Statement From the New York State Health Department Regarding St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan
The State Health Department has worked with St. Vincent's Hospital over a period of years with the goal of keeping vital health care services available to the people of Greenwich Village. St. Vincent's has not remained competitive within its market, and its financial losses continue to mount.
We have repeatedly discussed with St. Vincent's management and its Board of Directors that in order to continue their health care services and public health programs, they need to restructure their programs. St. Vincent's came to the conclusion that they are no longer viable as a stand-alone community hospital and that they needed to seek a corporate partner in addition to restructuring.
It is the fiduciary role of St. Vincent's management and their Board – not the State Health Department – to restructure the hospital for future success. The Health Department cannot force them to act or join into a partnership; nor can we twist the arms of other hospitals to join with St. Vincent's.
The State Health Department does, however, have a responsibility to ensure that the residents of the West Side of Manhattan continue to have access to quality health care services. In that regard, we will evaluate any proposal that the Hospital brings to us, and any viable proposal would have to be debated publicly by the Public Health Council before it is approved.
The Manhattan Borough President is misinformed. Commissioner Daines has no financial connection to Continuum Health Partners. He has not been employed by Continuum Health Partners for three years. State ethics law requires a two-year recusal by state officials from issues involving former employers, and he has abided by that. Any implication that he has a conflict of interest is wrong.
The Manhattan Borough President is welcome to join the Department in its efforts to work with St. Vincent's to find a solution, particularly if he can provide the $5 million to $10 million a month needed to keep St. Vincent's operating – because that's how much they're losing every month.