Cuomo, de Blasio announce agreement in ongoing fight to keep LICH open

bill de blasio lich arrest
Bill de Blasio was arrested protesting the closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.
Credit: Public Advocate’s Office

Elected officials are claiming one small victory in the ongoing struggle to keep Long Island College Hospital open.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall issued a joint statement on Thursday afternoon celebrating what they called a “win-win agreement” to end all related litigation, including the pending lawsuit that has prevented SUNY Downstate Medical Center from selling LICH.

There are no details of the agreement out yet, but it would at least allow SUNY to break away from LICH no later than May 2014 while somehow ensuring continuity for its patients during the bidding process.

The presiding judge still needs to approve the settlement, which also calls for a speedier requests for proposals to bring in a bids for the Cobble Hill, Brooklyn hospital.

“Under the terms of today’s agreement, SUNY is reopening the solicitation process to find a new operator for LICH that will guide the facility as it modernizes and continues its important mission of serving New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in the statement.

De Blasio, who was arrested during the mayoral campaign after refusing to move from in front of SUNY offices during a protest, dismissed notions that LICH’s closure is inevitable.

“We fought back. We went to court to keep the padlocks off the doors. And now, we have a resolution that finally puts people’s health first,” de Blasio said, admitting there remains work ahead.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria


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