LICH Unraveling Continues, by Kimberly Gail Price

Doctors’ contracts are set to expire at the end of this month, hospital staff’s WARN notices are still pending, and now SUNY DMC is pulling the plug on LICH’s residency program – or as one doctor called it, the “backbone” of the hospital.

LICH Directory hanging in the hallway.

LICH Directory hanging in the hallway.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit filed by Long Island College Hospital (LICH) against State University of New York Downstate Medical Center (SUNY) has been postponed indefinitely. And SUNY’s new Sustainability Plan submitted to the state on June 1 excludes LICH almost entirely – except for the dollar sign on their property value.

Despite court ordered restriction, SUNY is continuing to unravel the threads holding LICH together. By withdrawing their closure plan, they have been able to quietly cease operations at LICH. They have delayed LICH’s lawsuit by changing attorneys in the eleventh hour, claiming a “conflict of interest,” pushing the date beyond the original closure date of June 18. Most crippling of all, they have recently taken action of removing every resident doctor away from LICH.

Dr. John Romanelli calls LICH the proverbial “carcass picked apart for assets and then left to die.”

In 1860, two years after the hospital was opened, LICH introduced the idea of bringing medical training to bedsides. LICH was the first medical institution in the world to implement this sort of training. Today, the program has been instituted worldwide. After completion of medical school, every future doctor must complete and be certified through a residency program similar to LICH.

Although residency students are still under the authority of the doctors they work side by side with, they are capable of diagnosing and treating a patient, just as a doctor does. Residents are paid by the hospital they train with; the hospital is also paid by the state to train them.

LICH currently has 42 resident doctors who not only are receiving training to practice medicine in the future, but they are also valuable assistance to doctors by filling in gaps. They take on extra patients and provide extra hands for a certified doctor, allowing more patients to be cared for than a standalone doctor. “They are an extension of the attending medical staff,” Dr. Romanelli explains. “The residents help manage the patients on the hospital wards with the attending staff supervision. Without them, LICH would be less profitable, provide less patient care and create a much greater workload for attending doctors.

On June 23, 2013, the very last residency class of LICH finishes the program and graduates. On June 30, 2013, SUNY has mandated that the residents who have yet to complete their program at LICH be moved back to the SUNY campuses and finish training at UHB.

The 42 residents will be replaced by 20 physicians’ assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). But Dr. Romanelli estimates that the hospital will need at least 60-100 to replace the residents.

No substitute for doctors

Dr. Romanelli explains the burden this will place on the remaining doctors of LICH. PAs and NPs cannot substitute the place of doctors. PAs cannot diagnose and treat patients, although they can render care by way of doctors’ orders. The doctors must also sign off on an NP’s diagnosis and treatment. If the NPs make a mistake, the doctors are liable.

SUNY has also hired Pitts Management Company to run and facilitate hiring and operations of the hospital. When John Burns, the acting Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LICH “essentially had no contract and was let go,” Dr. Romanelli said, James Karkenny of Pitts Management took over.

James Karkenny has been the interim Chief Operating Officer since early May after Burn left the hospital. At a recent meeting, he addressed the doctors and attending physicians, saying “clearly this month has been one of transition.” He described his role “to plug the majority of holes in administrative, clinical leadership as well as nurses.”

When addressing the residency plan, he said, “I understand the challenge. I’m not sure if there’s anything else I can offer. The plans are in place; the decisions have been made. We’re doing our best with many of [the doctors] to fill the gaps and the holes. The last thing we can do is put our patients at risk and infect the quality of patient care.”

Meetings of the medical leadership – or chief doctors at LICH – began the day the decision the end the residency program was handed down. According to Karkenny, LICH’s administration is working towards “[re]staffing on a daily basis.”

“What’s the cost of this?” asks Dr. Romanelli.

“Significant,” replied Karkenny.

“Do you have a number?”

“We have some numbers. It’s a huge amount. Obviously.”

“More than one million?”

