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CONTACT: Mike Lisi (518) 640-6600
Lisi’s cell number: (518) 944-9528

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 17, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY

Statement By Phillip H. Smith Regarding State Comptroller's Audit of Downstate Medical Center


“We thank the Comptroller and his staff for their very thorough analysis and recommendations to protect University Hospital, which is a vital health care facility in Brooklyn.

“The comptroller’s report confirms what UUP has maintained for more than two years—that bad management decisions and lack of transparency and accountability caused Downstate’s financial trauma.

“Time and time again, we raised concerns over issues such as the ill-advised expansion to Bay Ridge and Long Island College Hospital. Our members at Downstate have repeatedly offered suggestions to improve hospital operations, including changing its patient billing practices, only to be ignored by the Downstate administration.

“If there had been appropriate oversight and accountability, Downstate would not be in such financial danger and the vital public services our members provide to the community would not be in such jeopardy.

“We urge the governor and Legislature to take action to ensure the long-term financial stability of SUNY Downstate and to keep it a full-service public hospital. The 400,000 patients who receive treatment at Downstate every year deserve nothing less.”

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.

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