To the editor,
We read your exclusive interview with Long Island College Hospital’s Chief Restructuring Officer Dominick Stanzione with great disappointment and a touch of rage (“Exclusive! LICH speaks! Chief ‘restructurer’ explains layoffs and closures,” Nov. 1). The views expressed by Stanzione in this interview are replete with errors and misconceptions.
For example, he said that LICH is so financially unstable that only closing critical services can save it. He further stated that Brooklynites have abandoned LICH in favor of Manhattan hospitals. Both are demonstrably untrue and amount to an outright rationale for the scam to sell off LICH’s property to bolster Continuum Health Partners’ Manhattan hospitals.
Clearly, Mr. Stanzione is not a LICH official. He is a Continuum hire, hired in July, as his title indicates, for the express purpose of carrying out the company’s predetermined “restructuring” of LICH — i.e., closing the maternity, pediatrics, dentistry divisions and four children’s clinics in local public schools. He has a grand total of four months experience in Brooklyn.
Further, the LICH board to which Mr. Stanzione attributes all previous management errors is not a LICH board at all. It is a “mirror board,” so named because it mirrors the Continuum board. Its members are the exact same 100 or so individuals, fewer than 10 from Brooklyn, who sit on the Continuum board, the Beth Israel Medical Center board and the St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital board. It does not represent the communities that are served by Long Island College Hospital. In fact, this Continuum/LICH board has only met in Brooklyn twice in 10 years.
It’s time that LICH have a board and an administration that actually represents our patients. This is the cornerstone of the plan that the LICH Medical Staff, supported by a whole range of community leaders, has submitted to the state Health Department. It is a realistic and practical plan that would return control of the LICH board to the Brooklynites it should represent, result in a far better LICH and restore the hospital to robust financial health — and it would do so without closing the services our patients rely on.
LICH has persevered for 150 years. Continuum seems ready to bury it after 10 years under its watch. It’s time to take LICH back.
Arnold Licht, MD
Toomas Sorra, MD
The writers are the current president and past present, respectively, of the Long Island College Hospital medical staff.