Monday, January 19, 2009

Update from LICH Medical Staff

I have received the following communication from members of the LICH medical staff, and hasten to present it as received. WC

Update from the LICH Medical Staff
January 2009

Since there has been very little “official” activity on the LICH front in the past month, we have decided to provide an update of recent activity and events regarding LICH.

As you are all probably aware, in December 2008 the NY State Dept. of Health refused to allow the proposal by Continuum Health Partners (CHP) to close the Obstetrics and Pediatrics programs at LICH, and these departments, as well as all other services at LICH, are still fully functioning.

The LICH Medical Staff, at its quarterly meeting in December, unanimously passed a resolution demanding that CHP send out a letter to the Brooklyn community in this regard, in an effort to counteract the extreme negative publicity generated by the letter that CHP sent out in August 2008 announcing the proposed closures.

CHP has repeatedly refused to send out such a letter, and CHP CEO Stanley Brezinoff stated as recently as Jan. 5, 2008 at the LICH Medical Executive Meeting, that such a letter “Will not be sent”. Although the LICH Medical Staff offered to send such a letter out to the Brooklyn community at its own expense, if provided the database for the mailing, this request was denied as well.

In December 2008, the Chairmen of the Departments at LICH proposed to the CHP Board that all property sales and proposed program closures by CHP be halted until the NY State Dept. of Health makes its final determination regarding LICH. This proposal was voted against by every Manhattan-based CHP Board member, as well as by Board members Joseph Broadwin and Patrick Burns, who are a few of the remaining so-called LICH Board members. Mr. Broadwin is in fact part of a group calling themselves the “Ad-Hoc Committee for LICH”, but this group is clearly driven by its CHP ties and is not acting in the best interest of LICH.

John Wren, the titular “Chairman of the LICH/CHP Board”, has not been heard from in at least six months and clearly has abdicated any responsibility regarding LICH.

There is currently very little if any LICH voice on the CHP Board.
CHP CEO Stanley Brezinoff, who stated in August 2008 that if his plan to “close OB, Peds, and sell real estate” was not accepted, he would close LICH by year’s end, now says that “LICH will not be part of CHP, but if LICH is not merged with Downstate Medical Center, which I’m working on, it will close”.

CHP continues to attempt to sell off LICH properties – several LICH brownstones have recently been summarily emptied.

The LICH Medical Staff and its team is in active, ongoing discussions with the NY State Department of Health, DASNY (Dormitory Authority of the State of New York) and HUD (the holders of the LICH property mortgages), as well as the NY State Attorney General, and we have presented our plan for the preservation (and liberation) of LICH. These discussions have been constructive and well received by the authorities, and we are hoping to report a positive outcome in the very near future.

We still need support from all of you – the community, the elected officials, physicians and staff at LICH, and everybody else – we need letters, emails, meetings, articles, press contacts, etc……… the more you do, the better for LICH!

Thanking you all for your support of LICH, and hoping for a Happy New Year in the very near future for LICH.

The Medical Staff of LICH

No comments: