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Carter's View

Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers has hired Grant Thornton, a consulting firm, to advise it on a restructuring to return the institution to fiscal solvency, according an article by Barbara Benson in yesterday's edition of Crain's New York.

The article said a statement by Alfred Smith IV, the chairman of the institution, "made clear that the hospital's president and chief executive Henry Amoroso is no longer leading the hospital," adding that "that job will fall to Mark Toney, national managing partner of Grant Thornton's Corporate Advisory and Restructuring Services" division.

Mr. Smith was quoted in the article as stating that "There's no question that Saint Vincent's is facing the most serious test of its 160-year history, and that we must substantially adapt to meet the financial and health care challenges of the 21st century."

Mr. Smith said that the institution's board "is behind Grant Thornton in helping steer our venerable institution through what is sure to be a difficult process so we can emerge as a provider of quality health care for the West Side of Manhattan."

The board took the action, the article said, "as a way of establishing a neutral party to bring all the stakeholders together," but the article added that the action "may also be a prelude to a second bankruptcy filing as a means of dealing with $700 million in debt."

The institution has been involved in a protracted controversy over its proposed expansion in Greenwich Village and its intention to demolish the Edward and Theresa O'Neill Medical Services Building designed with nautical motifs on the west side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. Its plan finally won approval recently from the Landmarks Preservation Commission after various revisions, but a lawsuit brought by some civic and preservation organizations seeking to block the plan is still outstanding.

There was no indication what the hiring of Grant Thornton implies for the institution's expansion plans that included an agreement with the Rudin organization to redevelop some of its properties as residential condominium apartments.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.