NEW YORK (WPIX)—Dozens of people turned out Wednesday protesting the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital.
Supporters are calling on the state not to approve the hospital closing until a plan is reach to provide a health care replacement on the West Side.
St. Vincent's Hospital board of directors voted reluctantly Tuesday night to shut down the institution.
The vote came after a six-month long effort to the save the cash-strapped hospital and affects St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan in-patient services. The other facilities and programs of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers will continue to operate as the organization seeks new sponsorship to operate them as continuing service providers.
"The decision to close St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan inpatient services was made only after the board, management and our advisors exhausted every possible alternative," said Alfred E. Smith IV, Chairman of the Board of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. "We are deeply saddened that we were unable to come up with a viable plan to save the inpatient services at the hospital that has proudly served Manhattan's West Side and Downtown for 160 years."
As a result of the closure, all St. Vincent's patients will be discharged or transferred to nearby hospitals. The hospital says its main priority is the health and safety of its patients.
The remaining branches of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers -- including its nursing homes, home health agency, St. Vincent's Hospital Westchester, and U.S. Family Health Plan -- will continue to operate .
"The Sisters of Charity are very grateful to our administrators, employees, physicians, and nurses who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the mission of St. Vincent's over these difficult times," said Sister Jane Iannucelli, S.C., Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. "In addition, everyone appreciates all of the efforts made by our employees, union partners, elected officials, and community members to save St. Vincent's."
St. Vincent's has about 3,500 employees and is the last Catholic-affiliated hospital in New York City.
It was founded by four nuns in 1849 and their first patients were vicitms of the cholera epidemic and poor immigrants. St. Vincent's was also crucial in treating survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in which 146 young female factory workers died.