The State University of New York announced it will reopen the Long Island College Hospital request for proposals and allow the public to view developers' plans for the struggling Brooklyn hospital.
The Brooklyn hospital’s employees and supporters have protested against a plan to turn it into condos.
In December, SUNY’s Board of Trustees delayed a vote to turn LICH into a series of condos, plus a health care facility. Sources then told NY1 that under the plan, as community members feared, ambulances would no longer be accepted.
Community members and activists, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio, have long been rallying for the financially troubled LICH to stay open and continue to serve the community. They also called for the RFP process to be more transparent.
SUNY announced Tuesday it sent a letter to all firms that submitted proposals in response to its July 2013 RFP, with a new deadline, Monday, February 3.
Firms can clarify or modify their proposals, but are being asked to make the plans public prior to the contract award.
SUNY says this will allow for more “openness, transparency, and effectiveness of the process,” according to a press release.
“SUNY and the Board have always advocated for a real solution to the crisis at LICH that benefits the community while allowing SUNY to return to its core academic mission in Brooklyn and across the entire State of New York,” said H. Carl McCall, board chairman, in a press release. “It is our hope that reopening the RFP process will ensure greater transparency and openness, enhance opportunity for public review, and ultimately result in a project that meets the community’s healthcare needs.”
In mid-January, Long Island College Hospital nurses, patients and caregivers gathered outside the hospital Tuesday to give speeches and chant before getting on a bus headed to Albany.
There, they presented the SUNY Board of Trustees with 18,000 signatures on a petition to keep the hospital open.
The board did not make any decisions then, but the advocates say that they want the community's voice to be heard.