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Supporters Rally To Protect Long Island College Hospital From Closure

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TWC News: Supporters Rally To Protect Long Island College Hospital From Closure
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Union members, local leaders, residents and hospital workers came out Sunday to show their support for Long Island College Hospital, which is operating under the threat of closure. NY1's Jon Weinstein has the story.

The fight over the future of Long Island College Hospital continued Sunday as supporters who want it to stay open rallied and marched in Cobble Hill.

"What does Brooklyn say to those that want to close LICH?" Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said. "Fugghedaboutit!"

"It's not about money, it's not about real estate," patient Susan Raboy said. "It's about saving lives."

Last week, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the hospital's operator SUNY Downstate, preventing the closure temporarily.

That suit was brought by the nurses and healthcare workers unions, and advocates see momentum going in their favor.

"The court was very clear that the Department of Health and the SUNY Board of Trustees should cease and desist any effort whatsoever to close that hospital," New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Jill Furillo said. "That is good news for the people and the patients that are served by that hospital."

But a spokesman for SUNY Downstate says LICH just isn't financially viable and is losing a million dollars a week. He says continuing to keep it open threatens all of SUNY Downstate's hospitals and medical school.

Despite the restraining orders to keep the doors open, the hospital is not scheduling any elective surgeries past April 30.

The hospital workers say they won't accept that.

"Somewhere in all this mess reason has to prevail," said Linda O'Neil, a nurse at LICH for 30 years. "This hospital is direly needed for South Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn. Common sense has to prevail."

"We have shown through two court orders that we will get the attention of the governor, we will get the attention of [state Health] Commissioner [Nirav] Shah, we will get the attention of Albany, we will save this place, we will keep this place open," said Dr. Toomas Sorra of Concerned Physicians for LICH>

Both parties are due back in court on May 2nd, a spokesman for the hospital says the results of the case will determine their next step moving forward. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP