Monday, October 24, 2011

#Occupy St. Vincent’s


The Coalition for a 

New Village Hospital 

joins #Occupy Wall Street and

Healthcare for the 99% Working Group and

Hands Off St. Vincent’s to

#Occupy St. Vincent’s

A Teach-in on the direction of health care in New York and the USA and a call to restore a hospital at the site of St. Vincent’s

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 5:30 PM

At the site of the old St. Vincent’s Hospital

7th Avenue at West 12th Street

 

Teach-in participants will be joined at 6:00 PM by marchers from the

March Against the Health Insurance Industry

organized by Healthcare for the 99%

 

March Details:

·        4:00 PM Zuccotti Park/Liberty PlazaShare your personal struggles with our healthcare system

  • 4:30 PM – Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield / One Liberty Plaza: located across the street from Zuccotti Park, Empire is a subsidiary of WellPoint, the largest publicly-traded health insurance company.
  • 5:30 PM – WellCare / 110 5th Ave: the for-profit company that administers Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs in New York and other states. Currently being investigated for fraud with estimates that WellCare illegally siphoned $400 million to $600 million from state health insurance programs for the poor.
  • 6:00 PM – Teach-in at St Vincent’s Hospital

Don’t allow our hospital to be turned into luxury 
Condos for the 1%.
Stand Up. Fight Back. Teach In.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DNAInfo: Village Hospital Coalition Joins Occupy Wall Street Protesters



October 3, 2011 3:18pm | By Andrea Swalec, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer


MANHATTAN — The lead group calling for the return of a full-service hospital to Greenwich Village has thrown its support behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters, an attorney representing the group said.
Dozens of members of the Coalition for a New Village Hospital demonstrated in lower Manhattan's Zucotti Park Sunday afternoon and brought food to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, coalition lawyer Yetta Kurland said.

"Those of us who are fighting for a hospital in the Village can really relate [to the protesters]," Kurland said. "We have a shared concern about lack of oversight of business interests."
Members of the hospital coalition will demonstrate in the park intermittently, added Kurland, 43, a one-time City Council candidate.

"We have come here today with neighbors, friends and other members of the Coalition for a New Village Hospital, including doctors and nurses, to offer our support and stand in solidarity with you, and all who are fighting to protect the public interest," the group said in a statement.

The coalition, which has more than 8,000 members, aims to restore a comprehensive hospital to the Village.
Rudin Management and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital's plan to build a medical complex containing a 24-7 emergency department, full-service imaging center and outpatient surgery facility is currently undergoing community review through the city's public land use procedure.

Eileen Dunn, a coalition member and former St. Vincent's nurse, noted in the statement that anger about the actions of corporations led her to demonstrate.

“For decades we have seen our jobs, our dignity and our healthcare sacrificed at the altar of corporate greed," she said in the statement. "It is time to stand up. It is time to occupy Wall Street. It is time to demand a hospital."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

DOH Public Hearing streaming Live

Today'sNYS Dept. of Health, Public Health and Health Planning Council 
hearing on the Rudin/North Shore-LIJ Certificate of Need can be seen streaming live at:


 http://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=nysdoh

Don't like what you're seeing?  Sign the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/commissioner-new-york-state-department-of-health-deny-ns-lijs-application-for-a-certificate-of-need-project-111531.

Monday, September 19, 2011

IMPORTANT MEETING THURSDAY 9/22

 PUBLIC HEARING 
NYS Public Health and Health Planning Council 
Committee on Establishment and Project Review
Thursday, September 22, 2011, 10 AM
90 Church Street 4th Floor Rooms A/B 
Prior registration (see below) and photo ID required

 

Re:  Certificate of Need (CON)  Project # 111531
This final public hearing by New York State Department of Health is held specifically to   receive comments from  the community about the NorthShoreLIJ/LenoxHill proposal (CON) to  substitute  a "free-standing emergency room" as the replacement for  St. Vincents Medical and Trauma I Center at the site of the former O'Toole Clinic Building on the westside of 7th Ave and 12th. Street.**

IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT OUR COMMUNITY'S VOICE BE HEARD HERE!


To register, call Colleen Frost at (518) 402-0964  or e-mail PHHPC@health.state.ny.us and give reference CON Project # 111531
 
 If you intend to speak, bring a copy of your statement to leave at the hearing.
Also, it would be helpful to let us know if you plan to come and have registered others, too. 

COME EARLY - THIS PROJECT IS CLOSE TO TOP OF AGENDA

Speak or submit statements about why a drive by
Emergency Room Without a Hospital  leaves the West Side of Manhattan without a hospital from Battery Park to Columbus Circle putting every resident, employee and visitor at risk in the case of a medical emergency.  )

**The Rudin group plans to demolish the former St. Vincent's east side campus on 7th Avenue and 12th Street to build 450 luxury condos (without affordable housing mix!).
Questions: Please call 212-924-5258 or 917-301-1158
Remember:  Your attendance bears witness to our need for a hospital/trauma One center and you are representing those many who cannot be present at the meeting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Community Objections to St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project

Below are some of the objections filed with the New York City Planning Commission in opposition to the Rudin Organization's plan to build 450 luxury condominiums at the site of the former St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan.

Included are the objections from the Coalition for a New Village Hospital, Community Board 2, and Democracy for New York City.


Community Objections to the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coalition for a New Village Hospital Submits 3,500 Petition Signatures, Comments in Opposition to Rudin Condo Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Yetta G. Kurland, Esq.

Kurland, Bonica & Associates, P.C.

(212) 253-6911

Coalition for a New Village Hospital Submits 3,500 Petition Signatures, Comments in Opposition to Rudin Condo Plan

West Village, NY. July 12, 2011. The Coalition for a New Village Hospital submitted 3,500 signatures to the New York City Planning Commission yesterday along with an 11 page position paper in opposition to the Rudin’s plan to develop St. Vincent’s Hospital into luxury condominiums. They petition called upon the CPC to deny the Rudin Organization’s plan alleging that it would violate law, deny lower Manhattan with desperately needed health care and overtax the current infrastructure in the area with the additional 450 luxury units the plan proposes.

The petition, viewable online at: http://www.change.org/petitions/a-hospital-not-condos-for-nyc, highlights that the Rudin application “does not include a hospital. As such, it does not comply with the requirements of the 2009 LPC ‘judicial hardship’ approval. Nor does it comply with the provisions of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code in that this sale and the proposed Rudin plan does not continue the charitable mission of SVCMC as it is required to, namely to provide a full service hospital.”

Online signatories (the majority of signatures were gathered on paper) had the opportunity to comment as well. Many of the comments spoke to resident’s personal experiences at St. Vincent’s, and more recently in the absence of a hospital.

Fred Hersch wrote: “St. Vincent's saved my life three times. It should be there for others.”

Rosemary Rowley said: “What we need is health care, not more upscale housing to burden all ready overburdened services.”

The petition was supplemented by formal comments from the Coalition for a New Village Hospital’s attorney, Yetta Kurland.

Those comments, viewable at http://demandahospital.blogspot.com/2011/07/comments-on-coalitions-petition-to-cpc.html, focus on the various land use, zoning, public health and nonprofit law deficiencies in the Rudin’s application, and called upon the City Planning Commission to reject the application.

In a statement, Ms Kurland said, “The Rudin Condo plan does not comply with the law, and it does not comply with common sense. This location is clearly well suited for hospital use – and has been for 160 years. There can be no doubt that the interests and public health of the City of New York would be irrevocably damaged if this flawed, illegal plan is permitted to proceed.”

###

Comments on the Coalition's Petition to the CPC

View below the powerful comments from our community on the coalition's petition to the City Planning Commission.


Comments on CNVH Petition to NYC CPC Opposing the Rudin Condo Plan for St. Vincent's

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CB2 Landmarks/St. Vincent's Meeting tonight!

Community Board Two's St. Vincent's Omnibus and Landmarks committees are having a joint meeting tonight to discuss the Rudin/LIJ plan's changes to the landmarked O'Toole building. This is integral to their plan. Please attend, and ask them not to allow the Rudin's to change the exterior of the O'Toole building until they guarantee a hospital across the Street.

TONIGHT, Tues., 7/5 @ 6:30 PM– NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Pl. Room 208

  1. *30 Seventh Avenue (O’Toole Building)-Application for fa├žade changes and new entrances. For more information go to: http://bit.ly/iNUSWj
Hope to see you there. Thanks.

Friday, July 1, 2011

What happened at that City Planning Commission meeting?

