Friday, July 19, 2013

"Governor Cuomo's Silence DeafeningDeaf on LICH" says CB 6 District Manger. Urges ACTION!!

Hello from CORD!

Is Governor Andrew Cuomo deaf to our needs for our local hospital, LICH, to remain open in our densely populated downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods?  It sure looks that way.

Read the letter below from Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board 6, serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.

And then we must each CONTACT GOVERNOR CUOMO!!  We will follow this post with a sample letter if you need help with one.  Are you ready to have a life threatening emergency in this neighborhood without LICH?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:37 PM
Subject: [SecondPlaceBlock] LICH Update


Things are flying around fast and furious and, unfortunately, we have no real way of knowing what's true and what's not true since no one at LICH, SUNY or most importantly at the Governor's Office will even talk to us about this.

What we do know is that since June 20th the hospital has been on "ambulance diversion."  We have a photocopy of the sign that was posted at the hospital on that date.  What we've heard is that the spillover into nearby emergency rooms is having an impact.  I've checked with our other area hospital, New York Methodist Hospital, and they say that since the ambulance diversion has been in place they have seen an uptick, roughly a 10% increase, in ER walk-ins and ambulance service (many of which are Downstate LICH ambulances identifiable by their logo).

What we do know is that the closure plan that was originally submitted by the SUNY Board of Trustees (which is controlled by Governor Cuomo) had to be reviewed and approved by the New York State Department of Health (which is controlled by Governor Cuomo).  This plan was withdrawn by the SUNY Board after losing the court battle which held that the hospital was to remain open.  Crain's reported this afternoon that the SUNY Board has now resubmitted a closure plan for LICH.  The Crain's piece went on to confirm that there are only 18 patients left in the hospital which is now losing $15 million a month because there are no patients to support their overhead.

What we do know is that our area's elected officials have been actively fighting on this issue--sending out statements and tweets, showing up at the hospital regularly to rally, allowing themselves to be arrested for acts of civil disobedience, etc.  What we do not know is WHAT OUR GOVERNOR HAS TO SAY ABOUT ANY OF THIS, since he would apparently hold all the cards here as the person in charge of both the SUNY Board of Trustees and the NYS Department of Health.  His silence has been deafening.

What we do know is that things cannot continue this way much longer.  Effectively shutting down operations in apparent contempt of court orders and running on an accelerating deficit is no way to keep a hospital open.  Having no merger, sale or acquisition plans in place means no way of guaranteeing that the hospital as such would remain a health care facility.  What we do not know is how much longer this can last.

Contacting your local elected officials is akin to preaching to the choir.  Even virtually every candidate for Mayor has made some sympathetic statement or done something to show their support for keeping our hospital open.  If LICH is to remain open, it will be because our Governor wills it to be; if it closes, it will be because he was unresponsive and it will happen on his watch.  This is all on Governor Cuomo.  He can be the hero or the villain.  At a minimum he should come clean and be honest with us about where he stands.

Encourage Governor Cuomo to break his silence today!

To email the Governor:
To tweet him send your Twitter message to @NYGovCuomo

To phone him call (518) 474-8390.

Don't wait to write him a letter, it may not get to Albany in time.

Best,  Craig

Craig R. Hammerman, District ManagerBrooklyn Community Board 6250 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201-6401

t. 718.643.3027 * f. 718.624.8410

Serving the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens/South Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red HookClick here to sign-up for our monthly newsletter + meeting notices
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With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........