Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center

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Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center
Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers (Saint Vincent's) was a healthcare system, anchored by its flagship hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, locally referred to as "St. Vincent's". St. Vincent's was founded in 1849 and closed in 2010. It was a major teaching hospital in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village in New York City.

It consisted of several hospital buildings and a number of outpatient facilities, had more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, including 70 full-time and 300 voluntary attending physicians, and trained more than 300 residents and fellows annually. It was the designated provider for New York and New Jersey members of the U.S. Department of Defense Health Plan. St. Vincent's 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 3rd oldest hospital in New York City after The New York Hospital and Bellevue Hospital. As a Catholic hospital, St. Vincent's was officially sponsored by the Sisters of Charity and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn On April 6, 2010, the Board of Directors of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, headed by Alfred E. Smith IV, voted to authorize the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan inpatient services including all acute, rehab, and behavioral health. The vote came after a six-month long effort to save the financially troubled institution. The remaining parts of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, including its nursing homes, home health agency, St. Vincent's Hospital Westchester, and US Family Health Plan, will continue to operate without interruption, but these entities will be sold to other providers systems. St. Vincent’s employees were notified of the hospital’s intent to close on April 7, 2010. On April 9, 2010, the hospital stopped accepting ambulances. It stopped accepting inpatient admissions and elective surgery on April 14, 2010, and the next day it began limiting emergency care to treating and releasing patients or transferring them to other hospitals if they needed to be admitted. On April 19, 2010, more than 1,000 staff were laid off, which represents approximately one-third of the hospital's workforce. On April 14, 2010, St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The petition, filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, showed liabilities of more than $1 billion.

Former facilities
  • St. Vincent's Hospital: a 758-bed tertiary care teaching hospital, at Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Avenue on the border of Greenwich Village and Chelsea. It included:
    • Level I Trauma Center and Critical Care Center,
    • Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center,
    • Level III Neonatal ICU,
    • The Pancreas & Biliary Center,
    • Comprehensive Cancer Center (Now- Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center),
    • Comprehensive HIV Center, and
    • Full service emergency department.
    • Inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and addiction services
  • St. Vincent's Hospital (Westchester), a behavioral health facility, in Harrison, NY.
    • Behavior Health Residential Services, a 500 bed community housing and case management program based at Bayley Seton Staten Island, with units in the five Bouroughs and Westchester.
  • 4 skilled nursing facilities, including
    • Bishop Mugavero Center for Geriatric Care in Brooklyn,
    • Holy Family Home in Brooklyn, and
    • St. Elizabeth Ann's Health Care & Rehabilitation Center in Staten Island.
    • Monsignor Fitzpatrick in Queens
  • Pax Christi Hospice in Staten Island.
  • SVCMC Home Health Agency, a comprehensive home care service providing care in all five boroughs of New York City.
  • Several outpatient medical and substance abuse treatment centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester and the Bronx.

St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan was founded as a medical facility in 1849. Its namesake was St. Vincent de Paul, a seventeenth-century French priest, whose religious congregation of the Daughters of Charity inspired the founding in Maryland in 1809 of the Sisters of Charity by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a native New Yorker and Roman Catholic convert. Forty years after its founding, four Sisters were dispatched to New York City to set up a charity hospital in the city to meet the demands of the poor and disadvantaged. What began as a humble thirty-bed hospital in a small brick house on West 13th Street of Greenwich Village expanded over time to become a major medical and research center. It maintained its connection to the Roman Catholic tradition, and was sponsored by the Bishop of Brooklyn and the President of the Sisters of Charity of New York. St. Vincent is the designated patron saint of charities, hospital workers, hospitals, and volunteers. The SVCMC network was formed in 2000, when St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, formerly the St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center of New York, merged with Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens and Sisters of Charity Healthcare on Staten Island, which included St. Vincent's Hospital (Staten Island), Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens, St. John's Queens Hospital, Saint Joseph's Hospital in Queens, St. Mary's Hospital of Brooklyn, and Bayley Seton Hospital in Staten Island. In 2003 St. Clare's Hospital was affiliated, and renamed St. Vincent's Hospital (Midtown), but it was closed on August 1, 2007. St. Mary's Hospital of Brooklyn closed on Sept 23, 2005; Mary Immaculate and St. John's closed on March 1, 2009. In 2005, under financial pressure from its charity involvements, burgeoning administration costs, and rising health care costs, the SVCMC system filed for bankruptcy. The system launched an aggressive reorganization effort, selling or transferring its money-losing facilities and focusing development on its main hospital, which allowed it to emerge from bankruptcy in the summer of 2007. In the name of modernizing and restructuring, it also announced plans to build a new Manhattan hospital across the street from the current facility, with a planned opening set for 2011. The plan had been a source of contention with several neighborhood groups, such as the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Municipal Art Society , but the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the residential components of the plan in July 2009. On January 27, 2010 it was announced that the hospital's financial situation had soured further and desperate measures would be required to keep the hospital open. The hospital reached out to Continuum Health Partners, a part of Beth Israel, and to Mount Sinai Medical Center to consider taking over ownership of the hospital, both of which ultimately declinied. Senators, city council members and congressional representatives all got involved in attempting to save the hospital. However, On April 6, 2010, the board of directors voted to close inpatient care services at St Vincent's Catholic Medical Center, and to sell its outpatient services to other systems. The emergency room stopped accepting ambulances on April 9, 2010 and the last baby was delivered on April 15, 2010. On April 30, 2010, at 8 AM, the emergency room at St. Vincent's closed, officially shutting down the hospital after 161 years of service to the residents of New York.

