Protests after SUNY decides to close Long Island College Hospital

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surrounded by healthcare workers and others protesting this weekend's closure of Long Island College Hospital. Credit: Bill de Blasio/Twitter
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio surrounded by healthcare workers and others protesting this weekend’s closure of Long Island College Hospital.
Credit: Bill de Blasio/Twitter

Despite multiple politicians staging rallies, press conferences and even getting arrested to protest its imminent closure, SUNY Downstate decided to shutter Long Island College Hospital this weekend.

Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and 18 remaining patients at the Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, hospital were given notice of the closure Thursday, according to a spokesman for Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office.

De Blasio, along with Councilman Stephen Levin and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, protested the closure with healthcare workers later in the afternoon, asking SUNY to cease attempts to shut LICH down.

The hospital has faced economic challenges in the last few years, reportedly losing $15 million every week. SUNY said it would not seek to close the hospital in April, but has been diverting ambulances and refusing new patients in some wards for weeks. In June, a judge ordered SUNY to maintain enough staff to function.

“SUNY is not above the law,” Levin said in a statement. “If they attempt to shutter Long Island College Hospital this weekend, as reports show, they will be doing so illegally. The community will not allow this.”

A spokesman for SUNY Downstate shrugged the protest off to the New York Daily News.

“We have 18 admitted patients and 1,800 people on the payroll,” said spokesman Robert Bellafiore. “And for the people who say we should keep it open, it would be great if they can help us balance the books.”

Another protest has been organized for noon Friday, when doctors were reportedly told to begin transferring remaining patients.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.