St. Vincent's Deal Appears Dead; But New Center to Open in Chelsea

North Shore-LIJ to Oprerate New "Urgicenter" on 20th Street

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    TK
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    A "Closed" sign is seen at St. Vincent's Hospital after the hospital closed permanently April 30, 2010 in New York City.

    It appears the deal to re-open St. Vincent's Hospital as a 24-hour clinic is officially dead.

    Instead, North Shore-LIJ Health System has agreed to create a new urgent care center eight blocks north of the former hospital, in Chelsea.

    "The State Helath Department fully expected to approve this project quickly," said State Health Commissioner Richard Daines, who had originally negotiated a $9.4 million agreement to have North Shore-LIJ convert the ER at St. Vincent's into an urgent care center.

    But as NBCNewYork first reported, that deal fell apart after St. Vincent's Board asked for more rent, and, after it requested any new tenant comply with Catholic doctrine, such as a ban on birth control.

    The new center, which North Shore-LIJ is calling an "Urgicenter," will be located at 121A West 20th Street.

    "I am pleased with the agreement," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes both the old St. Vincent's and the new health care center. "As I have said all along the West Side of Manhattan still needs a full service emergency room and hospital, but this is a good intermediary step that was facilitated by our office and the local elected officials.

    The new clinic will be staffed with North Shore-LIJ doctors and nurses, 24 hours a day.

     "Rather than locate the urgent care center in temporary space at St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center, we are pleased to partner with VillageCare to provide a long-term home for the facility eight blocks away," said Michael J. Dowling, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

    For the last few months, residents of Greenwich Village have mourned the loss of St. Vincent's, an institution on the west side of Manhattan for more than a century. The hospital tumbled into bankruptcy after losing more than one million dollars per week according to officials monitoring the health care situation.