Medical Education
SVCMC served as one of two academic medical centers of New York Medical College. It offered a well-respected residency and fellowship program, and also served as a clerkship facility for students of medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Residencies Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Combined Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Primary Care, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Nuclear Medicine, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Pathology, PM&R, Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Radiology, General Surgery, Transitional. Fellowships Cardiovascular, Critical Care, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology/ Oncology, Infectious Disease, Pulmonary. Allied Health Programs CPR, Advanced Life Support, EMT, Paramedics, Nuclear Medicine Technology.

Drawing on its Roman Catholic heritage, SVCMC's emphasis was on patient-focused healthcare, with a special mission to provide care for the poor and disenfranchised. " Respect: The basic dignity of the human person is the guiding principal in all our interactions, policies and procedures. Integrity: Integrity is the consistency between the Catholic identity we profess and the ways in which we act it is that quality of truthfulness, which fosters trust. Compassion: Compassion is the way we share deep concern, love and care toward each person. Excellence: Excellence is our way of demonstrating that we can always be more, always be better."

Notable programs
St. Vincent's HIV Center As one of the first institutions to address and treat HIV and AIDS in the 1980s, St. Vincent's HIV Center was one of the oldest, most experienced and most renowned HIV treatment programs in the US. It provided coordinated outpatient and inpatient primary care and case management services to HIV-positive adults, pregnant women, and children, and also provided HIV prevention services, AIDS education programs, HIV clinical research, and support groups. In addition, SVCMC developed the unique Airbridge Project, which coordinates care for HIV-positive patients who make frequent trips to Puerto Rico. Due its close proximity to Chinatown, Manhattan, two miles away, SVCMC has had close ties to the Chinese community throughout its history. In an effort to reach this underserved population, the hospital opened an independent Chinese-speaking inpatient unit, which employed physicians and nurses who spoke Cantonese and Mandarin. They also opened an outpatient facility in Chinatown, provided a free shuttle service from Chinatown to the hospital, and offered Chinese-focused healthcare services such as Acupuncture and Chinese traditional meals. One of the most comprehensive and renowned CF programs in the city, the Saint Vincent's Cystic Fibrosis therapy program offered care for patients with cystic fibrosis and attracted patients from around the region. The Perinatal Hospice was founded in 2007 to meet the needs of parents who discover early in pregnancy that their baby is nonviable outside the womb, and yet chose to carry their baby to term. Closely linked to the Bioethics Institute at New York Medical College, The Conley Ethics Department was a leader in the study of clinical medical ethics and spirituality in healthcare. Chaired by Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, the department strove to integrate the biopsychosocial model of healthcare within the SVCMC system. Because the hospital was founded and manned through much of its history by nuns, its hospital chapel was a primary focus of the hospital architecture, and was symbolically nested at the very center of the hospital. The Chapel, named for St Elizabeth Ann Seton, offered daily Mass and refuge for patients and hospital staff. Responding to the unique needs of an urban population, SVCMC instituted a program to help patients provide for the pets during their stay in the hospital. Animals were either walked and fed in patient's home, or were relocated to care facilities or short-term foster homes. The Comprehensive Cancer Center provided prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery of a variety of malignancies, with a focus on preventing inpatient stays through careful outpatient monitoring. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, even stem cell transplants were provided as day procedures, along with 24 hour emergency care.

Building Activity

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