Well, it was a packed house, and the Coalition for a New Village Hospital spoke loud and clearly. Every speaker except one supported the Coalition position that there should be no condo development in the absence of a full service hospital.

The Coalition also delivered over 2,500 petition signatures to the CPC from community members who couldn't make the midday meeting. (Speaking of which, please join us tomorrow to get more signatures...).

It was a very encouraging meeting, and the commissioners seemed engaged. For a fantastic, thorough write-up of the meeting, check out Perry Street Palace's post.

Hospital struggle continues in the courts, and the streets…

The Coalition for a New Village Hospital has not dropped it’s lawsuit

You may have read this week about a lawsuit relating to the former St. Vincent’s Hospital being dropped. The suit in question was brought by allies of the Coalition, who lacked the resources to pursue it further.

We assure you that the Coalition for a New Village Hospital has not dropped our challenges to the Rudin Condo plan in the courts, in the streets in City Hall or at the NYC Planning Commission.

In fact, at this week’s City Planning Commission scoping meeting, community members filled the halls speaking passionately in opposition to the Rudin Condo plan and of the need for a full service hospital. The tone of the discussion and the parameters of the debate were set by our voices. The Coalition delivered over 2,500 signatures on our petition to the Planning Commission, gathered in only a few days.

Please take a moment to sign the online petition now: http://www.change.org/petitions/a-hospital-not-condos-for-nyc. Or just click the petition widget to the right.


Then, join us the rest of the Coalition for a New Village Hospital

at our big street petitioning drive tomorrow


Tomorrow, Saturday, July 2, 2011

12:00 PM– 4:00 PM

Meet at Tea & Sympathy

108-110 Greenwich Avenue

between Jane and Horatio Streets (MAP)

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Petition Drive: Tell CPC to Deny Condo application

The Rudin's Plan is not a done deal, and it is at a crucial phase. We need you to raise your voice as the Rudins try to sneak their condo plan by.

The Rudins have submitted their illegal plan to convert the site of the old St. Vincent’s Hospital to 450 Condominiums to the NYC City Planning Commission. The plan lacks a Certificate of Appropriateness, lacks relevant lawful permission to proceed and does not include adequate resources for the health and welfare of New York City’s population.

Tell the City Planning Commission to deny the Rudin’s Condo application by signing this online petition right now: http://www.change.org/petitions/a-hospital-not-condos-for-nyc.


Then, join the Coalition for a New Village Hospital

at our big street petitioning drive tomorrow


Tomorrow, Saturday, June 25th

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Meet at Tea & Sympathy

108-110 Greenwich Avenue

between Jane and Horatio Streets (MAP)


Then, next Tuesday, please join me and the Coalition as the City Planning Commission begins the review of the Rudin application. This meeting is an essential part of the ULURP, or Uniform Land Use Review Process, to rezone the site of our hospital for condo development. The Planning Commissioners have not yet heard the depth of our community’s opposition to the Rudin plan. It is vital that they begin this process with our voice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 2:00PM

New York City Planning Commission,

Public Comments on Draft Scope of Work

to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement

for the Saint Vincent’s Campus Redevelopment


Spector Hall, Department of City Planning,

22 Reade Street, Between Broadway and Centre Street (MAP)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 23rd & 28th - Two important meetings for our hospital

As he Rudins and North Shore/LIJ push ahead with their plan to build 450 condominiums on the site of the old St. Vincent’s, the Coalition for a New Village Hospital needs to be present at every stage. This week there are two important meetings that we need to have a strong showing at.


1)

Thursday, June 23rd 6:00PM

Community Board 2, Full Board meeting


P.S. 3, 490 Hudson St. between Christopher and Grove Streets (MAP)
The public session begins at 6:00 pm. Speakers' cards will be accepted from 6:00 to 6:30 pm

This meeting will include the report from the St. Vincent’s Omnibus Committee, and discussion of CB 2 response to Draft Scope of Work for Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project. It is important that our community’s voice be heard.


2)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011, 2:00PM

New York City Planning Commission,

Public Comments on Draft Scope of Work

to Prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement

for the Saint Vincent’s Campus Redevelopment


Spector Hall, Department of City Planning (NYCDCP),

22 Reade Street, Between Broadway and Centre Street (MAP)


The City Planning Commission is the agency responsible for “the conduct of planning relating to the orderly growth and development of the City, including adequate and appropriate resources for the housing, business, industry, transportation, distribution, recreation, culture, comfort, convenience, health and welfare of its population.” The Rudin/North Shore LIJ plan lacks a Certificate of Appropriateness, lacks relevant lawful permission to proceed does not include adequate resources for the health and welfare of New York City’s population.


