With the last hints of summer in the air on a sunny Sunday in the City of Long Beach, over 400 rallied at Kennedy Plaza to demand officials bring a hospital back to Long Beach.
On Sunday October 26, 2014, Beach to Bay Central Council of Civic Associations brought together over a dozen local leaders who advocated for a new hospital.
Long Beach Medical Center was lost to Sandy. Since, a inexplicable bureaucratic nightmare has ensued, and ensured that Long Beach still remains without a hospital.
Dennis Ryan, Ph.D., current Long Beach School Board Trustee, pictured above, spoke of stewardship of the community. He said “It is important to pass on the community that we’ve received to the next generation”.
Rabbi Bennett Hermann, Temple Emanu-El said
“I’m amazed why we need these (“Long Beach Needs A Hospital”) signs. It was a bureaucratic and political” decision to close it.
Even though it is 2 years later and $170 million is in play for its return, that money was given with seemingly no real assurances of what will be rebuilt.
Beach to Bay’s Barbara Bernardino said “Millions of Sandy and FEMA dollars have been used. What do we have to show for all that?”
Concerns are running high that there is no requirement of South Nassau Communities Hospital to spend any of the money in Long Beach if they so choose. This seems to be true.
Eileen Libutti said “SNCH must use the allocated FEMA funds in Long Beach to open a hospital.”
Long Beach City Councilwoman Fran Adelson said “we need that money to be spent in Long Beach. If the bridge goes up, we all know how devastating that could be”
Councilwoman Eileen Goggin said “Now the sale is complete, SNCH must provide Long Beach with a full service hospital… And spend any and all funds here in Long Beach and nowhere else.”
Lido and Point Lookout Fire Commissioner Chas Thompson highlighted the dangers posed for residents when his ambulance travels the extra time all the way to Northern Oceanside. That round trip for their department has become nearly 2 hours of unavailability if a second call comes in.
“We need the burden off our first responders to get the proper care we need”
“These first responders have to have the tools to be successful” said Mark Tannenbaum Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. “Our elected officials must work with our city council to bring that hospital back”
Real Estate Agent Joe Sinnona spoke of the rumored plan for new luxury rentals and why that is not necessarily good for real estate: “Rentals and condos have people in them…who need hospitals. Governor Cuomo -open our hospital.”
Deborah Bernardino Arden
“It could be any one of us. Ambulances do not fly. What happens when the bridge is up?”
Barbara Bernardino summed up the sentiment of many residents: “if South Nassau cannot open a hospital here, return the money and move on.
It is only fair. The state has been a big part of the problem it’s time for them to be part of the solution”.
Kerry DiStefano of the PTA sums it up best: “We call on our elected officials to push through the red tape”.