That’s what hundreds of LICH nurses, 1199 caregivers, public officials, and patients chanted today, when the head of SUNY Downstate said the state couldn’t afford to keep this Brooklyn community hospital open.
That man, John Williams, has some good reasons to shift the blame: 650,000 of them to be exact. That’s how much the hospital administrator who wants to close LICH is raking in from taxpayer money, according to a report in Thursday’s Daily News.
“At the same time SUNY is trying to shut our doors – they’re paying outrageous salaries to their bloated list of top executives,” said Susan Shanahan, RN at LICH.
“The United States of America only has one Vice President. Why does SUNY have 5?”
LICH serves a vital community need. “Closing LICH is not an acceptable solution for residents of downtown Brooklyn, or for the borough at large. LICH saves lives and the impact of closing it will be felt not just downtown, but throughout Brooklyn and the city as a whole,” said Amelia Adams, deputy director of New York Communities for Change.
State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council members Letitia James, Steven Levin, and Brad Lander, and State Senator Kevin Parker all spoke out powerfully today to save the hospital.
“People come from all across Brooklyn to get care at LICH,” said Herdley Hill, RN, a psychiatric nurse at LICH. “Many of our patients are low-income. Many are people of color. Many come from underserved communities.”
“They deserve the best care — we save lives every day.”
Closing LICH is one part of a bigger plan to totally reshape New York healthcare. The governor and Wall Street are proposing an experimental “pilot” for-profit hospital — in Brooklyn.
The governor’s real estate buddies think that LICH is worth more dead than alive.
Hill told hundreds of people today, “We will do whatever it takes to keep LICH open for our patients.”
And we’ll do everything we can to stop the failed for-profit model from coming to New York.
We’ll be back — bright and early tomorrow (Friday) morning at 8:30 AM, at 33 W 42nd St. in Manhattan… see you there!
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for hundreds of thousands of frontline nurses. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses.