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By: Adina Genn March 29, 2022
A political battle is brewing over the future of Nassau University Medical Center, or NUMC, in East Meadow.
The public hospital houses Long Island’s Level 1 trauma and burn center. It also is a safety net, serving patients who include the county’s most vulnerable population.
Now lawmakers are calling for change at the hospital, which has struggled financially for years, and stood at the center of alleged corruption charges, including, most recently an embezzlement scheme.
New York State Assemblywoman Taylor Darling and Sen. Kevin Thomas, both Democrats, have proposed legislation that they said would “preserve equitable medical treatment for all Nassau County residents,” according to a joint statement released Monday. They propose increasing the number of board members from 15 to 21, an aim to ensure that there would be “competent and qualified individuals who will professionalize and depoliticize the operations of the hospital.”
Meanwhile, Republicans say the legislation would give power to New York State to close the hospital.
Standing with union leaders, police, firefighters and healthcare workers, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, spoke at a news conference in front of NUMC on Monday.
He called the proposed legislation “a blatant political grab by the state because they want to close this hospital. That’s their game plan and we’re not going to let that happen.”
Recently, Blakeman nominated Matthew Bruderman, a major Republican donor, to chair the hospital’s board.
Bruderman has pledged to turn the hospital around.
And while Democrats say the claim that they aim to close the hospital is “outrageously false,” they do seemingly agree with Republicans on one thing: A need to fix the struggling hospital.
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