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New Medical Facility Planned for St. Vincent's Site

By DNAinfo Staff on March 10, 2011 12:30pm  | Updated on March 11, 2011 4:57am

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — A new medical facility could be coming to the site of the old St. Vincent's Hospital.

The center, to be called "North Shore-LIJ Center for Comprehensive Care," would be housed in the O'Toole Building, on Seventh Avenue between West 12th and West 13th streets, as part of a massive redevelopment deal with the Rudin real estate family.

The medical complex would include a 24/7 emergency department, a full-service imaging center and an outpatient surgery facility, according to a statement announcing the deal Thursday.

North Shore-LIJ Health System will put $100 million toward the project and the Rudin family will provide an additional $10 million to build the facility, the statement said.

A rendering of the proposed St. Vincent's Triangle park with the planned
A rendering of the proposed St. Vincent's Triangle park with the planned "North Shore-LIJ Center for Comprehensive Care" in the background.
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Courtesy of the Rudin Family

But not everyone was happy about the arrangement.

"This is what we have feared," Steven Greene, a spokesman for the Coalition for a New Village Hospital, said after the announcement. "The plan is just a glorified urgent care center representing itself as much more."

The center would not admit patients overnight and people suffering from major trauma, heart attacks or stroke would have to be transferred to other hospitals after being stabilized, LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam confirmed.

"It's as if you were having a heart attack and you went to the doctor's office," former St. Vincent's nurse Eileen Dunn said of the proposal. "Lives have been lost already because of the closing of St. Vincent's and lives will continue to be lost."

However, Dr. Andrew Sama, North Shore-LIJ's chair of emergency medicine, insisted that the center would be able to fully serve all but a small minority of emergency patients.

Lynam defended the decision not to open a more expansive medical facility, saying that the St. Vincent's only treated "one or two" trauma cases per day in the period before it closed.

The agreement was part of a larger real estate deal, which would turn over the hospital's former Manhattan campus to the Rudin family. That deal, worth $260 million, includes a plan to develop approximately 300 apartments and five brownstones in the vacated space on West 12th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

In addition to providing money and space for the comprehensive care center, the Rudin family has proposed building a new park at the St. Vincent's triangle on Seventh Avenue, between West 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue, and a new 564-seat elementary school at West 17th Street and Sixth Avenue.

St. Vincent's Hospital closed in April 2010 after 160 years serving Greenwich Village.

The North Shore-LIJ Center for Comprehensive Care is expected to open in fall 2013, pending approvals, Thursday's statement said.

In the meantime, Lower West Side residents can seek basic medical care at the newly-opened urgent care facility located at 121A West 20th St, which is also run by LIJ.