This meeting is an essential part of the ULURP, or Uniform Land Use Review Process, to rezone the site of our hospital for condo development. The Planning Commissioners have not yet heard the depth of our community’s opposition to the Rudin/North Shore LIJ plan. It is vital that they begin this process with our voice.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New York Times on Emergency Room Crisis

Roni Caryn Rabin at The New York Times wrote an important article today, on the dire loss of emergency rooms and services, primarily to poor, urban populations. The article, which draws heavily on a new study in in the Journal of the American Medical Association, goes into some detail on the situation at the former St. Vincent's. Coalition for a New Village Hospital steering committee member Dr. David L. Kaufman is quoted in the story on the impact these closures have on patient care.

Below are some key points, but the entire article is worth reading at
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/health/18hospital.html


Fewer Emergency Rooms Available as Need Rises

By Roni Caryn Rabin,

Hospital emergency rooms, particularly those serving the urban poor, are closing at an alarming rate even as emergency visits are rising, according to a report published on Tuesday.

Urban and suburban areas have lost a quarter of their hospital emergency departments over the last 20 years, according to the study, in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 1990, there were 2,446 hospitals with emergency departments in nonrural areas. That number dropped to 1,779 in 2009, even as the total number of emergency room visits nationwide increased by roughly 35 percent.

...

New York City lost three hospital emergency rooms in 2008, two in 2009 and two more last year, when St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan in Greenwich Village closed, followed by North General Hospital in Harlem. St. Vincent’s had handled more than 60,000 emergency visits a year, while North General’s E.R. had recorded 36,000 annual visits.

A 24-hour emergency care and ambulatory surgery center, operated by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, is planned for Greenwich Village. Neighborhood advocates have expressed concern that the free-standing emergency room will not be able to deliver adequate care without the backing of a full-service acute-care hospital.

The new study warns of delays in emergency care that are already playing out in the community, said Dr. David L. Kaufman, a member of the Coalition for a New Village Hospital who worked at St. Vincent’s for more than 30 years. Patients who would have sought care at St. Vincent’s, he said, “take longer to get to nearby hospitals in New York City traffic. They’re waiting many, many hours to be seen and managed, and if they require admission, they have to wait another 12 to 24 hours because there are no beds.”

...

So-called safety-net hospitals that serve disproportionate numbers of Medicaid patients and hospitals serving a large share of the poor were 40 percent more likely to close.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Petition To Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

Please take a moment and sign this petition calling on our Attorney General to stop this sale and ensure safe and adequate public health for the people of the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/New-Village-Hospital-Schneiderman/

News broke recently that St. Vincent's Hospital wasted over $25 million paying the people in charge of bankrupting the 160 year old institution instead of simply running a hospital.

In fact, according to a Crain's New York Business, St. Vincent's paid its representatives $8 million to secure a $7 million loan from the state pre-bankruptcy and then almost immediately filed bankruptcy so it didn't have to pay any of it back.

Recently, the Rudin Organization proposed a plan to turn the hospital campus into luxury condominiums. Only a small portion of one of the eight buildings would include a "stand alone" emergency room - a far cry from the hospital our community needs. This scheme violates the obligation to continue St. Vincent's charitable mission. Further, there are serious risks associated with such a facility, which would be the fist of its kind allowed in New York State.

A hospital, properly run, would bring revenues into the state and create thousands of much needed jobs. Yet despite all this, and our community's clear need of a hospital, the same bankruptcy court that allowed the scandalous payouts to St. Vincent's executives and consultants, has given the Rudin's the green light to proceed.

Thankfully there are mechanisms in place for accountability, and Linkmany hurdles yet between The Rudin Organization and their condos. The Coalition for a New Village Hospital will be at every one of these steps, demanding a hospital.

In the next step in this process, the Rudin plan must go before our New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. Luckily, Eric Schneiderman has made very clear that he supports our community's efforts for a hospital.

But he will not act if we do not ask him to. Please sign the online petition today, post it on Facebook, Tweet it, and forward it around to all you friends and neighbors.