“Yes.”

“Six million, ten million?”

“It’s in that range.”

“Great answer.”

“It’s the best information available to us today.”

Full Court Press

“We committed to a full court press to get these folks in, vetted through the interview process credentials and in place by the time the residents are gone,” Karkenny promised. “We still have a hospital that’s open, it’s open for the foreseeable future, and we’re committed to bringing the resources in to maintain excellent care.”

Letters dated Monday, May 20, 2013 were sent to the heads of all three existing residency programs from Stephen Wadowski, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (GME) at SUNY. In a copy obtained by the Star-Revue addressed to Mary Fatehi, the Program Director for Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) at LICH, the letter states, “According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Institutional Standards, residency programs accredited by the ACGME must be operated under the authority and control of on Sponsoring Institute.” SUNY is currently the “Sponsoring Institute.”

Deserted nurse's station on the third floor.

Deserted nurse’s station on the third floor.

The letter goes on to read, “A motion of voluntary withdrawal of ACGME accreditation for the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn – Long Island College Hospital Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology was made and approved by the Committee. Withdrawal of the accreditation is to become effective at the end of the 2012-2013 Academic Year and no later than June 30, 2013.” The letter gives three days for the program directors to “appeal this determination,” and submit “in writing to President John Williams before noon on May 23, 2013.”

The program directors of Radiology and Internal Medicine received the same letters.

The ACGME’s mission is to “improve healthcare by assessing and advancing the quality of resident of resident physicians’ education through exemplary accreditation.” They were established in 1981 based on a consensus in the medical academic community calling for an independent accrediting organization. In the academic year 2010-2011, there were 8,887 ACGME-accredited programs in 133 specialties nationwide. As of July 1, 2013, LICH will no longer be one of them.

“Now we suddenly are losing the residents, and I don’t think this hospital could work without them. I would like to know why we lost the residency program,” pressed Dr. Marwin Attalah

However at a June 3 meeting with the medical staff, SUNY Chief Medical Officer, Michael Lucchesi, claimed that residents filed letters of complaints with the ACGME. Lucchesi could give no further information on how many complaints were filed, the nature of the complaints or any other pertinent information regarding the issue.

Lucchesi also said ACGME visited the hospital on May 29, 2013 and decided the residency program needed to be shuttered. However, two weeks before the site visit, SUNY called the department heads of Internal Medicine, Radiology and OBGYN and demanded that they voluntarily withdraw their residents beyond June 30. The phone calls happened at 9:30 pm on a Monday night – May 20 – and the letters were sent out Tuesday morning.

Dr. Millicent Comre, OBGYN Clinical Assistant Professor and Chief of Service, and Dr. Fatehi appealed the decision in a letter to Dr. Williams dated May 23, 2013. They “formally appeal the determination” for “voluntary withdrawal of ACGME accreditation,” citing the program is “in full compliance with all standards required for successful education of residents in our specialty.” The doctors provide a list supporting their cause including, “a full and stable complement board-certified faculty;” “adequate numbers of patient volume and procedures;” and “adequate resources to support continued education.” The letter continues, “In addition, we await your response concerning our request made in writing May 9, 2013 to maintain an independent residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at LICH […] A plan to offer uninterrupted care for our patients in the absence of house staff must be outlined and adequate staff secured.”

View from a patient room.

View from a patient room.

Romanelli said, “SUNY is controlling the process before it goes to ACGME. SUNY initially told our program directors that they were merging our residency programs into their programs. Earlier this week, a late night phone call to the LICH program directors by the GME director, Dr. Wadowski forced them to voluntarily withdraw their respected residency programs under ACGME. He then had a public meeting with medical and attending and resident MD staff telling them that as of June 26, there will be no medical residents at LICH, essentially crippling our hospital.”

In response to pulling the plug on the residency program, Head of Nursing, Catherine Gallogby-Simon submitted a letter of resignation effective July 1, 2013. Her protest of the withdrawal was described by Romanelli as the “final nail in the coffin,” because it is impossible to for her to run the nursing department in the manner SUNY is proposing to operate the hospital.

