The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s takeover plan was panned by locals during a presentation hosted by Red Hook Volunteers

Hospital-free LICH pitches spell death for Brooklynites: Residents

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Hospital Center’s takeover plan for Long Island College Hospital would put lives in danger, no matter what other medical services it provides, said angry Red Hook residents at a presentation of the plan on Tuesday night.

One Red Hooker, who said her cousin died last year of a heart attack in an ambulance that was turned away from the Cobble Hill medical center, warned that the chaos that surrounded the state’s diversion of ambulances amid the year-long battle to close the facility is only a taste of the danger to come if it shutters for good.

“We can’t go for this,” said Annette Amendolla after a presentation of Brooklyn Hospital’s overhaul proposal at the Red Hook Volunteers office. “This would never work for us.”

Amendolla was one of 20 on hand to hear about Brooklyn Hospital’s overhaul bid. Presenting was Richard Becker, chief executive of The Brooklyn Hospital Center, which submitted a plan to the state earlier this year that called for maintaining a few medical offices in or near the Cobble Hill facility, while handing over the bulk or all of the valuable land to mega-developer Related Companies to turn into a residential complex.

A court order last month voided the original five redevelopment bids and re-opened the proposal process with new conditions about what types of health services should be provided by whoever takes control. Becker made the trip to Red Hook along with Jay Kriegel, a senior advisor to Related Companies, in order to sell the community on the latest plan, which includes a few tweaks to the original.

The presentation seemed to stick to the same basic components put forward back in February, proposing the transformation of the hospital into a a large residential compound with an urgent-care center and some short-term medical facilities.

New on Tuesday night were proposed partnerships with Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, and the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, which operates a network of health centers that has a location in Red Hook.

Becker said Mount Sinai could help provide patients with the long-term care that would no longer be offered at a greatly diminished Cobble Hill outfit and that an expansion of the existing Addabbo location could provide the neighborhood with much-needed access to primary care.

“This really is a proposal that moves services into all areas of the LICH community,” said Becker. “We can address 90 percent of health care needs outside of a hospital.”

Most of the spiel fell on deaf ears, though, because Long Island College Hospital advocates in the audience called, as they have since the state first moved to shutter the facility in February 2013, for keeping the institution in its current form without any reduction in services.

“It’s been here for a million years,” said Sheryl Braxton, neighborhood resident (the number is actually 156). “We need the same services we’re used to. And we want what we need.”

Becker stressed that the state is making the decision to sell Long Island College Hospital and said his team is not able to keep it open.

“LICH is where it is,” Becker said. “We’re not in a position to run two hospitals.”

The back-and-forth over keeping Long Island College Hospital a hospital took up most of the two hour meeting and produced zilch in the way of compromise.

“He was very clear. He said no hospital,” said Maribel Agosto, a nurse at Long Island College Hospital. “People are just opposed to the idea of not having a full-service hospital.”

The evening meeting followed the afternoon announcement that the state, freed from a court order that barred it from doing anything to reduce service levels at the medical center, gave nearly half of the hospital’s staff pink slips. Another healthcare company that has announced its plan to submit a revamp bid is the development firm MedDev, which lists the State University of New York and Mount Sinai among its clients. Further complicating the bidding is the fact that executives from Related and from the Fortis Property Group, which submitted an earlier proposal along with New York University Langone Medical Center, both donated to Gov. Cuomo.

Cuomo, as The Brooklyn Paper has documented, controls the State University of New York, whose representatives effectively have final say in choosing a buyer.

Related’s Kriegel denied that his company tried to curry favor with Cuomo, saying that Related founder Stephen Ross’ $5,000 contribution is a drop in the bucket.

“You think $5,000 makes a difference? Don’t be silly. Five thousand dollars doesn’t even rank in the top hundred donors,” he said. “Does he have a relationship? Yeah. But he’s a donor to all kinds of elected officials,” he added, pointing out that Ross was a major fund-raiser for Mitt Romney.