For people who are less digitally inclined, there's a downloadable PDF of the petition below. Please print that out, gather signature, and send it to the Coalition's office at 304 Park Avenue South, Suite 206, New York, NY 10010


CNVH: Petition to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Consultants, Lawyers, Others Made Big Money out of St. Vincent's Demise

From Crains New York Business.


Bankrupt St. Vincent's pays millions in fees

Law firms, investment banks, accountants, real estate brokers and other advisers in the shuttered hospital system's dissection have been paid about $17 million since last year's bankruptcy filing.

By Barbara Benson

Published: May 10, 2011 - 3:09 pm

The profits that eluded Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers when the hospital was alive are being realized after its death—by a small army of law firms, investment banks and advisers. Just over a year after it filed for bankruptcy protection, SVCMC has paid out about $17 million in fees to lawyers, accountants, investment bankers and real estate brokers.

Just last week, the judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings signed off on the latest round of fees billed by professionals working on the case. The tab: $5,460,793.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel took in $2,706,986 for its work as bankruptcy counsel for the final quarter of 2010. The law firm voluntarily discounted its fees by 10% in recognition of St. Vincent's charitable mission. The law firm's write-offs came to more than $350,000 for the three-month period, according to court documents.

Other big earners were investment adviser Cain Brothers & Co., which netted $701,000, and law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, representing the creditors committee, which was awarded fees of $488,024. Garfunkel Wild, which also discounted its fees by at least 10%, took in $409,398. CBIZ Accounting Tax and Advisory of New York and CBIZ Inc. billed $381,621.

...

Full Story at http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110510/FREE/110519987

Monday, May 2, 2011

Remarks from Dr. David L. Kaufman at the Rally to Demand a Hospital


Remarks from Dr. David L. Kaufman at the Rally to Demand a Hospital

West Village, New York City, April 30, 2011.


Well here we are again, this time to sadly honor this one year anniversary. Luckily it’s a gorgeous day---very reassuring to know that the Bankruptcy Court and the Rudins can’t also control the weather. They can’t “fix” that…

What I want to talk about today will be lots of numbers, numbers that can rule and ruin our lives. And I want to emphasize that every statistic I give comes from the US Census, the NYS DOH or NSLIJ. These facts can tell many stories, and numbers can have great but simple power and speak the clear truth. So stay with me and I’ll try not to go too fast. Oh, and there will be a quiz on the numbers at the end.

365 days ago Greenwich Village and the entire Lower Westside was plunged into a health crisis. For 52 weeks we have had no easily accessible emergency services, trauma services, hospital beds, none of the broad range of medical, surgical, psychiatric, and ambulatory services that St. Vincent’s provided to all in need. Over the last 12 months, the 61,394 people previously cared for in the St. Vincent’s Emergency Room have had to travel through traffic one to five miles in trips lasting twenty to sixty minutes to get emergency services where they have been forced to wait on average over five hours before being seen and then, if admitted, often wait another 12-24 hours for a bed to become available. How many people never made it to an ER? How many suffered in pain while waiting for care? How many had more damage to their hearts or brains because of delays in transport, triage, and management? How many died?

Last year, 70% of the patients admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital came from the Emergency Department. Let me crystal clear here: that means in 2009, an incredible 13,572 people were so sick, so acutely ill that they required IMMEDIATE admission for treatment of their heart attacks, strokes, pneumonias, perforated organs, injuries, etc. What has happened to those 13,572 patients over the last 52 weeks? Does anyone really know?

In 2009, St. Vincent’s hospital admitted a total of 19,388 patients. In 2009, St. Vincent’s Hospital had an average daily census of 340 patients. That means 340 people from our community were sick enough to be hospitalized every single day of the year. Where have all those patients gone? How far have they had to travel, how badly has their care been delayed and disrupted?

Of course, the NYS Dept Of Health, the NSLIJ hospital system, the Rudin Organization, our elected politicians—Cuomo, Bloomberg, Duane, Gottfried, Quinn and the rest—our elected leaders supposedly responsible for our community’s health and welfare---of course THEY don’t have any of those answers. Suddenly their statistics machine is broken, their multimillion dollar PR operations are eerily silent. No answers. Nothing. What has happened to the concept of holding officials, be they appointed, elected, corporate or non-profit, responsible and accountable?

