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Carter's View

According to an article by Carl Campanile in today's edition of The New York Post, St. Vincent's Hospital "has received letters of intent from health-care provides to assume control of its Westchester facility, as well as its home-health agency and nursing-care programs throughout the metro area."

The article said that insiders at the hospital "stressed that services at the facilities being sold will continue under a different provider" and also said that "in- and out-patient mental health services at the main hospital would stay intact."

"'Today's news marks a significant step in our attempts to reduce St. Vincent's debt and focus on the core services we provide in order to encourage potential partners to help us continue providing quality health care on the West Side of Manhattan,' said St. Vincent's restructuring officer Mark Toney," the article added, noting that "since the acquisitions have not been finalized St. Vincent's declined to release the names of the new medical provides who will take over its properties."

The hospital has about $700 million in debt services and the sale of these units would help reduce that but it is not clear it will resolve its financial problems.

Continuum Health Partners, a consortium of five hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn, withdew its offer last month to take over St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village and close down most of its emergency room and inpatient services.

According to an article by Anemona Hartocollis posted February 4 at, "Stan Brezenoff, president of Continuum Health Partners, a consortium of five hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said in a letter to Henry J. Amoroso, the president and chief executive of St. Vincent's, that he was withdrawing the offer because of what he said had been a negative reaction to it from both the State Health Department and St. Vincent's own board."

Continuum's offer had been submitted January 22 and its plan would have moved St. Vincent's inpatients to its hospitals, St. Luke's Roosevelt and Beth Israel.

Many civic organizations and local politicians said they were opposed to the Continuum plan, arguing that Greenwich Village and the West Side of Lower Manhattan should not be without an emergency room and inpatient services and the article said that many of them "accused Continuum of being more interested in shutting down competition and improving its own finances than in saving neighborhood health care."

"In his letter," the article continued, "Mr. Brezenoff expressed pique that St. Vincent's was considering looking for other offers, believing that this would turn Continuum's offer into a bargaining chip. He made it clear that his offer had been a take-it-or-leave-it one."

St. Vincent's 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.