New LICH CEO Says Hospital Is Here to Stay

Plans Community Outreach, Beefing-Up of Hospital Depts.

Debra Carey, interim CEO, University Hospital at LICH (left), with Leslie Lewis, president, 84th Precinct Community Council. Eagle photo by Raanan Geberer.

By Raanan Geberer

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — In contrast to Continuum Health Partners, the former parent body of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), which sold several of LICH’s buildings and sought to close its Obstetrics and Pediatrics departments, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the hospital’s new affiliate, will be adding staff and equipment there.

That was the message of Debra Carey, the new interim CEO for the hospital, which now goes by the unwieldy name of SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn at Long Island College Hospital (more about that name later).

Speaking to the 84th Precinct Community Council at St. Francis College, she rarely referred to the Continuum era except when answering questions, but she made it clear that LICH is here to stay in a big way.

Emphasizing that SUNY Downstate, with its three Brooklyn campuses (LICH, Bay Ridge and the main campus in East Flatbush), is totally focused on the borough, she said that the organization’s goal is to make LICH a “tertiary” hospital.

This means a major, full-service hospital, one from which patients don’t need to be referred to another hospital to see specialists or to have operations. To shore up some of the departments, she said, SUNY Downstate is bringing over staff from its Flatbush campus.

One challenge LICH faces, she said, is that some people aren’t aware that LICH still offers maternity or pediatric care — they assume that those departments closed. (Continuum had threatened to close them, but the state ordered that they be kept open.)

She stressed that Downstate has no plans to sell any of the hospital’s buildings, and added that all of LICH’s physicians have been named faculty at SUNY Downstate’s medical school. She reminded audience members that the medical school itself was located at LICH until the early 1950s — thus, the slogan, “Together Again.”

Every year, she said, Downstate as an overall entity sponsors a large number of community outreach events, including flu shots, smoking cessation clinics and more.

Finally, she told those in the audience that the cumbersome new name for the hospital, which had to be adopted for legal reasons at the time of the merger, will be changed in the near future but will always include “Long Island College Hospital.”

Anti-Burglary Sweep

In other business, Deputy Inspector Mark DiPaolo, the precinct’s commanding officer, said that this summer, officers arrested six suspects — all of them from outside the area — who together have been charged with 120 burglary incidents. Several of them were parolees.

In many cases, he said, the perps targeted businesses and stores or broke into houses where people were away. But in one case, said DiPaolo, a burglar or burglars were breaking into apartments where people were at home. This was a very dangerous situation, and led to the incident for which P.O. Patrick Cohoon was named Cop of the Month at yesterday’s meeting.

On Aug. 29, Cohoon responded to a call of a burglary in progress. When he got to the location, the perps had already fled, but after talking to people canvassing the area, he went to nearby Bergen Street. There, he saw two men carrying a laptop. As he approached them to ask them where they had gotten it, they ran.

Cohoon was able to catch one of them, and was later able to track down the other suspect and arrest him as well. All of the items belonging to the victim as well as to four other apartments that had been burglarized were recovered. The pair were also tied to several burglaries in the nearby 88th Precinct, representing Fort Greene. “It’s an honor to supervise you,” DiPaolo told Cohoon, giving him the honorary plaque.

In other crimes, DiPaolo said felony assaults and grand larcenies are both up in the precinct. He attributed the increase to a change in the law. Felony assaults, he said, often happen when prisoners try to attack guards, people getting tickets try to fight traffic agents and the like.

Although traffic agents are unarmed, DiPaolo said, “They’re part of the Police Department, they’re hard-working people, and we won’t tolerate any attacks on them.”

Grand larceny, he said, can include thefts of credit cards, bank cards or cell phones. He warned attendees not to be so involved in talking on the phone while walking in the street that they’re not aware of a criminal approaching them.

Addressing the problem of thefts from lockers at local gyms, he advised people going to the gym to bring as little as possible with them.

He also said that locker rooms often aren’t monitored with video cameras and don’t have attendants. Sometimes they also have holes or vents through which criminals can look and see what’s inside. Where possible, he said, workout enthusiasts should use the smaller lockers behind the supervisor on the main floor.

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Filed under Brooklyn Heights, Community News, Health

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