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Residents Stress Need for Full Service Hospital at Forum of Proposals for LICH

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TWC News: Residents Stress Need for Full Service Hospital at Forum of Proposals for LICH
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What should replace Long Island College Hospital? Members of the public got a chance to weigh in on that Tuesday night. NY1’s Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.

“If we lose this hospital, people will die,” said Cobble Hill Association’s Jeff Strabone.

“This hospital is necessary, this hospital was operating at 90 percent capacity during all of it's useful life,” said attorney Jim Walden, who represents community groups and the public advocate’s office.

That was the consensus Tuesday night about the future of Long Island College Hospital. Community groups presented the details of the nine bids for the redevelopment of the struggling Cobble Hill facility.

“Five are for hospitals and four are something called a free standing emergency department,” said Walden.

Walden represented community groups and the public advocate’s office in the litigation surrounding LICH. He says a full service hospital is a necessity and a free-standing emergency department just won't do.

“So if you have a stroke, if you have a heart attack, if you are in the middle of a miscarriage, you can't go to a free standing emergency department and get care, you can only go there to get triaged, and then you're going to get transferred to a hospital,” said Walden.

“I think it's very clear that the community strongly favors a full service hospital,” said JoAnne Simon, a Boreum Hill resident.

Simon says she left the meeting with many questions unanswered.

“Why a place like Brooklyn Hospital wouldn't propose a hospital, why a place like Fortice which is with NYU, wouldn't propose a hospital?” she said. “The communities questions are very nuanced and very important.”

And some former patients are confused as well.

“It is emotional, it's very emotional, because it's not about the dollar, it's about the community being serviced,” said Lucille Ferrari.

“I've been amazed at how cavalierly people talk about the fact, well you can just go to another hospital, it's a pretty good distance from here to another hospital,” said Anthony Shelton of Cobble Hill.

An evaluation committee, including community representatives, will finish scoring the nine bids Wednesday.

Then on April 3, SUNY will ask its board of trustees for permission to negotiate a contract.

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