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LICH Settlement Awaits Judge's Final Approval

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Officials and community members fighting over the future of Long Island College Hospital have reached a deal, though its details are being kept under wraps until both sides sign off on it Friday. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

It's being called a win win for the community and for the trustees of the State University of New York.

SUNY runs Long Island College Hospital and was seeking to unload the money-losing facility, whether the new owners planned to provide health services or not, but sources say that SUNY will now only consider bids that include what's called a major health care component.

"We had certain core principals that were critical to us, and SUNY was generous enough to accommodate those core principals," said Jim Walden, attorney for the plaintiffs. 

SUNY has been considering bids from developers looking to build condos among other uses, but the community wants a full-service hospital, and to be part of the process. Sources tell NY1 that the agreement calls for community representation moving forward.

Public Advocate Letitia James was one of the lead petitioners in the case. 

"This is a plan to provide health care to the communities of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, and to Red Hook and to Gowanus, and to the entire Downtown Brooklyn community," James said. "It's a big, big win for the borough of Brooklyn."

The deal calls for SUNY to be out of LICH, and for a new developer to be in place by May.

Elected officials, unions and health care organizations have all been part of the struggle.

In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio talked about the new bidding process.

"Protecting continuity of care and ensuring the health care needs of this community are met will now be the yardstick by which proposals for the future of LICH are measured," the statement read, in part. 

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo talked about his push for a resolution, but indicated that what replaces LICH may not be a traditional hospital. 

"The reality is that yesterday's costly, inefficient models of delivering service are no longer viable options for tomorrow," the governor's statement read, in part.

LICH staff members said they're relieved that there's progress. 

"I couldn't be more thrilled that instead of fighting amongst the lawyers, that there seems to be this collaborative, cooperative process," said one staff member.

The judge is expected to sign off on the deal Friday afternoon.

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