All of us owe a vote of thanks to Borough President Marty Markowitz for convening the hearing held at Borough Hall on Monday night. Inexplicably no one from the NYS Department of Health showed up. Fortunately, all of our local elected officials or their representatives were there to hear so many of our neighbors, our doctors, LICH’s employees and others who testified movingly and forcefully about the necessity for preserving Long Island College Hospital as an Brooklyn-managed major community hospital having all its present services, especially including Obstetrics and Pediatrics to serve our growing neighborhoods and the many young families with young children who crowd our sidewalks.
Unfortunately the top elected officials of the medical staff, Dr. Licht and Dr. Sorra, and other physicians such as Dr. Ricciardi, all of whose medical practices are office-based and who rarely if ever admit patients to LICH, do not agree with the plan I outlined to immediately affiliate LICH with SUNY Downstate. The Medical Staff Plan submitted to the Department of Health proposed that LICH re- establish itself as an independent hospital. Drs. Licht and Sorra however acknowledge the long-existing academic affiliation between the two institutions and agree that ultimately to enter into a management affiliation with Downstate or another large system might make sense.
On the other hand, I, several of the Brooklyn-based LICH trustees, including Rev. Dr. Paul Smith, Dr. Mike Avram, Joseph Broadwin and Lou Valentino, and most of the doctors whose practices, like Ciril Godec’s in urology, depends heavily on LICH’s surgical suites or, like Deborah Reade’s in radiology, depends heavily on LICH’s specialty equipment, do not believe that LICH can survive and rebuild as an independent hospital without affiliation with a major medical center such as SUNY Downstate.
I emphasize, however, that all of us are in full agreement that Continuum’s management of LICH must be terminated. Our major problem now is getting the Department of Health to turn down Continuum’s plan to close OB, inpatient Pediatrics, and Dentistry, bringing LICH’s management back to Brooklyn under a Brooklyn-based Board of Regents, and getting the DOH and our local elected officials to help us get Downstate to take over the management of LICH and its OB beds and getting help from them and HUD to make the takeover financially possible for Downstate. And it better come soon, or with Continuum continuing to shut down programs such as the school based clinics and the rape crisis intervention program and to fire large numbers of LICH employees, there will be nothing left of LICH to salvage.
C. Murray Adams
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Some Doctors Have a Different View: Additional Comments from Murray Adams
Murray has sent me some additional comments regarding yesterday's posting (see below):