Lenox Hill to run urgent care center at St. Vincent's

April 27, 2010 4:11:29 AM PDT
It's not the quite the life-saving move supporters were hoping for, but St. Vincent's Hospital will not be completely lost. The hospital is set to close this Friday -- but about two months from now, it will reopen as an urgent care facility -- thanks to an award of $14 million in grants.

Governor David Paterson announced the award of the funds Monday.

The new urgent care facility will initially be run out of St. Vincent's Hospital and later move to another permanent site in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.

"Once again, managers and operators in our health care system have taken the initiative to fill in the gaps left by the closure of a key provider in the community. These projects will create a new model of care that will maintain access to urgent care services on the West Side of Manhattan and expand access to primary and preventive medical care," Governor Paterson said. "I thank the St. Vincent's Task Force members for providing valuable input and feedback as we developed the application and evaluated the proposals we received."

Lenox Hill Hospital, which will operate the new urgent care center, will receive $9.4 million in funding to help provide round-the-clock care, seven days a week, to the Greenwich Village community.

Lenox Hill has pledged to operate it for a minimum of five years following the initial two-year grant period.

Lenox Hill will be joined in this undertaking by North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Care Inc., which will operate 24/7 transportation for patients in need of inpatient care or more elaborate acute care.

A second award of $4.6 million will support the expansion of services at four well-established clinics in the St. Vincent's service area: the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center on West 18th Street, the Ryan-NENA Community Health Center on East Third Street, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in Chinatown, and the Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center on 10th Avenue between 45th and 46th streets.

Grant funds will pay for renovation and expansion of the four sites and for additional clinical staff, which will enable the facilities to provide as many as 75,000 additional patient visits a year to the community ? the equivalent of a 20 percent expansion.

State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said: "Now that St. Vincent's emergency department is almost completely closed, we have a better sense of where patients will be going for care. The services to be provided by Lenox Hill Hospital and the Callen-Lorde, Ryan and Charles B. Wang community health centers will help people who have relied on outpatient and emergency room services at St. Vincent's to maintain access to care when urgently needed and to find a medical home for primary and ongoing care."

The State Health Department (DOH) will continue to monitor health care services and will work with the State Office of Mental Health to analyze whether further investment will be needed in the community for emergency care and psychiatric services.

Four proposals were received in response to the Request for Grant Applications issued on April 9. The funds will be administered by DOH and the Dormitory Authority under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL NY).