State to LICH: drop dead

Long Island College Hospital set to close

The Brooklyn Paper
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They finally pulled the plug.

Undeterred by interruptions from loud protestors, the board of the State University of New York voted to close Long Island College Hospital after years of financial trouble.

“This is no blame to LICH; this is unfortunately just one of the things we just have to do,” Downstate Medical Center president Dr. John Williams told the board this morning.

The shutdown of the 155-year-old institution was widely expected, after Williams told doctors on Monday that he would formally recommend closing the Cobble Hill hospital to the board of directors.

On Thursday, Williams told a rowdy crowd at a meeting of the university board in Manhattan that the hospital was bleeding Downstate’s money.

The whole State University hospital system likely lost $200 million in 2012, largely due to Long Island College Hospital, according to a report released last month by the state comptroller.

The State University stands to gain a lot from a sale of the hospital’s facilities: the institution’s property, building, and equipment are worth between $200 and $500 million, according to Downstate, which contributed the number to the comptroller’s audit.

When the State University used $62 million in state grants to merge with Long Island College Hospital in 2011, the hospital was already in dire financial straights. In 2008, previous owners Continuum Health Partners fired 300 employees and sold several buildings to manage the hospital’s debt.

State health authorities will have to sign off on the closure after determining whether or not the people that the hospital serves can find quality care elsewhere, but the board vote has likely sealed the hospital’s fate.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 12:54 pm, February 8, 2013
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Reasonable discourse

da editah says:
No, it is not finally dead. For one, SUNY does not have the power to unilaterally close the hospital.

I know, and even accept, that The Brooklyn Paper is a piece of sh!t rag that has only gotten worse over time, but the headline and lead go beyond the usual sensationalism to falsehood.

You really have no shame, do you?
Feb. 8, 2013, 10:29 am
Sal from Brooklyn says:
da editah: So these other sources also got it exactly wrong?

Feb. 8, 2013, 11:43 am
da editah says:
Yes, that is correct Sal. Thanks for checking in.
Feb. 8, 2013, 11:56 am
da editah says:
Actually, WNYC got it right, closing its short report with, "The decision now has to go to the state Board of Health for approval."

Neither of the sources you cite used the word, "dead" or "finally." Maybe I went too far in my original comment; maybe this is just another example of The Brooklyn Paper's usual whorish approach to pseudo-journalism.
Feb. 8, 2013, 12:31 pm
me from there says:
the thing is with headlines like that, patients will think its already done & will stop going to lich & then the DOH will think its not being used, is not need & is justified in closing. so thanks a lot.
Feb. 8, 2013, 5:23 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
The DOH is controlled by the Governor. The DOH will require a plan of closure but while it does have money to use to prevent the closing, the Governor probably would have done that before he allowed the SUNY Board to vote the closure.
While the building and equipment MAY be worth between $200 Million to $500 million dollars, $265 million is owed through bonds guaranteed by NY State Dormitory Authority, $140 million is due to a shortfall to a malpractice fund as the hospital was self insured and $175 million is due to short term loans that the hospital also owes.
The building is withing the Cobble Hill historic district and is strictly zoned. Atlantic Ave is an special zoned district with a limit of height along Atlantic Avenue although with step backs it can go slightly higher see the Building at the Northeast corner of Atlantic and Court
Feb. 9, 2013, 12:08 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
Also the building of the parking lot on the west side of Hicks required that certain parts of the hospital main grounds be dedicated to parks and playgrounds open to the public forever.
I would prefer if the hospital stays open, but all the issues and the money issues have to be successfully resolved.
Of course Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights can be made a special taxing district so those in the immediate area can agree to make up any shortfall...
Feb. 9, 2013, 12:13 pm
Thomas Lawrence from Staten Island says:
Imagine if only a few of the 400 billionaires in America actually paid their fair share of taxes (none pay even one nickel in tax -- it's perfectly legal, since they bought the tax laws) there'd be enough money to pay for the expenses of the commons - which, btw, is being sold off to the highest bidders, i.e. the municipal building. Redistribution of wealth through a revised tax code would help a lot.
Feb. 11, 2013, 1:14 pm
Remsen Street Dweller from Brooklyn Heights says:
Senator Daniel Squadron's office is urging LICH supporters to attend the Community Forum about LICH on Thursday Feb. 14th from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Kane Street Synagogue at 263 Kane Street (between Court and Clinton). For more information contact Michelle Green at 718-714-8863 or This forum is sponsored by the NYS Nurses Association
Feb. 11, 2013, 3:27 pm

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