Dr. John Romanelli said the complaints were in regard to the residents not having enough attending doctors to run the program. Those attending physicians were pulled from LICH – by SUNY, of course – earlier in the year. Many critical doctors that teach residents were not replaced by SUNY, causing the hospital to become deficient in its training process.

Romanelli also stated that reversing the process and allowing residents back into the residency program is “very extensive” and would take many months, as well as being extremely costly.

Dr. Toomas Sorra, President of Concerned Physicians of LICH, said “SUNY has FORCED [us] last week to withdraw its residency program for the first time in history, and are thereby trying to convert LICH into the equivalent of a walk-in clinic/hospital, instead of the full service hospital that it is at present. This is a major assault on LICH by SUNY.”

Many questions remain about the employment gaps LICH now faces. Who is going to supervise the PAs? How will LICH get the PAs recruited, certified and trained in less than 30 days? And how will the hospital be able to afford such an enormous expense at this point?

Karkenny could not answer these questions. SUNY officials offered no response. And the medical staff of LICH is left to deal with the consequences.

The lawsuit filed against SUNY and the Department of Health is in response to SUNY violating a temporary restraining order (TRO) from early February. The TRO, which was extended indefinitely by Judge Johnny Lee Baynes on February 21, barred SUNY’s Board of Trustees from even discussing the closure plan with the Department of Health. The TRO specifically states that the “Defendants-Respondents are hereby TEMPORARILY RESTRAINED and shall not take any action in the furtherance of the closure plan for Long Island College Hospital submitted to the DOH.”

On March 8, 2013, Crains published an article entitled “Long Island College Hospital closing still on hold. An unnamed SUNY spokesperson was quoted, saying, “ ‘We will respect the process and await his [Baynes] ruling.’ “

In the press release announcing the withdrawal, SUNY President John F. Williams, Jr. said, “We are withdrawing the closure plan so we can work with the state and other stakeholders on a sustainability plan for Brooklyn’s only medical school and to ensure quality medical care throughout the borough. The current legal proceedings prohibit this dialogue.” Many have suggested that the withdrawal was simply a “bargaining chip” to trick LICH into dropping the lawsuit, while SUNY quietly took all measure to ensure that LICH would fall apart.DSC07336

Since the closure plan was formally withdrawn from DOH on April 26, SUNY has continued to take action towards causing the hospital to close on its own accord.  Removing the residents from a hospital that has been a teaching institution since their inception in 1860 is as one doctor states, like “removing the backbone” of the LICH in a “very mean and stupid” way.

Dr. Sorra writes, “SUNY/DMC continues to do everything possible to ‘de facto’ close LICH, despite all our efforts.”

SUNY has taken equipment and supplies out of LICH’s hands. They have not provided adequate staff to keep many departments open. Several floors of the Hicks Street Location have been cleared and remain deserted. On June 3, six Operating Room (OR) nurses resigned. As a result, the OR had to be downgraded from 10 rooms to 8 due to lack of staffing

.DSC07208DSC07216

Councilman Brad Lander said, “We’re worried time is not on our side.”

In a report released by the American Medical Association (AMA) called “AMA Center for Transforming Medical Education and AMA Advocacy Resource Center,” predicts that the United States will face shortages of physicians by the year 2025. “To ensure an adequate physician workforce and better access to care, proper GME funding is a must.” SUNY has failed to provide LICH with that funding, and has created the loss of their residency program due to lack of staffing, resources and finances.

LICH’s lawsuit against both SUNY and DOH is still pending, but the court date has been postponed indefinitely. “The problem is – is there enough money and legal willingness around to pursue this to its correct conclusion?” asks Dr. Sorra.

