Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Three Days of Rallying for LICH in Brooklyn

Photos by MK Metz
We've been trying to get to as many rallies for Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill as we can. Guess you've heard that SUNY Downstate is pulling every illegal trick in the book to close LICH down, including ignoring court restraining orders.

In their rush to dump patients, SUNY administrators put an 81-year-old senile LICH patient on a bus to Florida; police had to issue a Silver Alert to find him. They tried to kick an 11-month-old baby having breathing problems out of the hospital. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Assemblywoman Joan Millman had to step in and enforce the law.

On Friday, de Blasio rallied with community activists and staff from Interfaith Medical Center and LICH  at Brooklyn Borough Hall (photo above).

De Blasio and the other leaders called for the state Dept. of Health to get off its friggin butt and try to keep a Brooklyn hospital open for a change. He didn't put it exactly that way.

On Sunday another emergency rally was held at LICH, on Hicks Street across from the hospital. Cars honked in support of the protesters the entire time.

Speaking were Congresswoman Nydia Valezquez (wearing black), Jo Anne Simon, President of the Boerum Hill Association (blue); Borough president Marty Markowitz (not visible), patients and nurse leaders.

On Monday, de Blasio released a plan that calls for the creation of the Brooklyn Health Authority, with power "to transform hospitals and provide healthcare to the entire borough." You can read more about the plan here.

We have to commend Brooklyn's representatives who have been on fire lately trying to rescue the boroughs' hospitals. We especially applaud de Blasio, who is filing lawsuits, getting arrested, walking the walk, rallying the troops, and leading the charge for healthcare in Brooklyn.

Looking a lot like a Mayor, come to think of it.

LICH looks like Afghanistan, by the way. There are maybe 100 armed police and security guards stationed around the entire block, blocking the doors, on the streets and inside the hospital, terrorizing the patients. SUNY Downstate will get this real estate if they have to kill every citizen in western Brooklyn.

- Emergency Rally at LICH in Brooklyn on Sunday at Noon
- Scenes From Brooklyn Healthcare Funeral March
- Judge: SUNY Must Offer Same Services at LICH As It Did This Past Friday 
- SUNY Tries to Sneak Patients Out of LICH; LICH Calls Cops

More on LICH

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

Everybody's fault but the hospital's.

Anonymous said...

That's right and if you read the articles and learn what really happened you would see.

Anonymous said...

There is not a thing anyone can do. The judge is afraid to do anything. In the end Downstate will be above the lpaw and close LICH tight and nothing at all can be done. Why, Gov Cuomo is behind all this folks including all illegal stuff of Downstate and no one has guts to stand up to him.

Anonymous said...

I won't miss the hospital and it's lousy care (it's been that way for years). Some of the world's finest hospitals are across the river and the smart folk go there for treatment, not a local hospital that attracted 2nd rate residents. Respectfully, since you apparently work in the health care field, I haven't seen upset when other Brooklyn hospitals closed, such as Victory Memorial Hospital (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/nyregion/thecity/03stre.html), or even the soon to be closed Interfaith. There's no reports of deaths or other problems and sometimes there are simply too much of something (prisons, hospitals and even SUNY colleges, along with J-51 tax abatements to corporate welfare seekers) that are no longer appropriate. There are new emergency care centers opening that will soon fill a need, but what about other neighborhood without hospitals or emergency care centers (see, e.g., all the poor sections of Brooklyn) that get no help, or publicity, and which have actual people dying from lack of treatment and care (and from the usual causes of poverty)? Where's the outrage?

You have a great blog, and I've been in this neighborhood for decades and am not pleased with the J Crew-ification or more likely luxury apts, but on this we'll simply disagree.

Anonymous said...