He also stressed that no one from Related has given Cuomo money since the company formally entered the running to buy Long Island College Hospital.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Crown Heights from Crown heights says:
This is the future. Read "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson. Change can be hard but it will happen. This is the story of is the story of four characters living in a "Maze" who face unexpected change when they discover their "Cheese" has disappeared. Sniff and Scurry, who are mice, and Hem and Haw, little people the size of mice, each adapt to change in their "Maze" differently. In fact, one doesn't adapt at all...Sounds like LICH and the never ending non ability to change to the future.
March 12, 2014, 8:27 am
CuomoEnemy#1 from Brooklyn says:
Our media protects Cuomo at every turn -- this article doesn't mention his assault on LICH (for its real estate) nor by name until the Last Paragraph (!!). CUOMO is Public Enemy #1 across our areas of Brooklyn and Mayor DeBlasio is playing politics/dealing with our lives. The LICH ER saw 100,000 patients in 2012 - and it was shuttered by CUOMO and his SUNY stooges (like McCall who draws a nice salary at 78 years old? to be CUOMO's bagman).
March 12, 2014, 9:17 am
CarrollResident from Carroll Gardens says:
Under no circumstances is this hospital going to stay the full-service hospital we had thought it would. It just isn't possible at this point. There is no reason to even go to these events because either Fortis or Brooklyn Hospital will win. There's really not much of a fight at this point. My friends that work at Long Island College tell me that in addition to the hundreds of layoff notices they gave out yesterday there are going to be hundreds more pink slips given out a couple weeks from now.
March 12, 2014, 10:48 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to interrupt, but if they are still using "pink slips", then that is a true indication that they are a little too far behind the times.
March 12, 2014, 1:05 pm
Red Hook res from RH says:
We're talking lives at stake here. Urgent care & clinics do not provide life saving treatments and don't even handle emergencies. To have the audacity to go to Red Hook and be flippant about how $5,000 is nothing, doesn't make a difference & people are "silly" if they think that is a lot of money, just shows how out of touch those executives are with the needs of the people especially in Red Hook.
March 12, 2014, 4:12 pm
Carrollgardens from Carroll gardens says:
Maybe if red hook residents didn't go to the ER for every single one of their healthcare needs because they have the gold standard Medicaid card then we wouldn't be in this mess. LICH hasn't been helped by this "paying customers".
March 12, 2014, 5:11 pm
LICHer says:
Aside from the use of our ER, LICH beds were full everyday until the state university blocked them out. People would not have been admitted into beds if they didn't need to be in the hospital. LICH ER also has an urgent care rom so not everyone you saw in the waiting was for the ER. A lot were for the urgent care & appropriately so
March 12, 2014, 5:32 pm
resident from Cobble Hill says:
Anyone would have to be a fool at this point to think a full service facility is going here. That boat sailed with LICH and sunk!

Take what you get, be happy, and let move on.

Many folks from Cobble Hill would like to see the residential houses LICH took from the neighborhood decades ago returned to private use. They'd also like to see less institutional uses in the neighborhood like moving the ER (if one where to stay) to Hicks or Atlantic to keep the ambulances out of the neighborhood - no more flashing lights day & night, or sirens to keep you up at night.
March 12, 2014, 7:08 pm
justlivehere from bklyn says:
Yes, us little folks should be happy with what the massa gives us. Silly to think that thieves who stripped a fully functional hospital of assets and all of our neighborhoods of health care should be punished. And let's blame those Red Hook residents for going to the emergency room. How dare they!
March 13, 2014, Midnight
resident from Cobble Hill says:
justlivehere - the conspiracy theory is always the answer when someone isn't satisfied with the real answer.

We're moving on, that's the reality, and the best thing.
March 13, 2014, 11:14 am
Jim from Red Hook says:
Even the Chinese proposal or what we hope to see will close LICH up tight and then if everything works out just right we will see a hospital reopen in two years after the final sale of lich. in the MEANWHILE THEY (new owners) WOULD BE ABLE TO SELL OFF SOME OF THE PROPERTIES. The other proposals are less generous then the Chinese for running a hospital. We all need to face the reality of a LICH that closes and may never really reopen.
March 13, 2014, 12:35 pm
LICHLIVES from Cobble Hill says:
Confirmed: Some hospitall Brooklyn opertaors didnt but SUNYs lies & intentional neglect of LICH. LICH will remain & survive as a HOSPITAL (unless some Brooklyn pol or SUNY or the GOV sabotages it)
March 15, 2014, 7:20 am

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