SUNY held a town hall meeting for a public discussion of their sustainability plan at their Downstate Medical Center on Monday, May 20. Carmen Pimentel, a register nurse at LICH began her testimony by saying, “This town hall meeting is not a substitute for meaningful serious consultation with stakeholders.” She also added that, “Our three minute comments today are not the consultation with stakeholders required by law.” Herdley Hill, a psychiatric nurse at LICH testified, saying “Instead of seeking meaningful input, SUNY is holding this so-called town hall meeting, which by no means fulfills SUNY’s legal obligations.”

Later in the day, SUNY followed the meeting with a council meeting for an update on the sustainability plan. All talk about LICH as a part of the plan was averted, citing the TRO prohibiting SUNY from further discussing the closure of LICH.

Even thought the decision to remove residents from LICH had already been put into process, nothing was mentioned to the general public. Nor has anything concerning the exit of the program been mentioned at any public meeting to date.

Posted in LICH hallway

Posted in LICH hallway

Attorney for LICH’s lawsuit against SUNY and DOH, Hanna Fox of Arnold & Porter LLP sent a letter to SUNY officials on May 23. “My understanding is that you will send us a description of how the residency programs at LICH will be managed going forward, including how staffing will be managed to ensure appropriate patient care for any period during which residents are not present at LICH, and plans for resuming the residences’ presence at LICH. Although we did not explicitly discuss the fellowship programs yesterday, they are also an integral part of LICH and we request that you address SUNY’s plans with regard to fellows as well.”

The email was sent under the announcement that residents at LICH would be temporarily sent to SUNY with the understanding that residents would be sent back to LICH after the ACGME’s May 29th inspection. Once all three departments had “voluntarily” withdrawn, SUNY announced the withdrawal was permanent.

In addition to the RFI, SUNY opened a small window for questions regarding the request. The questions were posted online along with corresponding answers. Under Question #2, regarding inspection paperwork, seven certifications were listed as “not currently available,” including architectural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, and elevator certifications, as well as service/preventable maintenance records for mechanical and biomedical equipment and flame spread documentation. Fire Stopping and Fire Alarm system information would available through “an appropriate due diligence process.”

Most disconcerting, is a request for the emergency generator report. The response listed is simply, “There is no emergency generator.” According to Dr. Romanelli, every hospital is required by DOH to have a backup generator. This oversight on SUNY’s part is a strong indication that they are very unaware or unconcerned about LICH. If the hospital did not have a back-up generator – as SUNY has suggested – DOH would be forced to close down the hospital.

Other questions that SUNY’s officials were unable to answer include asbestos-containing material throughout the building, square footage of individual rooms and much of the financial documents requested – which of course would also be provided after “an appropriate due diligence process.”

Although Concerned Physicians of LICH and other of the hospital’s medical staff submitted questions to the inquiry, none of their questions were posted on the website or ever answered, according to Dr. Sorra. “Not one community voice has been listened to. Not one ounce of concern has to be considered about the value for the community if LICH shuts down.”

One option for LICH is to operate themselves, if they can find “good leadership,” said Dr. Sorra. He also confirmed that LICH would be submitting a written response to SUNY’s RFI. However, they were derailed the same week with the prospect of losing their residency program. Despite the setback, the doctors still submitted their written proposal. “We haven’t had a board [of trustees] for 14 years; that’s what we want,” said Dr. Sorra.

Dr. Romanelli says, “We can’t make a decision. The state owns us. They’re the ones that hold the purse strings.”

At least three hospitals have expressed interest to SUNY’s RFI, possibly as many as seven. Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park has submitted to the RFI, but only for outpatient services. All existing in-patient services would be lost and the majority of LICH’s real estate sold for residential development.

In her testimony, Pimentel also stated, “the RFI document offers very little insight into hospital finances, a tad more information about current operations, and a great deal of detail about LICH real estate.”

Dr. Sorra said, “the process is flawed if there is no financial information available. SUNY has stated that their RFI presented for potential suitors for LICH is the only way that LICH will survive. And they have said in various statements that there are ‘one, two or five’ suitors who are interested in taking over LICH. But they have refused to give us information about these apparent potential suitors.”

