Long Island College Hospital (LICH) has been sold.As of September 1, Fortis Property Group and its healthcare partners NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center will take over the daily operations of the ER and will apply for a state permit to add an ambulatory surgery center to the site. Current operator State University of New York (SUNY) will be paid $240 millionincluding a $24 million depositplus an additional $5 million for a Community Foundation to address the ongoing healthcare needs of the community.SUNY will also be compensated for malpractice insurance costs and the cost of running the ER since May 22, which was when SUNY ceased official operations. Fortis will also pay for soil and environmental testing on the site, which may require remediation.This deal comes after over 18 months of legal battles between SUNY, health care worker unions, and civic groups over the fate of the 156-year-old hospital, with unions and residents pushing for a full-service hospital and SUNY entertaining condo-healthcare mixed-use plans from bidders.Fortiss plan is one of those mixed-use proposals. It plans to convert the 43-acre site into a combination residential/healthcare campus, with condominiums, at least 25 percent designated affordable housing, and a state-of-the-art healthcare facility.Construction on that facility is slated to begin this year and be completed within three years. It will have a 20-year-guarantee for medical use and will include a 24 hour/seven-day-a-week freestanding ER, urgent care center, ambulatory surgery center, primary and preventative care center, cancer center, diagnostic imaging and other specialized care, and HIV clinic.The contract may be signed, however the discontent among community residents remains. Several community-based and faith-based organizations, including the NAACP, as well as Assemblymember Karim Camara, held a press conference on June 27 protesting the sale to Fortis, a non-minority-owned business whose plan ranked third among bidders; the first two, Brooklyn Health Partners and Peebles Corp., entered negotiations but were dropped by SUNY for various reasons.
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