10
Jun
10

THE DEATH OF ST. VINCENT.


St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York City referred to as “St. Vincent’s”. Was a major hospital in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village in New York City. St. Vincent’s was founded in 1849 and closed in 2010.

Yes you read correctly closed. St. Vincent’s http://www.svcmc.org/ if you lived in New York City this was the primary admitting hospital for those injured in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. St. Vincent’s was the third oldest hospital in New York City after the New York Hospital http://www.downtownhospital.org/ and Bellevue Hospital. http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/facilities/bellevue.shtml

And as of now it’s no longer in service. A hospital that would take anyone in for medical care, if you was homeless or unemployed with no medical insurance that was not an issue. Unlike other hospitals when you walk in and the first thing they say to you is. “What type of medical insurance you have?”

For St. Vincent’s Hospital that was the last question they would ask, and if you told them that you had no insurance it was never an issue with the hospital. You could have just made a small donation of whatever you could afford at the time, and they would absorb the rest of the cost.

Other services they provided were. A comprehensive cancer center, HIV center, a chapel that was within the center of the hospital and would perform weekly and Sunday mass for hospital staff and patients. As well a hospital pet care program, if you were sick and had to stay in the hospital for a few days or weeks. Just inform the staff that you had a pet at home and they would provide for the pets during your stay in the hospital. Animals were either walked and fed in the patient’s home, or were temporary relocated to care facilities or short-term foster home.  And so many more services they offered, too many to list I feel.

My question is “Why did such a great hospital have to close?” It did so much for the city and was there for everyone’s time of need regardless of race, class structure, life style. What is left of the hospital is just so sad to see right now. Doors boarded up and locked closed. The ambulance fleet is just left outside on the street, signs from people who wanted the hospital to remain open. I too wrote a message on the wall expressing my sorrow about the hospital closing, it read.

“Wendell,

I remember the days when I use to come visit you here when you were very sick with AIDS. And every time you came into this hospital to the point of near death. They always managed to bring you back to life to see another day. R.I.P. Wendell and St. Vincent.

Luis”

When my friend did finally pass away he was not in the care of St. Vincent. Such a great service to the community should not have ended and I feel that other hospitals should learn a lesson from this institution on the care and treatment of people. Is this what health care is all about now? The closing of hospitals? I only hope this is not going to be a new trend for New York City or any other place for that matter.

Below are a few photographs of what is left of the hospital.

The above photo is the main entrance into St.Vincent.

Main lobby of St. Vincent hospital now empty.

The ambulance fleet is just left outside on the street

Signs from people who wanted the hospital to remain open.

Main entrance for ambulance fleet and trauma center now closed.

Side entrance to St. Vincent and sign left on ambulance window.

St. Vincent’s hospital. I wanted to show the size of this hospital. This complex was very large.

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