Instead of answers, our community has been supremely insulted. These people are offering us an urgent care center, a doc in the box on steroids, a turbocharged clinic. They further insult us by calling it an Emergency Room. And then, talking to us like we are ill mannered children, they insist we are lucky to even get this, that it’s better than nothing. I will not, again, go through all the reasons they are wrong, all the ways they are deceiving us and all the life threatening risks of their generous offer. Read the flyers, read Westview, and then think about this: can their Comprehensive Care Center, their free standing emergency room treat 61,394 people a year, can it house 19,388 patients sick enough to require inpatient care, can it deliver the life saving, critical care that 13,572 poor souls required in the emergency room in 2009. These are not rhetorical questions, these are not melodramatic questions-no, no, these are life and death questions and the lack of answers, the utter disregard of these facts puts my life and yours in danger every day.

OK, time to move on to a different set of numbers. Are you ready? OK, here we go. According to the data collected by NSLIJ, the Lower Westside and the so called primary service area of St. Vincent’s hospital has a population of 385, 000 and the hospital had about 380 operational beds. 385,000—I want you to remember that number and also keep in mind that it does not even include the estimated 500,000 additional commuters and tourists that come to the Lower Westside every day. 385,000.

Now, we going to take five mile trip to the Upper East Side and East Harlem, an area geographically defined by the Harlem River to the North, the East River, south to 59th street and west to 5th Ave. The population of those two communities totals 325,286 people, 60,000 people less than ours. What do all those people do for healthcare—what are the hospital and Emergency Room resources in their community? Hold onto your hats and try not to faint as I read you these statistics:

· NY Presbyterian Cornell Weill Hospital –867 beds and full service emergency room

· Mt. Sinai Hospital—1171 beds and a full service emergency room

· Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—437 beds and a full service emergency room

· Metropolitan Hospital—341 beds and –you guessed it—a full service emergency room

· Hospital for Special Surgery –172 beds and limited emergency services

· And finally, last but certainly not least, we have Lenox Hill Hospital, NSLIJ’s latest acquisition with 652 beds and another full service emergency room

Can anyone guess how many beds that adds up to? Are you ready? 3,940. Yup, that’s 3,940 beds for 325,286 people or one bed per 82 persons. Oh, and I almost forgot, FIVE full service emergency rooms with all the bells and whistles, all the medical and surgical backup required to do the job right.

What do we have? NOTHING. We have zero beds for 385,000 people or close to a million if you include the commuters and tourists. I want to make sure you all got that: it’s zero bed per 385,000 as compared to one bed per 82. In some circles, that would be called criminal policy and planning. I suspect most third world countries have better bed ratios than zero per 385,000.

So what can be done? We are up against a government mindset that insists New York State has too many hospital beds, that the only way to solve our financial healthcare problems is to close beds and hospitals. Let’s just assume that the DOH and the so called healthcare experts are correct. How do they implement this decision, how do they get rid of beds? It’s a fair question and one would think that experts like these would approach the challenge rationally and carefully. But, the utterly astonishing fact is, they do not. They give no thought to the distribution of beds—all they care about is shutting them down. Community needs, bed per person ratios, socio-economic issues are all irrelevant. How else explain the behavior of a our city and state officials, of that guardian of your health and mine, the DOH, -- how else explain their decision to leave all 385,000 of us with NO hospital, NO Emergency Room, No critical services, while five miles north of here there are 4000 beds for 60,000 less people? Incredible and shameful.

So here is my proposal. Let’s get rational, let’s act responsibly, let’s plan intelligently, and let’s all work together—our community, the Rudins, NSLIJ, our elected and appointed officials—let’s solve this absurd situation so that everyone wins. NSLIJ has taken over Lenox Hill Hospital in a community that, as I have just described, is practically drowning in beds. The DOH would be absolutely correct in stating that the Upper East Side is way overbedded, that the situation is not financially sensible or sustainable. And Lenox Hill, even with the marketing might and deep pockets of NSLIJ, will be hard pressed to compete with the likes of Sinai, Sloan, Hospital for Special Surgery, and NY Hospital. But, hey look around you—behind me is a huge empty hospital campus, across the street is another 160,000 sq ft of empty space, and all around me are 385,000 patients—customers—with no hospital, no services, and we are desperate for help.

