Four propose full-service hospitals, one would build small hospital space
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The State University of New York has received nine responses to the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) Request for Proposals that "meet the minimum mandatory requirements," SUNY spokesperson David Doyle announced late Friday night.
Four of the responses call for operating LICH as a full-service hospital. A fifth would build a 149,000 square foot "vanilla box" space capable of holding an ER, intensive care area and 100 beds and lease it at a low rate to a future hospital operator. The other four proposals would incorporate walk-in urgent care centers, stand-alone ERs and other medical facilites, but not full service hospitals.
The news was music to the ears of members of a coalition -- made up of community groups, unions, patients and officials -- who have been fighting tor a year to keep LICH open. Their court battle resulted in SUNY reissuing the RFP, this time rewritten to attract full service hospital operators to bid for LICH.
“The community groups knew there would be more full-service hospital proposals in a reformed process. The bidders had access to the same evidence we had and they concluded as we did: LICH is indeed economically viable,” said Jeff Strabone, spokesperson for the Cobble Hill Association.
He added, “Government processes, including requests for proposals, work better when devised with community input. May the reformed LICH RFP be a model for the future.”
Eliza Bates, spokesperson for the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), told the Brooklyn Eagle, "We are pleased that various operators have thrown their hats into the ring, and especially that so many operators see the viability and need for a full service hospital in the community. "
Susan Raboy, spokesperson for Patients for LICH, told the Eagle, “I am very hopeful that among this group of nine there will be at least one bid that allows LICH to remain open as a full service hospital. The process will work.”
Attorney Jim Walden of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said, "These robust and thoughtful responses offer true choice and real hope. This is why we fought so long and so hard. We hope those who cynically claimed we were 'searching for unicorns' now realize that the market sees the need for and the viability of a full-service hospital at the LICH campus." Walden represents the community groups and other LICH petitioners.
Public Forum on Tuesday
A public presentation of the proposals takes place on Tuesday, March 25th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Francis College, Founder’s Hall Auditorium, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights.
The forum's sponsoring organizations include the Boerum Hill Association, Brooklyn Heights Association, Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Cobble Hill Association, Riverside Tenants Association and Wyckoff Gardens Association.
The responses to the RFP were submitted on Wednesday. Panels made up of representatives of SUNY and representatives chosen by the petitioners in the lawsuit will have until March 26 to evaluate the proposals.
Under the new RFP’s rules, bidders proposing a full service hospital will receive more points than bidders offering only ambulatory care services or standalone ERs.
The nine responses are:
- Brooklyn Health Partners (proposing a hospital)
- Prime Healthcare (proposing a hospital)
- Trindade Value Partners (proposing a hospital)
- Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization (proposing a hospital)
- The Chetrit Group (would build space for small hospital for future operator)
- The Brooklyn Hospital Center
- Fortis Property Group
- LANA Acquisitions
- Peebles Corporation
The proposals are available for public review at www.suny.edu/hospitals/downstate/newrfp.