For immediate release
Contact: Eliza Bates, 917.565.2976, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 8, 2013 — Our fight to save LICH is just beginning. Hundreds of nurses, Local 1199 caregivers, patients, elected officials, and community members are building a powerful mass movement to save our community hospital.
Today the SUNY Board of Trustees convened a public meeting to vote to close LICH. We were there – chanting, singing, talking to reporters, and making our voice heard!
“I work in critical care,” said Miriam Newa, RN. “Every day, we do the extraordinary to help our patients. And we will do the extraordinary to save our hospital!”
LICH caregivers save lives for patients from across Brooklyn.
“People come from all across Brooklyn to get care at LICH,” said Herdley Hill, RN, a psychiatric nurse at LICH. “Many of our patients are low-income. Many are people of color. Many come from underserved communities.”
“They deserve the best care – we save lives every day.”
Even the Board of Trustees today acknowledged that they have been misleading the public about LICH being under-utilized. Over ninety percent of LICH’s staffed beds are occupied every day.
LICH’s location in downtown Brooklyn has made it a lifesaver for Brooklyn residents. “What if you, or your mother, or your daughter is on the BQE and starts having chest pains?” asked Susan Shanahan, a LICH nurse. “With a heart attack or stroke every minute counts. SUNY will be killing patients in Brooklyn if they close the hospital.”
The meeting to close LICH was not properly constituted on several grounds, which includes the following:
The board snuck out the back door of the meeting room – turning their backs on our Brooklyn community and healthcare needs. We called loudly on them to return to this ongoing meeting that was never properly adjourned.
When it became clear to us that the board trustees would not return, the assembled nurses, caregivers, and patients took matters into our own hands!
Since the board had effectively abdicated its legal authority and abandoned its own meeting, we decided to assume their role and duties. We introduced and unanimously voted to approve the following resolutions:
Closing LICH is one part of a bigger plan to totally reshape New York healthcare. The governor and Wall Street are proposing an experimental “pilot” for-profit hospital – in Brooklyn.
The governor’s real estate buddies think that LICH is worth more dead than alive.
“Our fight is just beginning,” Lukmon Kalejaiye, RN told the assembled crowd, to wild applause.
I hope you will join all of us next Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6:00 PM in front of the hospital for a major community rally.
We will do whatever it takes to stop the governor’s pilot project.
And we will do whatever it takes to save LICH.
Jill Furillo, RN,
NYSNA Executive Director
CLICK HERE to download the statement.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for hundreds of thousands of frontline nurses. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.
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