SUNY, Fortis Reach LICH Deal

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times

The financially ailing Long Island College Hospital (LICH), which all but closed last month, is now slated to return as an emergency department with some additional health services as the site gets developed into condominiums. 

The State University of New York (SUNY) reached an agreement with Fortis Property Group for over $240 million, it announced Sunday.

“The deal begins the process of easing the tremendous financial burden being shouldered by students and campuses across the state,” stated SUNY communications director David Doyle. “Longstanding litigation and losses at LICH appear to be nearly over, allowing vital public higher education resources to move from the courtroom to the classroom where they belong.”

Last Friday, Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes threw out the community groups’ motion calling for a redo of the RFP process. Jim Walden, the attorney representing the community groups, argued the process had been manipulated, as many panelists were found to not have given higher ratings to hospitals and bids with more health services, as the new RFP agreed upon early this year intended. 

Last week Walden had said they would make a motion for SUNY to return to negotiations with Peebles Corp., the second ranking bidder, if the motion for the manipulated scores to be tossed out was denied. 

SUNY’s negotiations with Peebles had fallen apart within a week after reporting positive progress. Peebles had agreed to do a needs assessment of the community, focusing on whether a hospital was needed at the LICH location. Community groups had asked Fortis to do the same but the developer did not agree.

Instead, Fortis is creating a Community Foundation for $5 million so their health partner NYU Langone Medical Center can assess the health needs of the community on an ongoing basis. Fortis is also adding 10,000 square feet of space on-site for NYU to use flexibly for the additional health services.

Community members had criticized the ongoing assessment last week because adjustments would only be made off the patients seen in the emergency department and would not solve the issue of overcrowding in the surrounding hospitals, such as New York Methodist Hospital and The Brooklyn Hospital Center.

The agreement is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees and State Comptroller.

Fortis/NYU will provide the following services:

  • Free standing ED
  • Observation Beds
  • Urgent Care
  • Primary Care and Preventative
    • Dental
    • Pediatrics
    • Geriatric
    • OB/Gyn
    • Internal Medicine
  • Specialty Care
    • Cardiology
    • Gastroenterology
    • Orthopedics
    • Physiatry
    • Pulmonary
    • Urology
    • Rheumatology
    • Neurology
    • Rehabilitation /Physical Therapy
  • Full service satellite of NYU Langone Cancer Center/ a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Office Based Surgery
    • GI Endoscopy
    • Bronchoscopy
    • Dermatology
  • Cardiac Health Diagnostic Center
  • Ambulatory Surgery
    • Orthopedics
    • Ear, Nose and Throat
    • Ophthalmology
    • Urology
    • Plastics
    • General Surgery
  • Behavioral Health
  • HIV Clinic