So-I say to NSLIJ, come on down.

Move the entire Lenox Hill Hospital downtown. Bring the doctors, bring the nurses, the support staff, the beds, the fancy equipment, bring it all, and we will fill your beds. We’ll even be getting a lot of our great St. Vincent’s docs back since Lenox Hill recruited so many of them. And in exchange, let the Rudins move uptown to build their condos. Talk about prime real estate---we’re talking 76th and Park Ave, doesn’t get much better than that. And if NSLIJ doesn’t need the entire St. Vincent’s campus, well, they can throw the Rudins a building or two to develop down here. Just think about it---at a minimum it’s bed neutral but they could probably do it with 400 beds, so we actually close another 250 beds—hooray. I’m not a banker or a mogul, but I suspect the dollars work to everyone’s benefit. And nobody loses their job, businesses would reopen in this ghost town, and we, the people, get our healthcare crisis resolved with the opening of new world class, full service hospital and emergency room. Think of the good will generated, think of the fund raising opportunities, imagine the restoration of healthcare for 385,000 people. Everybody wins, nobody loses.

Let’s all work together to create the new World Trade Center Memorial Hospital.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Westside Healthcare Coalition is a Lie

Lower West Side residents have been receiving some interesting astroturf in their mailboxes lately. It's from a group called The "Westside Healthcare Coalition". Trouble is, they don't exist. They're just a front for the real estate developers that want to build luxury condos where we need a hospital.

Don't fall for it.

West Side Healthcare Coalition is a Lie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Statement on Today's Court Decision

Statement from the
Coalition for a New Village Hospital
's attorney Yetta Kurland

We were disappointed, but not surprised by today's Court decision. While we disagree with the Court's determination, this is just the first of a number of hurdles that the Rudins will have to overcome to purchase and develop the St. Vincent's campus.The Coalition for a New Village Hospital stays principled in our stand and unwavering in our position that this community requires nothing less than a full service hospital. We will continue to unite the community toward that objective. Our April 30th rally will be a testament to the community's desire for a hospital. At the same time, we are prepared to work wiith Rudin Management and North Shore-LIJ to achieve that goal.

Delay Approval of the Rudin, North Shore LIJ Condo Deal

For: The Coalition For A New Village Hospital

Media Contact: Steven Greene

For Immediate Release



Delay Approval of the Rudin, North Shore LIJ Condo Deal


New York, NY – April 7, 2011 – The Coalition for A New Village Hospital called on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court today to delay approval of the proposed sale of former St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center site to RSV LLC, an affiliate of Rudin Management.

Said Yetta Kurland of the 7,000 member Coalition, “While recent court decisions prevent us from filing objections to the proposed sale of the St. Vincent’s property to the Rudin Management Company, we stand firm in our conviction that this community is in urgent need of a full-service emergency room and in-patient hospital. The current plan offered by Rudin Management and North Shore-LIJ falls far short of that goal. “

On April 6, The Southern District Court reaffirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s decision to bar attorneys for the Coalition from “taking any actions and otherwise proceeding in furtherance of or in connection with” related to the allegations in their earlier state court action.

Said Dr. David Kaufman, “We are fully prepared to work with Rudin Management and North Shore-LIJ Group or any other qualified buyer toward the realization of a hospital. If necessary, it would be in the best interests of the community and the creditors to re-open bidding to additional qualified buyers committed to a new hospital.”

On March 10, the Rudin Management firm announced they had partnered with North Shore-LIJ to with plans to build a walk-in emergency facility and hundreds of luxury apartments in place of the full service in-patient hospital. Community members have protested the plans citing a number of health concerns and efforts by other jurisdictions that already offer free standing emergency rooms to introduce legislation banning them because of these concerns as well as exorbitant costs associated such facilities.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WARNING! The North Shore-LIJ “Emergency Department” Plan May Be Hazardous To Your Health

For: The Coalition For A New Village Hospital

Media Contact: Steven Greene

For Immediate Release


WARNING! The North Shore-LIJ “Emergency Department” Plan May Be Hazardous To Your Health

10 Ways North Shore-LIJ Gets It Wrong

1. The North Shore-LIJ “Emergency Department”may be dangerous to your health. The trip you take to an urgent care center can cost you vital minutes that make the difference between life and death. The chances of surviving a cardiac arrest declines by approximately 10% for each minute without defibrillation. At the new North Shore-LIJ urgent care center, it may be hours before examinations, blood tests and electrocardiograms reveal an acute heart attack. Whether the ambulance trip that follows is to Beth Israel Hospital or more than 4 miles to Lenox Hill, it would be too late for the emergency intervention available at a hospital. At the end of the day, their proposed Emergency Department” is a lot like a “doc-in-the-box” urgent care center.

