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Editorial: Just what the doctor ordered

There’s huge news for local residents in the arena of health care.

Two powerhouse players – Lutheran HealthCare and NYU Langone, which had partnered to provide services at the freestanding emergency room at the site of the former Long Island College Hospital – have voted to formalize their partnership, a move that both say will help them better meet the evolving healthcare needs of the communities they serve.

The new affiliation, the two institutions say, is a win-win that will strengthen both, and we couldn’t agree more.

Given the shifting healthcare landscape, and the dramatic impact of the Affordable Care Act, it’s important that the institutions that residents rely on to deliver healthcare services be poised to provide care that is both effective and efficient.

Indeed, saving money on non-essentials means that they can concentrate on their mission of improving healthcare outcomes and, ultimately, saving lives.

We congratulate both Lutheran HealthCare and NYU Langone on this major step, and look forward to witnessing the fruits of a partnership that is poised to benefit Brooklynites.

SAD NEWS

We were extremely disheartened to learn that inappropriately low tuition rates set by the state (and paid for through government programs) are forcing the Guild for Exceptional Children to take a step that we are sure is extremely painful to staff and supporters – planning to shut down the organization’s extremely effective and beloved pre-school program which serves some 200 developmentally disabled children.

The Guild, which announced the news earlier this month, says it is taking the step in order to preserve the not-for-profit organization’s other programming for vulnerable developmentally disabled adults.

This is not something the Guild wants to do. Rather, Guild Executive Director Paul Cassone explained that, because the state Department of Education has refused to revamp the tuition rate, which Cassone said was “substantially below the regional average for Kings County,” the preschool has lost something in the neighborhood of $2 million over the past three years.

It’s time for the state to step in and fix the mess it has made, by acting quickly to adjust the tuition rate so that the Guild can do what it wants to do — keep the program open and continue to help the children it serves.

The children deserve no less.

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