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Bayville Joins In Hospital Support

A third rally to save Glen Cove Hospital took place this past Sunday at St. Gertrude’s Church in Bayville, the first to be held outside of Glen Cove. More than 100 people came out in the rainy weather to show support and hear the latest updates about the push back against the proposed changes slated for early next year. Local politicians from across the North Shore urged residents to get involved in the fight to maintain services at the hospital.

“This is about the whole North Shore community,” said Mayor Ralph Suozzi of Glen Cove. “I’m glad to see the rally here in Baybille; this fight is for all in the community.”

Victoria Segal and Mayor Doug Watson of Bayville hosted the rally; speakers included Dr. Eisenstein, Dr. Eric Hochberg, Michele Principe, Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Assemblyman Michael Montesano and Mayor Larry Schmidlapp of Centre Island among others.

Suozzi noted that he has been trying to get in touch with the decision makers to get answers and has been met with roadblocks.

“It appears our health care has taken a back seat,” he said, explaining that he is trying to meet one on one with Gov. Cuomo but has not yet had success getting a return phone call. “We need more creative ideas, but the fight is not over; we need to keep the pressure on.”

“We are not against North Shore-LIJ; the hospital is very good and we want it here,” said Mayor Watson. “It’s going to be a long haul effort.”

“Glen Cove is one of the most active hospitals,” said Montesano. “They have a professional, moral and ethical obligation to Glen Cove.”

Administrators for the North Shore-LIJ health system have said the number of people seeking inpatient care at the hospital has declined, and they plan on converting the hospital into an ambulatory care facility in January. Protesters, however, feel that eliminating services is the first step toward further reductions, and fear that its loss will have a widespread impact on the community, from loss of jobs at the hospital to declining home values to potentially fatal situations when having to travel a greater distance.

“This is not a political effort, it is a grass roots movement,” said Michele Principe, resident of Bayville who has been active in finding answers to the reasons for the downsizing. “We need to move and save this hospital.” She noted that the hospital is profitable so the idea that is not a money maker is a “myth.” She went on to list the many benefits of the hospital, including its low turnover rate and patient approval ratings.

Elna Kraupner of Bayville told the Record Pilot she has gotten “outstanding” service at the hospital and has always been happy with the care she and her family members have received.

“It’s convenient...I can’t imagine having to drive to Syosset,” she said. “The staff is excellent. It would be a real shame if it closed.”