One small, maybe only temporary victory for adequate hospital coverage in NYC: For now Long Island College Hospital (LICH) will remain open! Here is a message from District Leader Paul Newell:
I am thrilled to inform you of a huge victory for public health and community activism today. SUNY Downstate has officially withdrawn its closure plan for Long Island College Hospital in downtown Brooklyn. Much work remains to ensure a long term future for this important hospital, but the decision from SUNY today removes the immediate threat of closure, and is indeed cause for celebration.
I am proud to have been a small part of an incredible coalition led by the Cobble Hill Association, the New York State Nurses Association, 1199 SEIU, the Concerned Physicians of LICH and many others. The incredible work to save this vital hospital would not have been possible without the smart and dogged effort of State Assemblymember Joan Millman, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steven Levin, District Leader Jo Anne Simon and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, all of whom deserve our gratitude today.
A few months ago, many had given LICH up for dead. Having worked on similar fights at St. Vincent’s and elsewhere, I must also confess to some doubting moments. This is a powerful reminder that communities and workers, working together, can make a meaningful difference. The thousands of community members and healthcare workers who attended long meetings, held signs at rallies, and signed and carried petitions have proven this so.
The fight to ensure access to quality healthcare to all NYC communities obviously continues, and will not get easier soon. But I wanted to share this important victory with you.
Every hospital closed in NYC means more people dying because of inadequate health care and more hospitals put in danger of closing. The dynamic is a complex one. Hospitals almost all run at a loss. This is not because of mismanagement usually but because the cost of care in emergency rooms and ICUs is so hugely expensive that it tends to lose money at a huge rate...in order to save lives. The more people who don't have health insurance, the more people who have to depend on emergency rooms for basic care...and the more money it costs the hospitals. Reduce the number of uninsured people and spread emergency visits over more hospitals and the burden on each hospital is reduced. But leave lots of uninsured and close hospitals and each remaining hospital gets an even higher burden on their emergency rooms...driving them deeper into a financial hole.
Closing a hospital just increases the burden on every other hospital in the area putting them in further financial danger. Of course Healthcare reform is a key way to improve the financial strength of ALL our hospitals by cutting down on emergency room visits by people who rely on them for basic healthcare. But closing hospitals really doesn't help!
You can never have enough hats, gloves, and shoes, and presumably, never enough hospitals either. In especially when you live in or are talking about the core of a major metropolitan area, New York City. which the West Village and environs without question are.
Unfortunately, with the recent closure of St. Vincents, the Village no longer has a hospital. That is troubling for several reasons that go beyond the impact on the immediate neighborhood.
St. Vincents was the closest trauma center and ER to the World Trade Center, and on 9/11, was the destination of choice for those injured by a national security disaster. There is no question that New York City remains a terrorist target, with the new World Trade Center presumably high on the list of targets. It's irresponsible, from a simple security perspective, to eviscerate medical assets in close proximity to what we know is a target.
Then, St. Vincents itself was Ground Zero of a different disaster, the Aids epidemic. Aids is a complex disease that is still killing people, with infection rates among MSM - 'men who have sex with men' in the clinical jargon - spiking. The closing of St. Vincents has, at a stroke, disestablished a center of Aids treatment of national significance.
Budgets obviously are tight. But for this precise hospital to be closed is a textbook case of penny-wise, pound-foolish.
For Immediate Release: March 21, 2011
Contact: Roy Moskowitz, Reciprocal Results (718) 370-3977 Mobile: (917) 992-1873 Email: R2ceo@aol.com
Richard Reichard, SIDA ((718) 440-6717 Email: ReichardRA@aol.com
Staten Islanders protest Congressman Michael Grimm's "Obamacare" repeal support
Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) rally celebrating "Affordable Care Act" anniversary
2:30 p.m. Wednesday March 23 outside Grimm's Staten Island office, 265 New Dorp Lane
SIDA will cite 10 reasons why healthcare bill repeal would be bad for families, seniors and the deficit
(Staten Island) The Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) will protest Staten Island and Brooklyn Congressman Michael Grimm's Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) repeal support during a press conference celebrating the healthcare bill's anniversary, 2:30 p.m. Wednesday March 23 outside Grimm's Staten Island office, 265 New Dorp Lane.
SIDA cites 10 reasons why repealing the legislation would be a mistake.
1. Under Obamacare Children, up to the age of 26, can be covered under their parent's health insurance. read more »
This comes from Yetta Kurland, one of the number one advocates for keeping hospitals open in lower Manhattan:
I hope you will join me on Thursday July 15th for the next St. Vincent's Omnibus Committee Meeting which will take place at 6:30pm at PS 41 located at 116 West 11th Street.
Last month we tried without much success to engage the Committee in a discussion on how we could get a hospital at the St. Vincent's site. While we were unsuccessful in having at that discussion last month, the Chair Brad Hoylman assured us that he would be willing to have that discussion with us in the future. It is our hopes that this will happen this Thursday.
Please tell your friends and join me. The St. Vincent's Omnibus Committee is part of Community Board 2 which oversees the St. Vincent's site. The Community Board could be incredibly influential if it chose to take a stance on this issue as it has great power in the land use process which is central to the fate of the hospital. read more »
This is what really gets me. Bloomberg, the city council and Albany give more and more tax breaks to developers, companies like Exxon/Mobil and Bank of America pay no taxes, and our politicians spend our tax money on slush funds that then turn around and help them get elected. And all the while, our schools, libraries, firehouses, parks and hospitals get cut more and more. I have never heard Bloomberg say we need to give less to Developers and more to our schools and hospitals.
And for each hospital that closes, that puts further pressure on the surviving hospitals. And as long as we have a substantial number of uninsured, our emergency rooms will be overcrowded with people whose only healthcare option is the emergency room. This cycle leads to more closings, which overburdens the surviving hospitals more, bringing them down. Healthcare reform, going even further than what we already have enacted, is still needed. But we also need some politicians that realize that cutting hospitals, schools, libraries and firehouses will lead to a dysfunctional city.
In this context, I would like to quote an email that came from Yetta Kurland that addresses this issue: read more »