Supporters of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) celebrated in Cobble Hill on Thursday night after learning that state Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes had issued a ruling that throws a wrench into the state Department of Health’s approval of SUNY Downstate’s closing plan for LICH.Justice Baynes wrote in his 20-page decision that the state’s regulations for closing hospitals were “unconstitutionally vague,” and that DOH did not take the needs of the community into consideration when it approved SUNY Downstate’s plan to close LICH.His ruling not only affects LICH’s closure plan, but has implications for future closures of hospitals including Interfaith Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant."This court ruling changes the playing field in our fight to protect care for New York patients,” said Jill Furillo, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), a party to the court action along with 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers, and Concerned Physicians of LICH, represented by lead attorney Richard Seltzer of Cohen, Weiss and Simon.“The Department of Health cannot rubber stamp hospital closures,” she said. “It must act under lawful regulations that take the health needs of the community into account. The court not only rejected the closure plan for Long Island College Hospital, it ruled that the state’s process for approving hospital closure plans is unconstitutionally vague. We now have stronger standing to keep other vital community hospitals like Interfaith open for care.”SUNY spokesperson David Doyle commented, “Our lawyers are reviewing the decision."Public Advocate Bill de Blasio will join nurses, doctors, healthcare workers and civic groups to celebrate the decision at 1 p.m. Friday.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Another Court Victory For LICH: Rally At 1:00 PM At Henry and Pacific!
Another big win in court for supporters of LICH, community hospitals in general and Public Advocate Bill deBlasio. And kudos to CGNA, CHA, BHA and the other civic organizations for intervening in these lawsuits - it turns out our participation was vital. I know it's short notice but if you can make the rally at 1:00 please do. From the Brooklyn Eagle: