Rep. Fossella & Sen. Golden: Judge's Ruling Barring Hospital Closures Will Help In Fight To Preserve Victory Memorial

Martin J. Golden

January 05, 2007

[Washington, D.C.] - Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY13) and Senator Marty Golden today declared that a State Supreme Court Judge's ruling that temporarily blocks New York State from closing any hospitals will give the community additional time to develop a plan of action to preserve Victory Memorial.

The lawmakers said the temporary restraining order issued this week by Judge Mary Ann Brigantti-Hughes will give the community and local leaders more time to explore new partnerships to keep Victory Memorial Hospital open.

Fossella said, "This decision gives us a greater opportunity to explore alternatives to the Commission's recommendation to close Victory Memorial. I've been working closely with Victory Memorial as it explores ways to create new collaborations, strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ways for the facility to serve the people of Brooklyn. Victory Memorial plays an important role in the local health care system and serves a valuable function in our community. We are committed to exploring all options to keep Victory Memorial open for residents of Brooklyn."

Golden said, "I am proud to join with Congressman Fossella in recognizing that an important argument has been made towards the continued operation of hospitals here in New York State. This ruling is a step in the right direction but we have a long way to go. The bottom line is that we need to maintain Victory Memorial Hospital as a functioning acute care facility to meet the medical needs of our neighborhood. The waiting time in the emergency rooms at Lutheran Medical Center and Maimonides Medical Center, our closest hospitals if Victory Memorial Hospital should close, could be substantially increased if this decision is upheld."

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Westchester Square Medical Center in the Bronx and eight other hospitals, charged that the State Legislature violated the Constitutional rights of patients by permitting an unelected commission to alter the healthcare system in New York. Several other lawsuits have also been filed to block the closure of the nine hospitals and seven nursing homes recommended by the Berger Commission.