So many uncertainties lie ahead for the patients and medical team of LICH. And SUNY is leaving many questions unanswered. The situation they have created carries strong implications they are taking all measures to ensure LICH cannot survive, thus ending many months – or possibly even years – of sustaining LICH before negotiations can be finalized. “We all want to have some kind of answers. I don’t have one; I don’t think we’ll get one today,” said Dr. Attalah.

Future Condos?

Future Condos?

WARN notices of termination dated for June 18 have yet to be rescinded. “Since the reason for the termination notices – LICH’s closure – no longer exists, we consider the termination notices to be null and void. We expect those notices to be rescinded,” said Semente. “It’s obvious to us that the termination notices must be cancelled if LICH’s closure was cancelled. Are they planning to terminate the employees on June 18th as part of their sustainability plan that must take effect by June 15th? Is this just another sneaky way to close LICH or severely reduced from a full service hospital?”

In addition, contracts for all hospital employees end June 30. None have been renewed. According to Karkenny, the hospital is “looking at [their] options,” including month-to-month renewals.

While SUNY declined to comment on the majority of the Star-Revue’s more detailed questions, Ronald Najman, Director of Communications and Special Projects, emailed a statement saying, “SUNY last week submitted to the governor’s Budget Division and the NYS Health Department a sustainability plan that we believe will ensure the long-term success of Downstate Medical Center, its medical school and its other educational components, as well as create a blueprint for how to provide more health care partners in Brooklyn to put that plan into place.”

LICH serves diverse communities across Brooklyn, especially Red Hook, Gowanus and Downtown Brooklyn. In 2012, LICH averaged a 90% occupancy rate. During Sandy, LICH took in patients who were evacuated from other hospitals.

LICH is still in danger of closing as SUNY continues to take underhanded, out-of-sight measures to cause LICH to fail. “We have the history. We have the location. We have the medical school. We have the best staff. But unfortunately now we are for sale and being sold off,” Dr. Attalah sadly remarks.

Will SUNY pull the pieces of LICH apart one by one until the whole operation is forced to crumble? Every day the picture changes a little bit as SUNY reveals more smoke screens and mirrors from SUNY. Unless state officials step in and demand more consideration for LICH and the communities it serves, the hospital that has dedicated so many years and saved so many lives will be another waterfront property to lay claim to.

Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of SUNY, wrote in the 2012 Annual Financial Report, “Our university now serves as an economic engine for every region and the state as a whole.” “We take very seriously our responsibility to be good stewards of public dollars and will continue to be as efficient and creative as possible in managing our resources.” Like breaking new ground on a new building, while claiming the university system at Downstate will be completely broke by July 1, 2103. By running LICH into the ground to later reap the benefits of their real estate value. And of course by destroying LICH’s residency program, depriving the hospital of supplies and staff, as well as creating months and years of deception to gain nothing more than additional “public dollars.”

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28 Responses to LICH Unraveling Continues, by Kimberly Gail Price

  1. Anthony says:

    Incredible article.

  2. nic says:

    thank you Kimberly gail price. I hope you sent this article to the entire delegation of elected Brooklyn officials as well as the governor, department of health commissioner, as well as the chairmen of the senate committee on higher education and the health committee who just held a senate hearing on the future of lich where none of this was mentioned.

  3. nic says:

    Catherine Gallogly-Simon, Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services, and the Director of Nursing, Patricia Meade both just resigned in protest over this situation with the withdrawal of the residency program. This is a HUGE deal. Is SUNY paying attention to the seriousness & the implications? Where are the elected oficials for LICH & its communities??? This is outrageous.

  4. notice the last name & room # listed on the white board in the photo of the LICH Directory?

