By Marvin Ciporen, Ph.D.
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
To paraphrase Mayor Bill de Blasio, we have a “Tale of Two Hospitals.” In the midst of Brooklyn’s health care crisis we have a prosperous and thriving hospital, New York Methodist, in Park Slope and LICH in near-by Cobble Hill, which is on the brink of closing.
NYM aspires to become an even larger and more important health care provider for all of Brooklyn. In order to do so, it has proposed to create a massive ambulatory care center in the heart of a residential community that does not have the infrastructure to support it.
I and other supporters of Preserve Park Slope want NYM to thrive, expand and improve its services. However, we have objected to its current plans for creating a 154-foot high facility that will overwhelm surrounding homes and that is much larger than it has to be. Nor do all the proposed services need to be provided within two small blocks.
At the same time, our neighbors in Cobble Hill have been struggling to preserve hospital services for their community and surrounding areas.
Combining the two intuitions should be a no-brainer. Those served by LICH would continue to have quality health care and a more appropriately sized ambulatory health care center could be built in Park Slope.
Recent events have made the case for combining the managerial and fiscal strength of NYM with the facilities and need at LICH more compelling than ever. Under the new agreement aimed at enabling LICH to continue providing comprehensive medical care for Brooklyn residents, proposals that will provide health care services at LICH will be scored higher than those that simply want to create more luxury condos. The federal government will provide NYS with millions of dollars in Medicaid savings, which Governor Cuomo wants to use for helping failing Brooklyn hospitals. Mayor de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams have called for regional planning to address our borough’s health care crisis.
Therefore, I call on NYM to submit a proposal to assume control of LICH that will ensure the continued provision of hospital services in Cobble Hill and surrounding areas. Since NYM will fashion its own proposal, it can do so on terms that will ensure its continued financial health. All that is needed is a vision and a commitment to serving the larger community.
I and other supporters of Preserve Park Slope stand ready to help NYM submit a winning proposal and call on our elected officials and community groups to support NYM’s bid.
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Marvin Ciporen has lived in Park Slope for 41 years and is a Ph.D. who works with nonprofits and community organizations throughout the country.