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By Jerry Mazza
crossposted at Online Journal
April 30, 2010
As I walk past St. Vincent’s hospital in Greenwich Village on 7th Avenue, it seems to be in its death throes. They are taking down the Emergency Room marquee whose red neon was a beacon to the aged and newborn, AIDS-victims, accident cases, the poor, uninsured, and everyday ill.
The 727-bed hospital was founded to serve this lower West-Side area by the Sisters of Charity in 1849, specifically to care for the poor. It is the last standing Roman Catholic general hospital in New York, apparently abandoned by the Catholic diocese, but still in the sights of more than a few predators.
Today, April 21, is a sunny, blue sky day, though darkened by this cloud of St. Vinny’s bankruptcy. It feels like a death in the family. After all, I was born here in 1938, my father born here in 1912, various members of my family were treated here during their lives. I remember St. Vincent’s conducting triage for victims of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the September 11, 2001, leveling of the World Trade Center and Tower 7, caring for our extended family of New Yorkers.