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SUNY retracts plans to close Long Island College Hospital

Courtenay Brown Special to the AmNews | 5/30/2013, 1:36 p.m.

The State University of New York (SUNY) withdrew its previous proposal to close the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and committed to expand its search for a new operator.

Yesterday, New York City Council members voted unanimously in favor of calling on SUNY and the Department of Health to work to find another operator for LICH.

"Today's announcement is a major victory for the communities of Brooklyn that depend on Long Island College Hospital. The message was clear: LICH saves lives. It is because of the relentless efforts of all the doctors, nurses, patients, elected leaders and advocates that SUNY has heard our call and LICH will continue to provide care for Brooklyn," City Council Member Stephen Levin said in a statement.

In March, SUNY's Board of Trustees voted to ask for the state's permission to close the hospital, which has served patients for 150 years, when it failed to find a new operator. SUNY officials said that the closing would happen within 90 days.

Employees of the hospital and regular patients can breathe a sign of relief as the Council member, Brad Lander, worked alongside Levin with the support of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to sponsor the resolution to work with stakeholders to find another operator for LICH.

"This is a victory for NYC's entire health care system!," Quinn said on Twitter earlier this afternoon.

The hospital has more than 2,000 employees and, according to the statement, they are excited to keep serving its patients, who come from various communities across Brooklyn.

"LICH nurses, doctors, and caregivers save lives every day--and we are so happy that we can keep saving lives," a statement read.