Governor Paterson Announces Grant to SUNY Downstate Medical Center to Acquire Long Island College Hospital

ALBANY, NY (10/14/2010)(readMedia)-- Governor David A. Paterson today announced that State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center has been awarded a $40 million State grant to acquire and operate Long Island College Hospital (LICH), which will become a second campus of University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB). The grant will enable SUNY Downstate to expand UHB's capacity to meet the expected growth in demand for inpatient services and specialized care.

"One of our main health care goals is to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to high quality care in their communities," Governor Paterson said. "The HEAL grant is an important investment in the future of health care in Brooklyn and will allow SUNY Downstate to create another campus to better serve local residents and continue to train the next generation of physicians."

The funding is being provided by the New York State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) through Phase 19 of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL NY), which support efforts that improve the efficiency and affordability of New York's health care system. The $40 million HEAL NY grant and a $22 million HEAL NY grant awarded in October 2009 will also assist SUNY Downstate in retiring LICH debt and in the payment of costs associated with the integration of clinical and financial operations between SUNY Downstate and Continuum Health Partners, which managed LICH.

Through the existing academic partnership, many physicians working at LICH already hold academic appointments at Downstate. The agreement will ensure that Downstate retains teaching slots for its students and residents. It will also bring Downstate's bed count in line with those of other academic medical centers. LICH and Downstate's teaching hospital, UHB, will operate as a single hospital with two campuses. It is expected that the merger of the two institutions will create long-term sustainability and significant financial improvement for both facilities.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, PhD, said: "This agreement enhances the academic mission of SUNY Downstate and highlights the contributions that the SUNY System makes to the people of New York State. Nowhere is the 'Power of SUNY' more evident than right here in Brooklyn, where Downstate and its partners are providing education, clinical care, research breakthroughs, and employment to the people of the region."

John C. LaRosa, M.D., President of SUNY Downstate, said: "I want to emphasize that the agreement with Continuum represents a significant step forward, but there are many more review and approval steps that must be completed before an agreement can be finalized. This agreement will also strengthen Downstate's education and training mission and preserve Downstate's standing as the hub of medical education in Brooklyn. Equally important, critically needed healthcare services in Brooklyn will be safeguarded. I would like to thank Stanley Brezenoff, for his commitment to ensuring that LICH would not close its doors, Governor Paterson and the New York State Department of Health."

Stanley Brezenoff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Continuum, said: "This agreement is a win-win for all of the organizations involved. Most importantly, being a part of SUNY Downstate will allow LICH to take advantage of greater continuity and coordination of clinical services directly in Brooklyn, which, I am confident, will greatly improve LICH's financial standing. I am grateful to all who have helped bring this to fruition, particularly Governor Paterson and the NYS Department of Health."

The merger brings together two institutions with a long, shared history. Downstate, Brooklyn's only academic medical center, is comprised of five colleges, University Hospital of Brooklyn, a major bioscience research center, and biotechnology facilities. But its roots go back to LICH. Downstate's largest academic unit, its College of Medicine, was founded as the Collegiate Division of the Long Island College Hospital 150 years ago. In 1950, the College joined the newly formed State University of New York system as SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

Long Island College Hospital has experienced financial difficulties during the past several years, and the State has been actively involved in discussions to maintain it as an active health care facility in the community. The acquisition will help to stabilize the financial condition of LICH and enable physicians currently practicing at the hospital to become part of the staff of a large academic medical center.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said: "For the best healthcare this city has to offer, why go anywhere other than Brooklyn? I want to commend our Governor, Continuum, Downstate and LICH on an agreement that prioritizes real investment in healthcare and medical education in Brooklyn. With a catchment area extending far into Brooklyn, this hospital serves neighborhoods full of young families and seniors who need a medical center they can rely on. By keeping LICH open, we ensure that essential services like emergency room, ambulance, obstetrics, pediatric, cardiac and stroke care are well maintained, and we save jobs not only at LICH but in the surrounding restaurants and retail establishments that depend on it. I commend all parties for stepping up to keep a great local healthcare icon in great shape and ensuring that Brooklynites continue to receive these much-needed services."

The acquisition of LICH will enable UHB to expand its capacity to treat patients without undertaking costly and disruptive renovations at its main campus on Clarkson Avenue in Brooklyn. The addition of the new campus will also strengthen UHB's programs and "Centers of Excellence" in cancer treatment, cardiac care and organ transplantation, and allow the hospital to undertake additional clinical research. Formal approval by the State Health Department is pending.


The following statements were provided in support of the Long Island College Hospital becoming part of SUNY Downstate Medical Center:

State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said: "This transaction will preserve a vital institution for the northwest Brooklyn community and provide expanded services and academic medical excellence to local residents. I commend Governor Paterson for his efforts on this project, which will result in more efficient delivery of care without requiring costly investments in added physical plant and equipment."

DASNY President Paul T. Williams said: "We're pleased to be able to facilitate this merger, which will preserve vital health care in Brooklyn while strengthening the SUNY medical education system as a whole. The two campuses of University Hospital of Brooklyn will keep quality medical care in place and continue to support the economic health of their neighborhoods."


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient's bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator. SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.

Continuum Health Partners was created in January 1997 as the parent company for the partnership between four distinguished voluntary hospitals: Beth Israel Medical Center-Milton and Carroll Petrie Division, Beth Israel Medical Center-Kings Highway Division, St. Luke's Hospital and Roosevelt Hospital. Building upon the strength of these institutions, Continuum began the development of a broad-based, integrated health services network extending throughout the New York metropolitan region. Today, Continuum has an annual operating budget of over $3 billion and delivers inpatient care in six major hospital facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Continuum network also encompasses ambulatory health centers and group and private practice settings throughout the New York metropolitan region. Continuum operates more than 2,700 certified beds; provides for over 650,000 days of inpatient care and over 1.3 million outpatient visits; has more than 4,500 affiliated physicians; and a work force of over 15,500 individuals, making it the sixth largest private employer in the New York metropolitan region. Acutely aware of this heritage, Continuum remains committed to delivering excellence in accordance with the highest standards of medical practice, while also pursuing groundbreaking research and striving for new ways to enhance services to patients.

Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, which serves as the hub of Continuum's services in Brooklyn, is a licensed 506-bed, teaching hospital located in the Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill section. LICH is the primary clinical teaching affiliate of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center. The LICH School of Nursing is one of the oldest nursing schools in the country. Founded in 1858 as a medical school as well as a hospital, Long Island College Hospital has made exceptional contributions to U.S. medicine. In 1860, it became the first U.S. medical school to make bedside teaching a standard part of its medical curriculum, establishing an approach that was subsequently adopted throughout the country. Medical achievements of early LICH faculty include introduction of the stethoscope and early use of anesthesia. In 1930, the Long Island College of Medicine was incorporated as a separate medical school, with LICH as its hospital affiliate, and the College of Medicine became part of SUNY in 1950. Still Downstate's primary teaching affiliate, LICH offers training programs for resident physicians in more than 20 medical specialties.


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