Maybe since you go to Manhattan for your healthcare you aren't aware that LICH is a very good hospital - its physicians are ranked among the best in the nation (right up there next to those from NYU & Presby). For the 3rd yr in a row, LICH itself is ranked #2 best in Brooklyn, #25 in NYC & #30 in NY State - out of all the hundreds that were ranked in NY. And 5 of its specialties were ranked among the best high-performing services. That's saying something. If you haven't seen anyone upset over other hospital closures in Brooklyn you haven't been looking. Were you on the Brooklyn Bridge with the 1000+ Brooklyn residents last Wednesday to express that outrage with them? And FYI there ARE reports of delays in care & even deaths due to patient transfers, ambulance diversions and denial of admission to LICH. Most recently reported in the NY Times, There are also reports that have not gotten into the news for various reasons. An emergency care center cannot replace a hospital. There are some things you must be in a hospital for. LICH was filled to its 250 bed capacity every single day with 90% or better occupancy before SUNY took actions to keep patients out. Many of those patients were from Gowanus & Redhook. LICH is Red Hooks ONLY medical facility. SUNY says LICH is not needed because people like you "have the means to go elsewhere". That is the outrage. You've been seeing the outrage for 8 months and it's not going to end until this hospital is restored. The fight is for those in the communities from Red Hook to Williamsburg who don't have the same privilege as you to "go elsewhere" up the FDR. And with 120,000 patients served by LICH every year, there's a lot of people in these communities who need that hospital and deserve quality care it provides. How lucky you are that you don't have to sit on a stretcher for 2 days waiting for a hospital bed in some overcrowded Brooklyn emergency room hoping you don't get lost in the shuffle & no one makes a mistake with you because they have too many patients at once. I don't eat red meat but I would never say that it cannot exist for anyone else because I don't buy it for myself.

mcbrooklyn said...

You said it better than we could.

Anonymous said...

I am so moved by the communities and concerned physicians uproar about this terrible situation with SUNY selling LICH down the river. I thought the government was supposed to be of the people and for the people but this situation with SUNY being above the law and Bloomberg saying that "we don't need a hospital on every corner" is very disturbing to say the least. (Time for him to go. Then he can micromanage to his heart's content how much soda his friends drink.) I'm very pleased that de Blasio has taken up the fight. He's got my vote. The Dept of Health and Cuomo need to put pressure on the SUNY Board of trustees to demand that the hospital stay open until they secure a legitimate operator with a plan that maintains the degree of services that LICH offered and more. The highest bidder may not be the best operator or have the best plan. I'm afraid SUNY is just looking to sell the property to pay their own debts over at their main hospital. We deserve a full service hospital to treat the tens of thousands of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. I am not convinced that putting an emergency care clinic or a place for mother's to deliver babies will meet the variety and guality of medical care needed.

Lena said...

Absolutely! I am so moved by the strength and passion of the LICH nurses who jumped up for their patients & this community, started the fight, pulled everyone together for it, led the charge & haven't wavered from it. They're out there doing something everyday to keep LICH alive for a chance at a new operator. These LICH nurses are fearless. I hear them talking at these rallys & in/on the news, & I get choked up hearing their concern & dedication to their patients. Nurses can work anywhere so you know it's not about the job for them. LICH nurses are staying here to fight for us. Even the politicians are saying they would not have gotten this far without the nurses leading the fight all these months. LICH would already be dead if not for its nurses. They save lives, including their own hospital's. God bless them & may they be victorious.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say I'm loving McBrooklyn's reporting. The most clear, accurate, factual reporting of the issue anywhere. McBrooklyn, Brooklyn Daily Eagle & Red Hook Star Revue are the only ones telling the truth about what's happening at LICH. The bigger newsies in Manhattan don't have a clue & are just repeating SUNY's sound bites. Way to go, Mickie-B!

Anonymous said...

All those armed security are terrorizing the staff & visitors. Thursday there was another rally - where several community associations announced they signed on to DeBlasio's lawsuit & patients told their stories. Afterwards several rally-goers went into the hospital coffee shop to sit down for a snack. There were more than 10 guards in the lobby all very jittery that people were coming in. They were stopping everyone, checking pocketbooks, escorting people onto elevators & to wherever they were going in the hospital. They even came into the coffee shop to yell at the reprimand the rally-goers for bringing their save lich sign in with them. At 5pm, security locked the doors. Frikking SUNY is out of control.

Anonymous said...

The bigger newspapers either don't have a clue or are influenced by our Governor and/or Mayor. NY Times -- when it comes to Brooklyn and our fight for healthcare you are NOT doing your job.