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Residents Rally For Hospital

A crowd of about 500 people gathered at the second rally to save the Glen Cove Hospital on Saturday, Aug. 31, a more organized and informative event than the first. Residents waved signs urging the North Shore Health System to “Save

Our Hospital” while local politicians, hospital employees and residents with personal stories to share took to the microphone.

 

Speaking on a stage set up behind the Glen Cove Public Library, Mayor Ralph Suozzi opened the rally with an explanation of intent.

 

“This gives us a chance to come together as a community,” he said. “The uncertainty has caused a lot of fear and anger.”

 

He said he has had a lot of communication with hospital administrators and that he plans on having a one-on-one meeting with Michael Dowling to “figure out” how to make sure the health system remains strong in Glen Cove. 

 

Noting that the petitions have received a total of 18,000 signatures to date, he urged residents to sign in order to get the attention of  Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Nirav Shah from the state department of health.

 

He noted further that “no application for change has been filed to date” which means there is still time to potentially discuss any changes that will happen down the line.

 

“We want to make sure that any changes can be brought before the public for review,” Suozzi said.

 

Hospital donor Frank Feinberg said, at 90 years old, he has “never seen anything as amateur and wrong” as what he has witnessed in the past couple of months. “The actions of management are indescribable...losing the hospital will undoubtedly kill Glen Cove.” He asked residents to “do whatever you can to support the movement.”

 

Mayor Suozzi said that the talks seemed to be making a difference so far.

 

“We are in the room because of your voices and your signatures,” Suozzi said.

 

While a lot of residents have expressed emotional ties to the hospital, Suozzi stressed that in order to really make an impact, detailing cases of how much the area needs this hospital will likely have a greater impact on any final decisions.

 

The Hosey family of Glen Cove shared a story about their son, Sean, who is now 14. When he was 8 years old, he slipped and fell through a glass door at their home. Sean’s mother, Melinda, said they arrived at Glen Cove Hospital

“within minutes” and Sean, being “desperately in need of blood” underwent 10 hours of surgery. 

 

“We had a short window of time...things could have been very different.”

 

Dr. Gerard Vitale said, “Sean is living proof of why we need this hospital...it is not just the doctors, the nurses, the ancillary staff, but the community needs it as well.”

 

Dr. Eric Hochberg, who said he has been at Glen Cove Hospital for 30 years and started the same year the NS-LIJ health system began, noted that the health system began in Glen Cove and said that the hospital is financially doing well.

He expressed concern at the distance between Glen Cove and other hospitals and speculated that down the road, they may even decide the ER is not worth the cost.

 

“If the ER closes, who will be there to save the next Sean Hosey?”

 

“We want a public process as this goes forward,” said Tom Suozzi, former Nassau County Executive and current candidate. “It’s important that we stay involved.”

 

“Nothing yet has been decided by New York State,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine. He noted, “We are not going to war with the North Shore Health System” but did stress the importance the hospital has on the community from a financial stand point. He commented on the strength of community and said it is “remarkable” to have such a strong turnout on a hot, muggy holiday weekend.

 

Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said a big reason she bought her home in Glen Cove  was because of its proximity to the hospital, since one of her daughters is diabetic. 

 

Hospital pharmacist Joseph Simoneschi said, “The changes made in the past always made sense. The current transition does not make sense.” He said he has patients from surrounding communities that travel to Glen Cove. “The patient comes first...continue to rally.”

 

Stressing the impact traveling to hospitals in Syosset, Manhasset or elsewhere would have on patients and their relatives, Myrta Adamczak said, “What about the environment and gas consumption? The baby boomers are being attacked because our parents need us. The elderly are being attacked...what good is a hospital if we can’t get to it?”

 

“We are having ongoing discussions with Mayor Suozzi and other elected officials,  community leaders and local physicians to get their input on ambulatory care and home-based services needed in the community,” said Terry Lynam, a spokesman for the NS-LIJ system. “Those conversations will continue in the weeks and months ahead. The most important thing people need to understand is that Glen Cove Hospital is not closing — it’s just evolving to meet community needs.”

News

In order to meet the necessary budget requirements, the Glen Cove School District will reduce school staff members, starting in the 2014-15 school year. One administrative staff member and nine instructional staff members will be let go, according to Superintendent

Maria Rianna’s report at the Monday night school board meeting. Staff reductions will also be made to teaching assistants, school monitors, substitute teachers and custodial and maintenance workers. The total savings for the district is $1,227,669.

 

As of March 31, revenues for the district total $79,281,428. The revenues include the tax levy ($64,780,719),  P.I.L.O.T.s ($1,908,060), tax on consumer utility bills ($1,250,000)n use of reserves ($1,250,000), State Aid ($8,751,799), all other revenues ($635,850) and appropriation of unassigned fund balance ($750,000).

 

The total appropriations for the district are $80,509,097 and revenues are $79,281,428 with a budget gap of $1,227,669.

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com