January 25, 2012

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Downstate advocates take their appeal to Albany


Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), third from left, pledges his support to UUP advocates fighting the proposed closure of the hospital at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

“I’m with you 100 percent,” he said during a meeting with eight UUPers from the Downstate Chapter during the union’s January 24 advocacy day in Albany.

Nearly three dozen Downstate Chapter members made the trip to meet with state lawmakers to urge them to stop the plan by the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team to close inpatient services at Downstate University Hospital and shift them to Long Island College Hospital.

“Closing Downstate’s hospital will have a devastating effect not only on health care, but also on a number of small businesses who rely on their proximity to Downstate for their livelihoods,” Downstate Chapter President Rowena Blackman-Stroud told Assemblyman William Boyland (D-Brooklyn).

“It’s like self destruction 101. When you take preventive care services away from people in our community, where are they going to go?” asked Downstate member Natalie Baker. Baker and others meet with Assemblyman Karim Camara’s (D-Brooklyn) chief of staff.

Nearly a dozen UUP advocates from other SUNY campuses also made the rounds to lawmakers’ offices, pressing for more full-time faculty to meet the demands of rising enrollments at SUNY.

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