  5. anonymous says:

    The photo of the “deserted” nurses station on the 3rd floor is misleading. This floor was closed for planned renovations that didn’t happen once the closure plan was announced. LICH has space for 506 beds. Years ago LICH voluntarily reduced its staffed bed capacity to about 250, at the behest of the Department of Health. Some of the former bed space was converted to offices and out-patient ambulatory services. LICH is not empty or deserted as that photo might suggest. LICH is consistently filled to an average of 90% occupancy of its 250 staffed beds everyday. LICH is full of patients & staff, even with the disruption of SUNY’s actions over the last 6 months. That’s a testament to its quality of care, the dedication of its staff & the loyalty & confidence of the communities it serves.

  6. anonymous says:

    PS
    of course the hospital has a generator. been at work many times over the years when the city’s power went out & the generator kicked in. Like the big blackout years ago, a blizzard, & the hurricane. geeez…. SUNY looks & sounds more incompetent every day.

  7. Nurluk says:

    I am not sure SUNY care about the health of People in Brookly. This is comfirmed by inaccuracies in all there LICH claims. When was the last time Dr. William or his associate make onsite visit to LICH Campus or communicate directly with care givers at LICH. SUNY incompetency leadership is sinking the SUNY Downstate enterprise and also wasting tax payer resources. if no action is taking STAT by the community leaderspeople will die with preventable disease or health condition.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The definition of a PA needs to be reviewed. They absolutely can treat and diagnosed. There are many PA run hospitals/services.

    Nonetheless a terrible thing is being done. Karma is real. And nothing done in the dark stays there. Nothing. The truths will come out. Lich provides exceptional care to patients. Bottom line.

  9. bella817 says:

    So Karkenny says that “the plans are in place. the decisions have been made” and just like that the doctors are removed and LICH ceases to be a teaching hospital. Let it be known that for all SUNY’s talk about their concern for “the community’s needs”, those decisions were made without the community’s input & with no consideration for the community’s needs or for what the community wants. HEY SUNY – WE WANT OUR FULL SERVICE TEACHING HOSPITAL AND OUR DOCTORS BACK! I rue the day that SUNY came to Cobble Hill & I blame the politicians and SUNY chairman HCarl McCall for letting them do all this to us & our community.

    • Galbi Jim says:

      Do you realize that LICH would have CLOSED if SUNY did not bail it out two years ago? The people who post here have no relation to reality. Wake up!

      • anonymous says:

        Thank you. Continuum ran LICH into the ground and SUNY came in to save it. People have a short memory. LICH is dragging SUNY down financially. That having been said. SUNY is also making some dumb choices. Sadly, no angels here.

      • bella says:

        You need to brush up on your history. LICH would not have closed. It was not broke. It had millions in real estate assets. There was an alternative viable, professionally-prepared business and financial plan for LICH that had been submitted to the Dept of Health. There was a new operator waiting in the wings for the new plan to be approved, but then the local politicians were convinced by Downstate to push for giving (not selling – GIVING) LICH to them. People like Assemb Millman & BP Markowitz (who are now horrified to see that they were “snookered,” as Millman calls it). Downstate had told them that the medical school was at risk if they didn’t get LICH because they needed more clinical space for their students, their other hospital was falling apart at the seams, & they could utilize LICH to make a great new Brooklyn “hub” of healthcare to rival Manhattan. The politicians believed all that with stars in their eyes & also believed the medical could be lost if it didn’t have LICH. That would be bad for Brooklyn so they supported Downstate’s idea & pushed for that approval. They GAVE LICH to Downstate & the merge was approved by the court specifically on the condition to maintain a hospital at LICH. Downstate promptly transferred LICH’s millions into their own accounts, borrowed LICH’s $140 million endowment (& now say they’ll pay it back only if they ever can). A year & half later, they said thanks for the cash LICH, now get out. Even the Judge who approved that merge wants to know if they took over LICH only to get its money & property. SUNY Downstate was supposed to coming in to save LICH from the pilfering, plundering of its previous owner & they just ended up continuing more of the same – raping LICH themselves & leaving it for dead.
        Judge Demarest sees the truth here too & has ordered them into Supreme Court for Aug 5 to prove that they did not defraud the court & to account for every stick of property & every penny they transferred out of LICH accounts into Downstate accounts.

