By Lincoln Anderson Regarding the impact of St. Vincent’s Hospital’s closure, there’s no denying there has been an increase in the number of patients local hospitals are seeing in their emergency departments. Jim Mandler, a spokespers

by the politicians in Albany for many years. Now when

Volume 80, Number 5 | June 30 – July 6, 2010

West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Webb speaks the truth

To The Editor:

Re “St. Vincent’s postmortem: Why Village hospital

died” (news article, June 23):

Thank you, Arthur Webb, for coming forward.

I was the president of the nurses union at St. Vincent’s.

Arthur Webb treated us with the utmost respect at all

times. Thank you again, Arthur, for your candor and for

explaining the situation. Now everyone knows that I have

been telling the truth and that St. Vincent’s was doomed

I speak, maybe the local politicians will listen; I haven’t

been spewing lies and I certainly am not just a disgruntled

employee. My persistence is driven by the injustice done

to my patients on the Lower West Side.

As a union, we complained about the consultants and

the misuse of funds all the time. We were never given

answers, and that was way before January 2010. The

downfall of St. Vincent’s started many years ago and was

a calculated demise perpetrated by many.

Eileen Dunn

Dunn is a board member, New York State Nurses


Thanks, but we’re doomed

To The Editor:

Re “St. Vincent’s: The facts” (editorial, June 23):

The facts… . We will never, ever, ever, ever, ever know

the facts. Thanks for the editorial. It does not change the

fact that New York City is doomed without the charity

of St. Vincent’s Hospital. No more words than that are


Penelope Carter

Postmortem hardly finished

To The Editor:

Re “St. Vincent’s postmortem: Why Village hospital

died” (news article, June 23):

I applaud The Villager’s ongoing coverage of all the

twists and turns that ultimately led to the demise of St.


There are still some questions in need of answers:

Was St. Vincent’s decision to absorb failing Catholic

hospitals the single historical determinant of the hospital’s

sorry financial state?

Was that decision voluntarily reached by the Sisters of

Charity or was the archdiocese calling the shots?

Was the lack of transparency and accountability of

the hospital leadership throughout this period due to the

Catholic Church’s hierarchal and opaque culture?

Why have the hospital’s development efforts been so

feeble for so many years, especially in light of the fact

that implicit in the plans for a new hospital were plans

for a massive fundraising drive?

What did Mayor Bloomberg know that led him to stay

on the sidelines?

In light of the Sisters of Charity’s commendable commitment

to serving the poor, where should any new medical

facility be located in Lower Manhattan to serve the

residents of communities like Chinatown?

There is a need for more multifaceted postmortems

that engage more internal and external stakeholders and

that get experts to ultimately gauge what went wrong

and tell us what lessons can be gleaned to ensure quality

healthcare for New York’s most vulnerable residents.

Hopefully, The Villager’s coverage has seeded a greater

will for such an undertaking.

Michael Seltzer

H.I.V. Center going strong

To The Editor:

Re “St. Vincent’s postmortem: Why Village hospital

died” (news article, June 23):

Regarding the H.I.V. Center, the reality is that the

medical leadership, 13 out of 15 doctors and the vast

majority of staff have chosen to affiliate with Mt. Sinai

— along with 75 percent of the patients, judging by panel

sizes of physicians. We are alive and well, serving our

patients, with no break in care in the exact same space

at 203 W. 12th St.

Barbara Johnston

Johnston is associate director, Mt. Sinai Comprehensive

H.I.V. Center

A casualty of wars

To The Editor:

Re “St. Vincent’s postmortem: Why Village

hospital died” (news article, June 23):

By admission of its own workers, St.

Vincent’s Hospital’s billing department

was in a shambles, outmoded, disorganized

and with lack of proper oversight to

collect the millions the hospital was owed

over the years. Labor and the union took

all the big hits in terms of saving money

and have been given less than they deserve

in return. There was bloating at the top,

and a lot of gasbags did walk away with a

lot of money. Don’t be fooled about that.

Lastly, St. Vincent’s demise should alert

us to the society we live in, particularly

since 9/11. No institution is invulnerable

to the forces of either the marketplace or

the increasingly free-market, dog-eat-dog,

we’re-all-in-this-alone mindset.

Certainly, the Sisters of Charity set a

standard that no one, either at the top or

bottom, can match in our presently shabby

world, where 53 percent of our 2011

$3 trillion budget will be spent on defense

in pointless wars. That is the real reason

hospitals all over America are closing and

healthcare is declining, like everything

else. Perhaps the man for change at the

top could reset his priorities to a more

domestic agenda, rather than continuing

the war of the worlds.

I was born in 1938 at St. Vincent’s

Hospital. My father, Jerry Mazza Sr., was

born in 1912 at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

Various members of our family lived and

died in the arms of St. Vincent’s.

Jerry Mazza

N.Y.U.’s Bronx bungle

To The Editor:

Re “Neighbors take chops at N.Y.U.

fourth-tower plan” (news article, June


N.Y.U’.s cries of pressure to continue

to build in the Washington Square “core”

area of Greenwich Village are bogus,

a canard in its campaign to overtake the

community like some feudal lord.

Once upon a time, in a fi efdom far,

far away, N.Y.U. had a traditional-style,

tree-studded campus in the Bronx called

University Heights. It was the jewel in the

university’s crown, supposedly as close to

Ivy League as it gets.

Among other amenities, the Heights featured

the Hall of Fame for Great Americans,

a national shrine designed by Stanford

White — who, ironically, designed

the Washington Square Arch.

The selling point for that school was

that it “represented the best of two worlds”

— the city’s cultural offerings, a subway

ride away, and a countrifi ed, self-contained

academic setting. