One year to the day since St. Vincent's Hospital closed, protesters in Greenwich Village said Saturday that the “comprehensive care center” planned for the site will not be able to meet the community's needs. NY1's Grant Greenberg filed the following report.
Dozens of other Greenwich Village residents rallied on Saturday against a developer's plans to turn the old St. Vincent's Hospital into a condo complex that includes an emergency department and ambulatory surgery center.
The hospital closed its doors one year ago because of deep financial problems. Three weeks ago, a judge approved the Rudin Management Company's purchase of bankrupt St. Vincent's Hospital for $260 million.
The protesters said the emergency medical center is not sufficient, and they want a full-fledged hospital.
"What I need is a hospital with an emergency room in case something serious happens," said local Gerrie Nussdorf.
Doctors and nurses at the rally who used to work at St. Vincent's said the medical facility the developer wants to put in will not be able to treat all emergencies, like heart attacks or strokes.
"You're shot, stabbed, hit by a taxicab, you're losing blood, your blood pressure drops, you need to be in an area with specialists to take care of you," said Eileen Dunn, a former St. Vincent's nurse.
Protesters pushed petitions against the proposed project.
"I want to be able to live the remaining years of my life without permanent damage from a heart attack or a stroke and not be able to arrive somewhere safely," said Nussdorf.
A spokesman for the Rudin family said in a statement, "The North Shore LIJ-Rudin project is the best plan for the neighborhood. We're hopeful the rest of the community can get behind this comprehensive plan to restore cutting edge health care and emergency services."
The developer's spokesman went on to say the new medical facility would be able to treat 97 percent of the medical emergencies that St. Vincent's was able to treat. Construction on the facility should be complete in two years.