        OK? So that’s the reality. I hope it woke YOU up.

  10. Michael K. says:

    It’s truly disgraceful.
    There are even stories about doctors stealing equipment and taking it to their personal practices.
    Every single person responsible for the intentional sabotage of LICH has to be called out on it.
    Make sure you post it, tweet it, Wikipedia it, and make sure it comes ip when you google their name.
    For doctors that have hurt LICH, especially McCall, make sure all the underhanded things they have done are the first thing that comes up when people do research their doctors. It’s not slander if its true.

  11. Amina says:

    I can appreciate the effort to keeping the public informed on the chronology of events at LICH. However I must correct the author’s errors and inform the public of the wonderful care that the mid level health care providers offer to the LICH community. Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practicioners (NP) are clinicians that provide support to the medical team in both the inpatient and outpatient setting. We are college educated and trained licensed professionals just like physicians. Due to the shortage of physicians quality healthcare services which includes diagnoses, treatment, and prescription writing privileges are being rendered nationwide by PAs and NPs. These qualified professionals currently at LICH cover the ER, GYN, NICU, Orthopedics, Psychiatry, Surgery, & Urology. We work side by side with the physicians and even assist with teaching. We are proud to serve the public and protect the basic human right of quality healthcare. LICH Saves Lives and everyone on the team is vital to this organization!

    • Kimberly Gail Price says:

      Amina, thanks for your comment.

      In writing the article, In no way did I mean to suggest that PAs, and NPs are any less important than and other health care provider. In writing the article, I really struggled with how to separate the different roles and factions within the healthcare industry. The point was to show how essential the role of the residents at LICH are, not to undermine all of the other well-trained staffing of the hospital.

      My mother and sister are both RNs. I remember my sister going through nursing school and the extensive years of clinicals and training she endured. I also know that they both have constant re-certifications, tests and retraining that is endless. I do not at all underestimate the importance of that role in the health industry – especially at LICH when nurses have fought voraciously and tirelessly to save the hospital thy are so committed to.

      I apologize for this trite oversight on my part. The online article will be updated later in the day, and we will print a correction in our next issue. This information is very helpful.

      Kimberly G. Price

      • bella817 says:

        The article accidentally refers to NPs as “LPNs”/ Just a typo. Nobody was saying that NP’s or PAs provide substandard care. But we ARE saying that they cannot replace every resident physician at LICH & the numbers we’d need to cover every area cannot be recruited, interviewed, hired, trained, & oriented all within the next 2 weeks. This isn’t about the quality of NPs & PAs. Its about the sabatoge of LICH.

      • Amina says:

        Thank you for updating the article. My mom was an LPN, so I remember the late nights of studying she spent pursuing an RN.

    • bella817 says:

      but the problem is that there aren’t going to be any physicians for you to work side by side with come june 23rd if suny has its way & THAT’s the issue. There is a restraining order by the court that says suny can do nothing to reduce services or close the hospital. By removing all our residents and interns they ARE reducing services & changing the hospital from a teaching facility to a community level hospital. Back door effort to close as a hospital & downsize to an urgent care center.

      • Amina says:

        I agree the institution will need more trained staff to duplicate the care that the residents provide. 80 hours per week of resident coverage is not likely to be replaced by mid level providers working 37.5-40 hours per week. We need to continue to work together despite the hardship we may ensue. We are dedicated to the patients in the community whom will remain receiving quality care from an interdisciplinary team. I applaud the efforts to continue keeping the public informed.

