Today’s news:

Judge: LICH leadership breaking law by closing ER to ambulances

The Brooklyn Paper

State officials broke the law when they shut down the emergency room to ambulances at Long Island College Hospital, says the judge who demanded the money-bleeding hospital continue to service the community.

The state is in contempt of a temporary restraining order prohibiting the closure of the hospital, said borough Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes in court on Wednesday when a hospital employee informed him of plans for the emergency room. The emergency room stopped accepting ambulances on Thursday despite the ruling.

This action by the state-run hospital could result in a fine or imprisonment for State University of New York administrators, according to Baynes, who modified his restraining order on Wednesday, demanding that the hospital maintain staffing at the hospital to the level it was in February, just before talks of its sale and closure went public.

Baynes has scheduled a conference with lawyers handling the suit on June 24.

Hospital officials wouldn’t comment on whether the change at the emergency room defies the court order, but claimed the move was necessary because the hospital doesn’t have the staffing to handle the patients.

“The chief medical officer of all our hospitals has determined that patient care and safety cannot be ensured by continuing to send patients to that hospital,” said hospital spokesman Robert Bellafiore.

Bellafiore claimed that many doctors left the institution after the State University of New York first announced its plan to close the hospital in February. Since that time, however, the state had reversed itself, instead trying to find a potential buyer to take over the institution. This reversal was partially the result of hospital advocates’s legal efforts, including the lawsuit that prompted the restraining order.

Bellafiore wouldn’t say how many doctors and nurses have resigned in the past few months, but the hospital’s chief medical officer said that there are resignations almost daily.

“We have seen voluntary resignations from the hospital’s medical director, pharmacy department supervisors, the emergency room nurse manager, and our chief nursing officer and deputy chief nursing officer, as well as many other attending physicians and key personnel in information technology and other essential support areas,” said Dr. Michael Lucchesi.

The court will convene to hear the State University of New York’s case for diverting the ambulances on July 15 at the Adams Street Courthouse, according to Wednesday’s modified restraining order.

A request for comment from Governor Cuomo, who appoints the State University leadership, was not returned by press time. But other elected officials, including Borough President Markowitz, said that the State University’s actions clearly broke the judge’s ruling.

It’s not the first time hospital management has broken the law. In March, Baynes ruled that leadership illegally held a secret meeting the day before it decided to close the money-losing Long Island College Hospital.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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Ms. Ida Marie Grant from Boerum Hill says:
Right is right, wrong is wrong and in contempt will always be in contempt. My spirit believes that SUNY Downstate will not be made right until they do what is right for our Red Hook to DUMBO area Community.
"God ain't sleep."
From a the very proud LICH E.D. Secretary.
June 21, 2013, 1:20 pm
Bob Wilson from Cob. Hill says:
The fact is that if the hospital is loseing money then why delay closeing costing the taxpayer. Only a fool fights in a burning house ! The employees of LICH had a 2.5 years of state support and had already been said to close before the SUNY system's influance!
June 21, 2013, 1:31 pm
Listen up Bob from And Learn Something says:
First, spelling. Try it.

Second, history.

The fact is, before SUNY got its hands on LICH, it was being bled dry by a NYC chosen management group called Continuum that transferred all the money making specialties to other hospitals, did everything possible to weaken the hospital, and then took off. About the same time a huge bequest that was providing $$$ to LICH also disappeared. Hmmm....

The fact is that then SUNY showed up and tried to finish the job so it could sell the body to pay off its own debts caused solely by their own gross (and perhaps criminal) mismanagement.

The fact is, the reason LICH is losing money is because of management choices that were forced on it by outsiders looking to make money off it and run.

The fact is there is no other hospital for miles, and only a fool would let that happen. When they can provide a replacement medical facility for Brooklyn Heights, downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Red Hook, maybe then LICH won't be necessary. But delaying closing is saving lives.

And those are the facts. With no spelling errors.
June 21, 2013, 3:44 pm
JAY from NYC says:
put them in jail then, stop messing around and light them up, they are asking for it.
June 21, 2013, 7:46 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:43 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:44 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:44 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:44 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:44 pm
Concerned person from Cobble hill says:
Worried that there will not be a hospital God forbid an emergency strikes! How is it that Cuomo does not care about this? Well let me tell you why he does not care, because if lich is sold he will collect the $ from the sale. So after he uses downstate to do his dirty work of shutting lich down he will then close them!!!! So hoping that someone takes over Lich!!!!!!!
July 10, 2013, 10:44 pm

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