Stresses Local Ties, Affordable Housing
By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Not to be upstaged by the recently updated Fortis Group/NYU Langone/Lutheran proposal for financially troubled Long Island College Hospital (LICH), The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) has updated its own proposal to include more medical services.
An official statement from TBHC says, in part, “The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) has requested the opportunity to revise its September 2013 RFP response to provide medical services at the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus.
“The revised proposal supports community health care needs by providing emergency services, primary and specialized ambulatory services, and urgent care services. The Brooklyn Hospital Center will draw upon its collaborative relationships with key healthcare unions to preserve the jobs of LICH employees. The proposal also includes the development of much-needed affordable housing.
“TBHC is uniquely qualified to implement this proposal as it is located 0.9 miles from the LICH site and shares the same zip code ... TBHC has deep roots in Brooklyn and is the oldest private hospital in the borough.”
Eric Sommer, director of strategic marketing for TBHC, stressed the hospital’s Brooklyn roots and its proximity to LICH. He also stressed that the plan, which TBHC is asking the SUNY Board of Trustees to consider, is offering “affordable housing and not luxury condos,” and that TBHC “is a union hospital.”
One possible problem is that at a recent SUNY Board of Trustees meeting, Carl McCall, chair of the board, said he had only heard about TBHC’s bid for the troubled hospital “in the press.” SUNY officials at the meeting basically said they weren’t considering the TBHC proposal on procedural groups, only the NYU/Fortis/Lutheran proposal.
TBHC, however, is hoping to change that.
Neighborhood advocates for LICH, as well as professional organizations such as the New York State Nurses Association and Concerned Physicians for LICH, have long said that they would not accept a plan that doesn’t include inpatient services, which aren’t expressly mentioned in the TBHC plan. They also have doubts about the concept of a “freestanding emergency room,” which is part of both competing proposals for LICH.
“It [the TBHC proposal] still looks like a glorified urgent care center,” said Dr. Toomas Sorra, a gastroenterologist and head of Concerned Physicians of LICH. “Also, SUNY has said that it wouldn’t consider the Brooklyn Hospital plan.”
The Fortis/NYU Langone/Lutheran plan was officially unveiled at a SUNY Board of Trustees meeting on Monday that was streamed over the internet.
NYU, according to a chart displayed at the meeting, would provide a freestanding emergency room, an urgent care center, a radiology and diagnostic center, and six specialty centers: primary care, cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonary, orthopedics, physiatry and cancer care.
Lutheran would provide dental health, primary care and behavioral health.