  12. LICH Patient says:

    An excellent portrayal of SUNY’s evisceration of LICH. One important correction to the previous article: there is no mystery about the whereabouts of the Othmer Endowment Fund money. As part of the 2011 transfer of LICH from Continuum to SUNY, the NYS Supreme Court authorized Continuum to “borrow” about $90 million from the Othmer Funds to put into a newly established trust to pay prior medical malpractice claims, and the deal was conditioned on SUNY’s assuming the obligation to repay the Othmer Funds for that borrowing and all previous borrowings — a total of about $140 million. (See NYS Supreme Court 5/3/1 Order Index #9189). Also, all over the court documents about the transfer (Index # 9188 and #9189) are assurances to the effect that SUNY would continue LICH’s operation as a hospital.

  13. Agoraks says:

    You guys dont get it do you…Othmer money are long gone and no one will ever bother to return them. With LICH gone this will be history. The state does not care about people at all, as a matter of fact the state cares about the 750 mln in real estate money that will go to state budget. SUNY plan calls for a chain of hospitals..do you wanna bet that next year they will find that many hospitals underperform with SUNY holding the major patient loads..so many will be downsized many will be closed as LICH. SUNY will continue to suck the life out of the community and use the Medical School as a bargaining chip against the state administration.

  14. sweeti says:

    the communities have to get together & make a lot more noise to stop this. it’s up to the people who live in the areas, the people who will be affected, to make their demands loud & clear.

  15. Gloria says:

    LICH IS LOVING
    INDEED
    CARING
    HOSPITAL

  16. tl says:

    message from the Brooklyn Heights Association:
    Please Tell Governor Cuomo to ACT NOW to SAVE LICH!

    Neighbors,
    We are at a critical time in the life of Long Island College Hospital. Last week, SUNY Downstate announced its Sustainability Plan. Under the plan, Downstate will either close or sell LICH.

    SUNY Downstate claims that seven suitors are interested in LICH, the result of an RFI (Request for Information) that SUNY issued last month. Sale of LICH to a professionally managed hospital organization would be a cause for celebration. After years of indifferent management, at best, documented in the NYS Controller’s 2013 report, professional hospital management offers the best opportunity to operate a full-service hospital to serve residents from the Red Hook Houses to Dumbo as well as the area’s thriving business and student population.

    However, SUNY Downstate has failed to turn over the LICH financial records parties have requested. Moreover, SUNY Downstate has made representations about LICH finances that are simply not true. Without open books, potential suitors cannot evaluate LICH’s economic viability — and there is no assurance that the disposition of LICH will be a fair one. SUNY Downstate’s actions have revived fears that its real goal is to sell the land to a real estate developer.

    The Governor needs to take charge. So far, he has refused to meet with our local elected officials. We need to show Governor Cuomo that we expect him, as our elected representative, to act in the best interests of the western Brooklyn residential and business community.

    Lean In by Speaking Out!

    Write to: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
    Governor of New York State
    NYS State Capitol Building
    Albany, NY 12224

    Call: (518) 474-8390

    Email: today and next week and every week until this matter is resolved in the best interests of our community.

    For your convenience, the following message has been inserted in this email link to send to the Governor’s office now. Just open, sign, and send:

    Governor Cuomo,
    As a constituent, I urge you to develop a plan to save Long Island College Hospital so that it can provide needed health care for the fast-growing residential and business communities of western Brooklyn.

    As Governor, you must act to insure (i) that the process is transparent, (ii) that Downstate makes current audited LICH financial records available to all interested parties, and (iii) that a 150-year-old teaching hospital is not summarily closed without a full assessment of the community’s needs by the NYS Department of Health.

    LICH stakeholders are ready to work with you to find a solution to maintain the full service teaching hospital at LICH that our community demands.

  17. Does SUNY think they will find 20+ PA to come to a hospital that they are planing to close?
    It’s a joke. SUNY are crooks and should be put in jail.
    They are putting the well being of patients at risk.

  18. michael_nyc says:

    Yes, SUNY’s actions are truly disgraceful.
    A serious money-trail has to be made. The parties responsible for milking LICH’s assets have to be known to the public.

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