For Immediate Release
Contact: Randi Hoffman, 212.785.0157, ext. 118
NEW YORK, Jan 26, 2010 – The 800 registered nurses who work at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in Greenwich Village fervently oppose the proposed takeover of the 727 bed facility by Beth Israel Medical Center and its parent Corporation, Continuum Health Partners. Within 60 to 90 days of the takeover, all acute care, surgical units, and emergency services would be shut down.
Hundreds of nurses from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) will protest this action outside the facility on Thursday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The hospital is located at West 12 Street between 6th and 7th avenues.
“Where would we be if the St. Vincent’s emergency room had not been not there for 9/11 and the airplane landing on the Hudson River?” said Eileen Dunn, RN, a registered nurse at St. Vincent’s and president of the NYSNA bargaining unit there. “St. Vincent’s has served the community for 160 years, and can continue to serve the community through a reasonable restructuring plan. Shutting the doors is not the answer.”
The hospital is $700 million in debt and has been struggling financially for years. Under the proposal, St. Vincent’s regional trauma center would be severely scaled back. St. Vincent’s is also designated for AIDS treatment and psychiatric care.
“This proposed takeover by Beth Israel will devastate the community by closing the only acute-care facility on the Lower West Side of Manhattan,” said John Hiltunen, RN, a registered nurse at St. Vincent’s and member of the NYSNA Board of Directors.
“St. Vincent’s is integral to the very fabric of the neighborhood and the city,” said Lorraine Seidel, MA, RN, director of NYSNA’s Economic and General Welfare program. “It is one of the cornerstones of Greenwich Village. It would be tragic to succumb to a plan which disregards the healthcare needs of this community. NYSNA nurses will do all we can to keep St. Vincent’s open.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.