For immediate release: June 23, 2013
BROOKLYN — Nurses, community leaders, and patients will hold a health fair and protest at Long Island College Hospital at 4:30 PM today.
LICH is fully staffed and able to provide safe care for patients. But on Thursday, SUNY began diverting ambulances from the hospital, creating chaos across other Brooklyn hospitals. Patients are still walking in and getting care at LICH.
On Wednesday, the New York State Supreme Court stated that the diversion of ambulances from LICH would be a “clear violation” of the restraining order keeping LICH open for care. Despite that statement, SUNY began diverting ambulances from LICH the next day at 6:00 am
The diversion is causing extreme over-crowding in Emergency Rooms across Brooklyn. Brooklyn patients are at risk.
On Wednesday, the Court issued an order that set a hearing for contempt of the Temporary Restraining Order which prohibits the closure of Long Island College Hospital. The order also included a modified Temporary Restraining Order that reinforces SUNY's obligation to maintain staffing at LICH at the same level it was as of February 20, 2013.
The modified TRO eliminates the ban on communication between SUNY and the DOH but orders the SUNY defendants to maintain staffing, including particular requirements regarding the residency programs and the staffing of the Psychiatry Department.
Closing LICH would harm patients across Brooklyn and particularly residents of Red Hook, a neighborhood that relies solely on LICH for healthcare and is designated a “Health Professional Shortage Area” by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The campaign to save LICH has been powered by a diverse coalition of patients, caregivers, elected leaders and community groups, including New York Communities for Change, the Commission on the Public’s Health System, Save Our Safety Net Coalition, Red Hook Initiative, National Action Network and Rev. Al Sharpton, Brooklyn Heights Association, Cobble Hill Association, Carroll Gardens Association, Friends of Sunset Park, and many more.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for over a hundred thousand frontline nurses. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.