Long Island College Hospital is Likely to Close

It looks like, despite the protests of hospital staff and local politicians, Long Island College Hospital will close its doors after a 155-year-long run in Cobble Hill. The New York Times reports that the final vote will come this week and that the president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center has already recommended closure. The New York Post goes one step further and says that the hospital is definitely shutting down and will potentially be converted into luxury housing after it’s sold. (According to earlier reports, this sale could bring in as much as $100 million for SUNY, which is virtually broke.) This hospital provides the only emergency service to the Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights area. SUNY will hold a public hearing on Thursday, the vote will be made Friday and then the closure plan will go to the State Health Department for approval. SUNY Downstate bought the ailing Long Island College Hospital for $205,350,000 only two years ago in an attempt to save it.
Vote This Week May Close a North Brooklyn Hospital [NY Times]
Long Island College Hospital Top Official Will Push for Closing [NY Daily News]
LICH Staffers Told Hospital will Close [NY Post]

21 Comment

  • What a shame. Maybe there’ll be a helicopter pad on top of the luxury apartments to airlift residents for emergency medical treatment.

  • There are so many hospitals in this city. we dont need them all. first, remember that these institutions are not established to help you. They exist only to make money. this one makes no money so they need to close. end of story. we dont realize how far some poeple have to travel to get to a good hospital — we have some of the worlds best hospitals a subway ride away.

  • I feel for the nearby residents and their concerns over loosing valuable and local health care. But from an urban design perspective – what an opportunity to recreate that end of Atlantic!

  • Where was the oversight of this place previously?
    This from a Jan. 2013 NYT article of taxpayer-funded salaries for administrators at this hospital: “The highest-paid hospital administrators at the time of the audit were Debra D. Carey, vice president of hospital affairs, with a taxpayer-financed salary of $552,556; Dr. John C. LaRosa, president, $382,311; and Ivan Lisnitzer, vice president for administration, $334,072, according to the comptroller. Mr. Lisnitzer has since retired, and Dr. LaRosa and Ms. Carey have stepped down.”

    The hospital has to close, but don’t worry tho, the admins. will still get a state pension based on their last three years of salary.

  • Good riddance. Sad to lose a local hospital but this place is a disaster. When i went to that ER i got butchered. BAD PLACE.

    • mh330, my sentiments exactly. They had the audacity to charge me $500 on a Sunday visit to the emergency room 3 years ago for a toothache, there wasn’t a dentist on duty so I saw a nurse and she prescribed a painkiller and antibiotic. $500 for a 2-hour wait and 2-minute consultation. On top of it, the staff was rude and unhelpful when I called for information prior to actually going there. So I can’t say that I have fond memories of this hospital but I do question why we can’t have quality healthcare in this neighborhood.

      • It’s not just their audacity, it’s the cost of emergency room medicine to all of us. ALL emergency rooms are vastly overpriced for what you get. That’s why when some idiot politician insists that the ER is fine for people who don’t have insurance, I want to make it a requirement that THEY have to go to one, wait at least 6 hours to be seen, and then get checked out by an intern, and charged at least $400 for a couple of jumped up asprins and a band aid. Health care reform is so needed!!!!!!

        The closing of this hospital, plus the closing of Interfaith mean the remaining ER’s and hospital facilities in the rest of the general brownstone Brooklyn area will be even more swamped, and Manhattan’s hospitals, for those who will flock there, especially from the Heights, will be overflowing.

      • In support of ERs in general, you should have called your dentist rather than waste the time of the ER personnel treating your toothache, and to boot on a Sunday. So the $500 is your “penalty” for actually not using the emergency room for an emergency. Cry me a river.

      • See my response to mh330 above and see meezer’s post, which follows.

    • I have been to the ER and the hospital on a number of occasions and have never been “butchered”. If the owning hospital corporations would stop mismanaging LICH, it could really serve our community well.

  • I was just there yesterday with a friend getting a procedure.

