Reprieve for Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill

April 26, 2013 8:21:44 PM PDT
After weeks of protest from patients, doctors, and unions, the plan to close Long Island College Hospital is dropped.

The hospital was suppose to shut its doors for good and even sent out layoff notices.

But a community's fight has stemmed the tide.

The next step is to develop a sustainability plan to continue medical services and education that must be done in a month then take effect two short weeks later.

It was a long and tough fight to keep Long Island College Hospital off the chopping block.

Everyone Eyewitness News found applauded the move: especially those who have received urgent care there, including Justin Harmon whose dad was diagnosed with cancer.

"Without that hospital God knows what would have happened he could have been in pain. He could have suffered even more. I love that hospital," Harmon said.

"I'm happy it's staying open. I was a patient there. When I was 11, I had a major surgery. They treated me well," said Joe O'Neill, a Cobble Hill resident.

The SUNY board voted in February to close the Cobble Hill hospital citing financial losses.

State officials Friday backed off their plan to close the Cobble Hill hospital, after months of organized protests sparked by thousands of workers, patients, residents and local leaders.

"It's a tremendous victory for us," said George Gresham, SEIU Healthcare Workers East President.

1199 Health Care Workers Union President George Gresham says this move saves more than 2,200 jobs.

Now it's time to find a new operator to help the financially struggling facility.

"I wouldn't say we're in the clear. I would, I can say we can take a big exhale at this point," Gresham said, "It has all of the ingredients. It has a loyal staff that care deeply about this."