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State votes to close Long Island College Hospital — again

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The prognosis for Long Island College Hospital took another turn for the worse on Tuesday as the State University Board of Directors voted unanimously — once again — to shutter the institution for good.

The vote comes six days after a New York Supreme Court justice ruled the state broke transparency laws when it made a public meeting private to discuss closing the 155-year-old institution, annulling the panel’s referendum.

University officials cheered the re-vote, claiming the death of the Cobble Hill facility will allow SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Flatbush survive.

“We commend Dr. John Williams and his team at Downstate Medical for their commitment to preserving and ultimately strengthening this hidden jewel of the SUNY system, which is so critical to educating our doctors and other medical professionals, and treating Brooklyn’s residents,” university spokesman David Doyle said in a statement. “What we need now is for our state’s leaders to show the same strong commitment — not just to Downstate Medical Center but to all of SUNY’s medical schools and hospitals.”

The vote was held in Purchase, New York — a move that angered activists, who said that the meeting was held out of New York City to avoid the raucous crowds of the previous vote.

“SUNY again demonstrated a disturbing lack of transparency, holding its vote on the future of LICH in Westchester,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights).

In response, activists sent about 100 hospital supporters to Purchase even though they knew it wouldn’t affect the vote outcome.

“We were just there to let them know our piece of mind, that LICH isn’t the problem — SUNY’s the problem,” said Loreto Gasmen, a nurse who has been working at Long Island College Hospital for 37 years.

The state’s bid to close Long Island College Hospital will now go before Gov. Cuomo and the state department of health, which will make the final call.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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Reasonable discourse

carol from carroll gardens says:
Somebody should let Governor Cuomo know that all of Brooklyn will hold HIM responsible if we lose another hospital - especially our only one - & one as good & as needed as LICH is.
March 20, 2013, 6:39 pm

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