  • Where was the state oversight when Continuum Healthcare looted the endowment of this hospital? Before the state allowed this hospital to be forcibly taken over by Continuum, it was a small jewel. Poor managment, lack of maintenace by that organization made some of the big multi doctor
    practices move to other hospitals. I went there for a diagnostic test about a year before Downstate took it over and was shocked how shabby the facility was, actual rips in the carpets in the hallways, broken handles in the restroom etc. It was a far cry from the small but efficent hospital where I had my children and where my excellent doctors were affiliated.

    The off again, on again status of this hospital is the reason why it is failing. What doctor is going to send their patients there not knowing if the hospital will be around to deliver care?

    So to the business brains at Downstate – did you even look at the place before you bought it? Or was the lure of th Heights real estate the only reason you bought it to cover up your poor management at your other facilities. You say your mission is to provide health to the poor, I say your mission is to provide healthcare to the TAXPAYERS of which there are many in the area served by LICH.

    I guess the nail was put in the coffin for LICH when they were allowed to take over the local park and build the garage, making it a very large site attractive to developers.

    As for the occupany of the beds, the doctor nor the patients needs do not dicate occupancy, it is driven by the insurance companies, who tell the hospitals to turf people out asap. I spent less than 36 hours in LICH after the birth of my son, my husband was discharged three days after a massive
    heart attack with multiple stents inserted from NYU.

  • Awful news. Continuum gutted that hospital. We need a hospital in this part of the Borough. My son had been prone to seizures as an infant, and they provided good, close care. My family has been going there for over 30 years when we needed it. They have excellent community outreach. It’s a shame that we will lose them.

  • What meezer said, times ten. We’ve always gone there, even from Williamsburg. Even now that Brooklyn Hospital and Methodist are closer. LICH has seen us through childbirth, broken bones, asthma attacks, forehead gashes, strep throat and pneumonia. I can’t say that I’ve ever been happy to be there, (except maybe right after giving birth), but I really feel for the staff.

  • I think that just the Othmer bequest to LICH was about one hundred and fifty million dollars…….where did it go?

    I think the real tipping point was when Continuum decided to close down
    obstectrics saying there wasn’t a need in the area. Their biggest ob groups decamped to Methodist.

    Common sense would tell you that if you have your baby in the hospital which I did, then you use a hospital pediatrician, their specialists, their ER etc. OB is the gateway for new families to learn and like the hospital.

    LICH is in an area with a growing young population, it seems that they did everything they could to sabotage the sucess of the hospital. Everyone can snark all they want about wall street money and jobs invading Brownstone
    Brooklyn but these are the people that the hospital should have tried to reach. They have health insurance and are not a negative drain on the hospitals finances, Instead, they made the place so wretched that everyone went to NYU to have their babies.

  • did emily’s post just say they lost $100 million in two years? bought for $205mm and could sell for “as much as” $100mm? for doing nada? i didnt’ read the articles.

  • Its no loss for wealthy in the area since they likley use NYU, Columbia/Cornell/Sinai, etc.

    The poorer people in the area are screwed.

    I remember rotating at LICH when I was a med student from SUNY in the late 90’s and don’t recall seeing any wealthy Brooklyn Heights type patient’s there despite the hospital being right in the nabe.

    The bottom line is wealthy people in Northern Brooklyn do not use Brooklyn hospitals. I am a doctor myself, and tried to be pro-Brooklyn and I use to practice at Methodist in Park Slope. When I realized none of the wealthy Park Slopers used Methodist if they had a choice, I sold out and abandoned Brooklyn and joined NYU. I go where the money is.

  • While i feel badly for the employees of LICH, the bottom line is if its a money loser, they have but no choice.

    Developers are already circling this site like vultures hovering over a carcass in the jungle. LICH will no doubt become either a high end condo or rental development with retail lining Atlantic Ave. Same goes for the neighboring hospital related buildings. This is what you call economic evolution

  • When I broke my elbow last year, I asked the ambulance to take me to Methodist. Later my personal MD said I should have requested LICH as a first choice ER.