Broad Coalition of Brooklyn Elected Officials Urge Long-Term Plan to Keep LICH & SUNY Downstate Open

LICH Rally 2013

Today, a broad coalition of Brooklyn elected officials joined 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), nurses and caregivers, and community members to rally in support of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Long Island College Hospital (LICH), and the hospital’s other affiliates – which are vital to Brooklyn’s already-underserved residents.

Last week, an audit released by the New York State Comptroller’s office made clear that there is a fiscal crisis at SUNY Downstate and its affiliated institutions. The elected officials are arguing that the potential closure of any campus is unacceptable, and that SUNY must develop a stabilization plan that provides a long-term solution to preserve critical diversity in medical education, quality healthcare, and good jobs for Brooklyn and the entire state.

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Joan Millman, Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Diana Reyna, and representatives of Borough President Marty Markowitz, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and Councilmember Brad Lander hosted the rally outside LICH this morning.

The rally came alongside letters from Brooklyn’s federal, state, and city elected officials in support of a plan that preserves Downstate and all of its affiliates (letters are attached).

“With the understanding that closing down any campus is completely unacceptable, we urge SUNY to develop a stabilization plan that [preserves Downstate and its affiliates] and provides a long-term solution for Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and the entire state,” the elected officials wrote.

The letter from Brooklyn’s congressional representatives was signed by Congressmembers Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, and Hakeem Jeffries. The letter from the borough’s state and city elected officials was signed by State Senators Daniel Squadron, Kevin Parker, Martin Malave Dilan, Diane Savino, Martin Golden, John Sampson, Eric Adams, and Velmanette Montgomery; Assemblymembers Joan Millman, Alan Maisel, Joseph Lentol, Peter Abbate, James Brennan, Alec Brook-Krasny, and Felix Ortiz; Borough President Marty Markowitz; and Councilmembers Stephen Levin, Brad Lander, Jumaane Williams, Diana Reyna, Domenic Recchia, Vincent Gentile, David Greenfield, Letitia James, Lew Fidler, and Mathieu Eugene.



  • ts

    LICH is a good hospital with some of the nation’s top-ranked physicians, the #2 top NICU in all of Brooklyn, a nationally known pulmonary and neurosciences departments, specially trained nurses with a reputation for high quality care. LICH serves diverse neighborhoods including safety-net areas, vulnerable and underprivileged populations. Its closure would be a travesty for this end of Brooklyn. If Downstate doesn’t want LICH anymore, it should turn it over to a viable hospital system that does. SUNY should not be allowed to take over facilities that it knowingly cant afford with the intent to shut them down & gain a windfall by selling off the valuable real estate. The community believed Downstates promises to revitalize LICH and maintain a strong, neighborhood hospital. It was duped. Who knew Downstate just wanted some desirable real estate to flip?

  • AB

    SUNY & Downstate’s fiscal problems must not be allowed to be balanced on the backs of Long Island College Hospital and the communities it serves or the people it employes. The Comptroller’s report also cited Downstate for wasting financial resources on too many executives. Cut some of the fat at Downstate & some of its problems may be solved.