By Scott Hensley
St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan, the last full-service Catholic hospital in New York, will close, after years of financial losses and mounting debts.
The hospital's board voted Tuesday night to shutter St. Vincent's inpatient services, but will continue to offer outpatient care, including the operation of an HIV/AIDS center, while it looks for a partner to keep them running, WNYC reported. Elective surgeries will stop on April 14.
The hospital, a fixture in Greenwich Village, was founded in by four nuns in 1849 to treat cholera victims and to provide charity care for the poor. More recently, St. Vincent's was on the front lines as AIDS emerged and its emergency department served a pivotal role in the treatment of casualties from the Sept. attack on the World Trade Center.
The hospital has amassed about $700 million in debt and defaulted on a bankruptcy reorganization plan when it missed a payment to a trust fund to cover medical malpractice, according to WNYC.
"Eight separate budget cuts from New York state over the last two years and the worst recession in many decades have combined to present St. Vincent's with some serious financial challenges," said Henry J. Amoroso, CEO of St. Vincent's, Crain's New York Business reported in February.
The beleaguered hospital sought protection under Chapter 11 in 2005, emerging from bankruptcy two years later.
The financial strain and St. Vincent's inability to find a partner threatened to push the hospital into bankruptcy again. With money running out and no solution in sight, the hospital's board decided to close the facility.