Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rallies to save Brooklyn hospitals from closure

Bill de Blasio called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in to save two Brooklyn hospitals from closure. Credit: NYC Public Advocate
Bill de Blasio called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step in to save two Brooklyn hospitals from closure.
Credit: NYC Public Advocate

Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio rallied with nurses and healthcare workers outside the struggling Long Island College Hospital Sunday, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene to save the Cobble Hill facility and another Brooklyn hospital.

“There are powerful forces working to shutter these hospitals. Some want to make money, others are out to save money ” said de Blasio in a statement at the rally.

In a letter sent to Cuomo Sunday morning, de Blasio said LICH and Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Interfaith Medical Center “face closure not because of an overarching imperative in delivering patient healthcare, but because of bottom lines and profit margins.”

SUNY Downstate Medical Center has been moving toward closing LICH since February, clearing out intensive care units and refusing to take in new patients in the maternity and surgical wards.

In April, SUNY announced it would not seek to close the hospital. Last month a state judge ordered LICH to maintain enough staff to function, but the hospital is still diverting ambulances away from its emergency room, de Blasio said.

“Blocked by legal action, SUNY Downstate appears to be executing a deliberate plan to starve the Cobble Hill hospital out-of-business,” de Blasio said in the letter.

Interfaith also faces closure after filing for bankruptcy in December. Though the facility was set to merge with Brooklyn Hospital Center, de Blasio wrote in the letter that talks are in jeopardy because the state has not provided funding for the merger.

“There is a growing healthcare crisis in Brooklyn. If either LICH or Interfaith closes, care for hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn patients will be at risk,” said LICH nurse Maribel Agosto at the rally.

In his letter, de Blasio asked Cuomo to reject any plans that included LICH’s closure.

He also asked for full funding for the merger of Interfaith and Brooklyn Hospital Center.

“People’s lives are at stake. Community health is at stake. Hundreds of jobs are at stake,” said Estela Vasquez, the executive vice president of SEIU 1199, a union representing healthcare workers on the East Coast.

In his plea to Cuomo, de Blasio cited the loss of the West Village’s St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, which closed in 2010 after suffering financial troubles and being sold to the Rudin real estate family.

Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office reportedly looked into the conditions for closure, suspecting St. Vincent’s was run into the ground on purpose to pave way for a new development.

De Blasio appears to fear similar wrongdoing, also urging Cuomo to be transparent with SUNY’s plans for LICH.

“Moreover, many of the decisions driving these hospitals toward closure are being made behind closed-doors, out of view of the people most deeply affected by them,” de Blasio said in the letter.

Spokespeople for the two hospitals did not respond to requests for comment.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

Movies

Interview: Elisabeth Moss on not talking about the…

Elisabeth Moss talks about how it's best if you don't know the opening twist in "The One I Love" and giving up Peggy Olson after nine years of "Mad Men."

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.

Comments

3

  1. There is a war on to collapse New York City Hospitals. The godless Rudin Real Estate Family created a dangerous precedent when insiders and societal elites helped bring about the collapse of the Landmark West Village Medical Treatment Facility so that the Rudin clan could collapse on the carcass of the hospital and execute their decades all plans to build on top of where St. Vincent’s Hospital once stood. Everyone in New York City needs to do their homework on Bill Rudin and the Rudin Real Estate Dynasty to understand what these folks represent is hell here on earth. They must be challenged by the citizens: http://rudinbloodcondos.blogspot.com/

  2. CHRISTINE QUINN CARES MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT OF MCDONALD’S HAPPY MEALS THAN THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF COMMUNITY HOSPITALS.

    CHRISTINE RUDIN QUINNBERG DOES NOT GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THE HEALTH OF NYC FAMILIES, CHILDREN & COMMUNITIES – Christine Quinn can talk all she wants about banning the distribution of certain foods or proper labeling guidelines for McDonald’s Happy Meals but that is a distraction from the fact that she has absolutely nothing meaningful to say about the closure of Hospitals like St. Vincent’s as well as those now being threatened in Brooklyn.

    You want to know why? Christine Quinn answers to a Higher Authority: ‎#BillRudin and his Developer Pals whose limited vision of New York City is to build luxury condos anywhere where there was once something vital to the community like hospitals or schools. Say no to more ‎#RudinBloodCondos http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/mac_attack_jz07Gk8JvKhwiolyOdmsON

    The Quinn Charade must come to an end. In another era, Quinn would be chased down the street by citizens holding torches.