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Big meeting, few answers for LICH

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Maybe kvetching is the cure for an ill hospital.

Brooklynites turned up in droves at Borough Hall on Monday night to express their dismay at the problems at cash-strapped Long Island College Hospital, which has announced plans to shutter its maternity, pediatrics and dentistry wards, laid off 100 employees and said it will sack 200 more before the bleeding stops.

Mostly, the event was a chance for politicians — including Borough President Markowitz, Assemblyman James Brennan (D–Park Slope), Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene), Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Carroll Gardens), Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) and even state Sen.-elect Dan Squadron (D–Carroll Gardens) — to vent their frustrations that Continuum Health Partners, the company that runs the 150-year-old hospital, hasn’t been open to the elected officials’ vague offers of support.

And the meeting revealed anew that there are many disagreements about the best way to “save” LICH.

The medical staff has petitioned the state to grant total independence to Long Island College Hospital, but some other critics of Continuum have been calling for the faltering hospital to partner with another institution, such as SUNY-Downstate Medical Center.

“To save the hospital, we need to supplement the doctors’ otherwise excellent plan,” said Murray Adams, who was LICH counsel when the facility merged with Continuum 10 years ago. He said an affiliation between LICH and SUNY-Downstate could save the doomed maternity and pediatrics departments.

Everyone at the meeting did agree that closing vital departments — which Continuum has said are losing money — is a bad thing.

“We need all of you to send a message that the selected closing of primary care for pregnant women, babies and children is immoral, unethical and downright wrong,” said Dr. Hugh Gilgoff, a pediatrician at the Cobble Hill medical facility.

Updated 5:46 pm, November 13, 2008
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Reasonable discourse

anon says:
sounds more like an advertisement for the politicians than an attempt to problem solve
Nov. 11, 2008, 12:29 pm
distraught in brooklyn from cobble hill says:
I've been working at LICH for 32years, was born there with many of my family and friends and am very distraught over the "so called" talks regarding the closing of 3 very vital departments at our institution. It is a downright disgrace what Continuum has done to us. Please everyone speak up and come out to save LICH.
Nov. 11, 2008, 12:31 pm
jerry from coney island says:
Hey Marty Markowitz: Instead of building a Concert Hall at Assery Levy Park, in your HONOR, (like we need more concerts) why don't you throw that $64 million (its going to cost to build it) to the LICH, I'm sure that will help the bottom line in keeping the hospital going. Get your priorities straight,sir.
Nov. 11, 2008, 3:46 pm
jim smith from cobble hill says:
I have used an alias to protect the interest of my spouse who is a resident at LICH, because one thing is clear current management has no interest in promoting LICH's great potential for the benefit of the community. It is sad to see. Quality residents and Doctors are leaving already fearing the worst outcome. Please continue to follow this story as it is important to so many lives. Greed is proven evil and LICH is being run into the ground while an upper tier of rulers full their pockets and ego while the common people suffer. Same old story, but it's not to late to save this story from the same result.
Nov. 13, 2008, 3:14 pm

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