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Fortis Promises 10K Square Feet for Additional Medical Services at LICH

 Long Island College Hospital at 339 Hicks St.
Long Island College Hospital at 339 Hicks St.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

COBBLE HILL — The latest coalition on deck to take over Long Island College Hospital promised Tuesday to set aside 10,000 square feet of space for additional medical services at LICH, but stopped short of providing a full-service hospital.

Fortis Property Group, which is partnering with NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Health Care, told a Supreme Court judge that it would add more observational beds or health care facilities based on NYU’s medical assessments for the area.

SUNY began contract negotiations with Fortis last month. The coalition’s $240 million proposal presently includes a health care center with 24-hour freestanding emergency department, an urgent care facility, up to 20 observational beds, a cancer center, as well as residential units with affordable housing.

The group has also promised an outpatient clinic for HIV and AIDS services and an advisory panel for the hospital.

But these promises hinge on Fortis striking a deal with the State University of New York, which has already ended talks with two previous bidders. Both Brooklyn Health Partners and the Peebles Corporation have accused the state of acting in bad faith during the process. 

On the other hand, Fortis has reported “productive” and “fruitful” discussions with SUNY, its attorney said in court Tuesday.

Meanwhile, community groups have another medical needs assessment process in mind. They want to see if the area needs a full-service hospital and are willing to partly fund a study to determine that, said the groups' attorney Jim Walden.

A full-service hospital typically consists of inpatient services, an operating room, acute care, intensive care unit and other specialties, in addition to an emergency room.

NYU's own assessment as currently planned wouldn't necessarily involve looking into the need for a full-service hospital.

NYU Langone Medical Center has conditionally received a “Certificate of Need” from the state Department of Health, which is subject to a final agreement. Neither Fortis nor SUNY could not immediately say when ambulance service would return to LICH.

SUNY is currently running LICH’s emergency department after most of the hospital shuttered last month. According to its website, the ER will be open until Aug. 30.

As SUNY continues its talks with Fortis, the parties involved returned to court Tuesday to continue the drawn-out battle surrounding the Cobble Hill hospital.

The hearing is expected to continue Friday.