2. Free Standing “Emergency Departments” like the one planned by North Shore-LIJ can actually drive up medical costs. While they claim freestanding emergency rooms are less expensive to operate, there is growing evidence that they actually increase costs as the quality of healthcare declines. In states like Washington the legislature is considering putting a moratorium on using these facilities after seeing costs skyrocket.

3. You can’t take an ambulance there. How can it be a true Emergency Room if it doesn’t have ambulance services? Without large changes in laws and regulations, these types of facilities will not have ambulance service to bring in a patient. The reason: The managers of the 911 emergency system does not believe these independent ambulances are equipped to treat emergencies. To make the changes North Shore-LIJ is requesting will mean a ”freelance” ambulance system that operates separate and apart from the life-saving 911 system.

4. Emergency medical technicians will be forced to make decisions about what type of treatment you will receive before you see a doctor. If a patient calls 911, medics are going to have to make critical life decisions without the guidance of a medical doctor. If these medics are rushing patients to an “emergency room” unprepared for life-threatening emergencies, patients’ lives will be at risk.

5. It is an unregulated facility where patients without coverage can be turned away. Unlike hospital emergency departments that are obliged to accept all patients regardless of their ability to pay, private centers like the one planned by North Shore-LIJ, are legally allowed to turn away patients who have trouble paying for treatment. What’s more, they are not even required to hire union employees.

6. It will be in their interests to transfer you miles away to Lenox Hill. An emergency room helps cover its costs by admitting patients to the hospital. ERs are the major source of new admissions. It is widely understood that a “stand alone ER” like this one acts as a “feeder” to get patients. That would mean that assuming you did actually need care you wouldn’t receive it in your neighbourhood, but would be transferred by ambulance to North Shore-LIJ’s one and only NYC medical center, Lenox Hill Hospital, which is crosstown, and 4.09 miles away.

7. The emergency care they can’t provide is the care that matters most. NSLIJ claim this new “Emergency Department” will provide 95% of the care available at St. Vincent’s former ER. Importantly, that figure does not include the most important reasons patients rush to an emergency room -- acute stroke, heart attack, trauma, septic shock, respiratory failure, and other emergency events including those suffered by first responders from the World Trade Center.

8. This new Emergency Department” will treat 40% fewer patients annually in a community that’s doubled in size. Despite a doubling in the size of the community, the new center will treat only 35,000 patients per year versus 60,000 treated annually at the former St. Vincent’s.

9. Contrary to claims, St. Vincent’s was used by the majority of the community until the day it closed. In fact, St. Vincent's treated 55% of the local community in 2009, its last full year of operation, according to New York State data. This was true even while rumors were growing that the hospital would soon close.

10. A new hospital can be built at a fraction of the cost While NSLIJ claims building a new hospital could cost $2 million/bed, a global firm of engineers has estimated the cost of reinstating a hospital in the current Colman building at a fraction of the cost, and close to the cost as the\is proposed freestanding urgent care center.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Doctors Forced to Leave St. Vincent's Hospital

DNAInfo's Ben Fractenberg reports:

Doctors Forced to Leave St. Vincent's Hospital Site


WEST VILLAGE — The fate of an urgent care center set to take over the former St. Vincent's Hospital site is still in flux, but the shuttered hospital has already taken steps to force out dozens of doctors who still retain offices at the former medical facility.

Doctors with private practices in the O'Toole Building at Seventh Avenue and West 12th Street were stunned to receive letters from St. Vincent's warning them that their leases were suspended and that they would have to vacate the premises by the end of May, DNAinfo has learned.

The letters were dated March 10, the same day the hospital announced it was selling to North Shore-LIJ.

"Please note that we will be required to take action in the Bankruptcy Court to assure that you timely vacate the Unit absent your cooperation, so please provide us with advance notice of your expected departure date," the letter warns.

Doctors blasted the sudden eviction. ...

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