Today’s news:

SUNY, LICH merge

SUNY Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush and Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreeing in principle to a consolidation.

The MOU comes after LICH’s management consortium, Continuum Health Partners (CHP), threatened last year to close the maternity, pediatric and dentistry wards amid a growing budget gap of upwards of $40 million.

“It should be noted that many issues remain to be considered and agreed upon before such an agreement can be realized,” LICH and SUNY said in a joint statement. “While it is too early in the process to discuss details, both parties are committed to reaching a final agreement as quickly as possible.”

It is expected that the consolidation, which must be approved by the State Department of Health (DOH), will result in the continuation of LICH services.

DOH spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond said the agency has a copy of the MOU and is monitoring the situation at LICH.

Hammond refused comment as to the MOU details.

Word of the June 9 MOU did drew a thank−you letter to Gov. David Paterson from an Ad Hoc Committee for LICH.

The committee membership includes LICH Board of Trustees members, Cobble Hill community activists, high−ranking members of the LICH Medical Staff and representatives of community organizations surrounding LICH.

“We are grateful for the support of the New York State and federal agencies that have made this MOU possible,” wrote the committees co−conveners Rev. Dr. Paul Smith and C. Murray Adams.

“Most of all, we are grateful for the efforts of Dr. John A. LaRosa and his staff at SUNY Downstate and of Stanley Brezenoff and his staff at Continuum Health Partners who have made this reunion possible.”

The letter goes on to ask for continued government support as “many open issues remain to be resolved, and their successful resolution will undoubtedly require political support and in many instances regulatory approval as well.”

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