Unconvinced by data from hospital

Input from barrier island residents gathered in three packed meetings was overwhelmingly in favor of building a small, full hospital in Long Beach [“Residents sue FEMA,” News, July 13]. South Nassau Communities Hospital ignored the voice of the people.

It’s disingenuous for South Nassau to invoke the Federal Emergency Management Agency alternative-use clause. This clause was designed expressly as a workout for a small percentage of Hurricane Katrina victims. Just because South Nassau’s legal team found this FEMA clause doesn’t make it moral to invoke it.

The study South Nassau used to project hospital usage for a 50-bed hospital in Long Beach is flawed, as is the poll the company paid for to justify the free-standing emergency room and proposed medical pavilion. The study used the year 2013 as its basis; this makes the study questionable and invalid. In the first six months of 2013, 40 percent of barrier island residents were still displaced by superstorm Sandy.

The disquieting question is, were the data gathered to support a foregone conclusion?

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As for the poll, only 300 winter residents were questioned. The population of 42,000 grows by 33,000 in the summer. I believe this invalidates the poll.

Kathleen A. O’LearyLong Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Beach to Bay Civic Association, which is suing FEMA over the hospital funding.