on Wednesday afternoon to denounce the proposed closing of the obstetrics department, which Continuum says loses $11 million per year.

State Sen. Marty Connor (D–Brooklyn Heights), whose colleagues could force state hearings over the plan to close the birthing wing, called on Continuum to provide honest numbers.

“The service is too important to the community to allow it to close,” he said.

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Reader Feedback

Lucille from Caroll Gardens says:
Your article is very objective. LICH has a great Labor and Delivery and who knows what will happen if they close it in order top sell the real estate. The community should make more noise about this anomaly that is driven by greed from those who are making decisions for the facility. Please get the message out to the community beore it is too late. Thanks again for such a great article.
Aug. 7, 2008, 2:49 am
bob from brooklyn heights says:
it's too bad lich's advocates have done practically nothing to promote the hospital and build community support over the last 15 years or so.
Aug. 7, 2008, 11:04 pm
Linda from Brooklyn, NY, USA says:
Instead of going to Woodhull, always opt and choose Maimonedes, Coney Island Hospital, And Kings County.

You will receive better treatment at those hospitals. Instead of going to Woodhull, go to Brooklyn Hospital or to a hospital in Staten Island or Long Island.

At all costs, AVOID Woodhull hospital for any kind of emergency or well-baby care or any other hospital or doctor treatment.

Their (woodhull's ) ICU unit is halfway decent, but the only problem is that most of the people in the ICU unit got there from treatment that they received In Woodhull -other parts of the hospital.
Aug. 8, 2008, 11:46 am
LT from cobble hill says:
In the recent articles about LICH, I am noticing the repeated referrals to Continuum Health Partners as the "OWNERS" of LICH. Since when did LICH become "owned"? I have worked at LICH since before it joined the Continuum as one of its PARTNERS 10 years ago, but this is the first I have ever heard that Continuum thinks it owns our facility. So when exactly was our non-profit facility sold to them anyway?
Aug. 8, 2008, 3:56 pm
Dani from Brooklyn says:
I am also an employee of lich & feel that the hospital is being sabotaged by that management continum. The staff felt for a long time that lich was being neglected in favor of the facilities in Manhattan. Now, at the same time that it is trying to eliminate lich's entire woman's service, the continum has proudly publicized the ribbon-cutting on its brand new Woman's Center at its flagship hospital, Beth Israel in Manhattan.

Sounds to me like continum had an ulterior motive for getting rid of any competition from lich.

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the next thing continum does is come over the bridge to recruit maternity pts from our community & shuttle bus them over to B.I.

I wouldn't put it past them to prevent lich from providing service to its own community, then so blatantly steal our pts, then say oh lich doesn't do enough business so it isn't needed.
Aug. 8, 2008, 4:18 pm
greg from Clinton Hill says:

I went to the website of the New York State Department of Health to write a note to the NY state health Commissioner. I was surprised to learn that he is a former President and CEO of St-Lukes Roosevelt, one of the leading hospitals of Continuum Health Partners.

Is there some kind of buddy-buddy relationship between the commissioner and Continuum (also known as the "owner" of Long Island College Hospital.

Their ultimate goal is to close the entire hospital and take the money generated by the sale of its real estate to revamp hospitals in Manhattan.
Sept. 1, 2008, 10:12 pm
greg from Clinton Hill says:
For reference, please see the resume of the health commissioner taken from the site of NYS Dept of Health, as well as copy of the message I sent to the state

--------------------------------

Who is the commisioner ?

Richard F. Daines, M.D.

Richard F. Daines, M.D. was nominated by Governor Eliot Spitzer to be the fourteenth New York State Health Commissioner on January 18, 2007. The nomination was confirmed by the New York State Senate on March 21, 2007.

Prior to becoming Commissioner of Health, Dr. Daines was the President and CEO of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center from January 1, 2002 until January 2007. Previous to joining the Hospital Center as Medical Director in 2000, Dr. Daines served as Senior Vice President for Professional Affairs of St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York since 1994 and the Medical Director from 1987 to 1999. Dr. Daines received a Bachelor of History degree from Utah State University in 1974 and served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bolivia, 1970-1972. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1978. He served a residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine (1987-1997).
Sept. 1, 2008, 10:12 pm
greg from Clinton Hill says:
Who is the NY State Health Commisioner ?
>>> Richard F. Daines, M.D.

Richard F. Daines, M.D. was nominated by Governor Eliot Spitzer .....

Prior to becoming Commissioner of Health, Dr. Daines was the President and CEO of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center from January 1, 2002 until January 2007. Previous to joining the Hospital Center as Medical Director in 2000, Dr. Daines served as Senior Vice President for Professional Affairs of St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York since 1994 and the Medical Director from 1987 to 1999.
...

He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1978. He served a residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine (1987-1997).

Source:
http://www.nyhealth.gov/commissioner/bio/
================

Please Note that Continuum Health Partners is lead by hospitals in Manhattan, precisely St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
Sept. 1, 2008, 10:15 pm
Greg from Clinton Hill says:
Message to NY State Department of Health

I am concerned to learn that the Manhattan-based management of Long Island College Hospital is trying to close its maternity ward. For Brooklynites, that shows us that they have no commitment to Brooklyn, no sympathy for Brooklyn women.

All the other hospitals with maternity in Brooklyn, would it be Woodhull, Brooklyn Hospital, Downstate, Kings County, Brookdale, Methodist, Lutheran, Maimonides and Coney Island ARE OVERSATURATED. It is easy for people sitting in Manhattan, with no commitment to Brooklyn, to just try to close a maternity ward and ultimately close a whole hospital in order to allegedly gain from the sale of its real estate.

I wish the STATE - and JOURNALISTS - will look very closely at the matter and look for any conflict of interest or any illegal incentive that would prompt these managers to take such an unfavorable decision for Brooklyn.

I urge the New York State Health Commissioner not to condone such a poor decision and to use its authority to block a decision that will limit choices for WOMEN in BROOKLYN.
Sept. 1, 2008, 10:18 pm

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