A Nurse-Patient Praises St. Vincent’s
I am a registered nurse licensed to practice in the State of New York. In 2008 my health faltered and I was hospitalized in St. Vincent’s. Being a nurse I could judge that the standard of care given to me was truly remarkable in the excellent delivery of the science of medicine and nursing, and the best in compassionate care, just as Mother Elizabeth Seton would have given it.
That is why the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital is a real tragedy for New Yorkers. The trustees should have aligned themselves with the Archdiocese of New York instead of the Archdiocese of Brooklyn/Queens. The former has more clout. The finances of the hospital could have been worked out without the hospital closing its doors forever.
I was in the auditorium when a gentleman from an outside consulting firm broke the news to staffers that the hospital was closing for good. Where were the Trustees at that meeting? Only two nuns were present to be the shock absorbers. Where was the President of St. Vincent’s? He had an office on the ground floor in the Coleman building. But he was nowhere to be seen. And so far we have not received any official statement from Mayor Bloomberg about the closing of our beloved hospital. It will go down as one of the worst things in New York history.
I have nothing but admiration for all the people who are keeping up the fight to prevent the razing of the hospital. Where are the Catholics who should be standing up to preserve the history of the hospital? I am a cradle Catholic—born and raised Catholic and a practicing Catholic—but I am wondering why the Catholics are not making their collective voices heard in this fight.
If New Yorkers will tolerate razing a hospital to build condos, then we are the worse for it. Please, we all need to put our resources together to prevent the hospital from being bulldozed.
Cecilia K. Gullas, R.N.
Rhoda’s Right, Keep Up the Fight!
Just read the letters to the editor of the January edition and read your comment to Rhoda. [“Keep Fighting!”] I just want to add my voice: Thank you for keeping us informed about St. Vincent’s. What could possibly impact our neighborhood more than this monstrosity and the loss of a real hospital? No other paper has done this.
I can’t believe that it isn’t obvious to everyone, especially the mayor, that a hospital is necessary for all of downtown Manhattan, not just the West Village!!
I have lived in this neighborhood since 1965 and have always counted on that hospital being there in emergencies. Your continued headlines on this project make it must reading.
We must also let it be known to as many people as possible that Chris Quinn and Scott Stringer sold us down the river on this one. I will never vote for either one again. We need to support people who are on our side. Keep up the good fight!!
Toward a New Village Hospital
Babe Ruth once said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Despite the tremendous efforts by those who stand to benefit from the collapse of St. Vincent’s telling us we cannot have a hospital and we should stop trying, we’re getting there!
In fact, we now have the promise of a two-bed hospital. That means two things. First, we have won in our efforts to get a hospital, and second, there’s still lots more work to be done.
Because of the work of the community, the Rudin Condo Machine has been forced to admit that the Lower West Side needs a real hospital, to replace St. Vincent’s, to care for the people who live and work here. The Rudins, who will be building residential condos at the St. Vincent’s site, have offered to help create a hospital, but it would only have two beds. Two. We’ve got to do better than that.
We accept the Rudins’ admission (at last) that we need a hospital in our community. Now we’ve got to talk realistically about the number of beds. But we’re optimistic. We’re almost there.
With the help of the people of our community, we have moved on the hospital replacement front, from zero (the Rudins’ first offer), to an urban care center, whatever that is, to a hospital-less emergency room, illegal under New York State law, to an emergency room with a two-bed back-up hospital.
Now we need dozens of hospital beds to care for the people who will come to the New Village Hospital emergency room and can’t be sent home right away with a band-aid and an aspirin. We need a real hospital, and you, dear neighbors, can help.
On Thursday, February 9, we will have a day of action at the City Council. We will meet at 10 a.m. on City Hall steps and then fan out to all the Members of the City Council in their City Hall offices.
Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx and Staten Island will soon have the same problem that we have here on the Lower West Side of Manhattan unless the City Council takes action now.
They have to say NO to condo development until the hospital problem is resolved—to the satisfaction of the Lower West Side residents.
Hospital planners must take local residents—all over the city—into the conversation on hospital location. That will be the theme of the day.
Thursday, February 9 at 10 a.m., City Hall Steps.
I’ll see you there!
Last month, WestView described a 16-page Villager supplement as a collaboration between Editor Lincoln Anderson and the P.R. firm retained by Bill Rudin, SKDKnickerbocker. The supplement, “Progress Report,” was not a collaboration but Anderson’s own selection of contributors. In fact, there has been a parting between Rudin and The Villager’s publisher, John Sutter. Anderson informs WestView that Rudin Executive Vice President John J. Gilbert, III, in pressing for editorial coverage, referred to the “nice ads” he had given The Villager, which incensed Sutter, who later told the staff that his paper could not be bought by a few Rudin ads. WestView regrets the error.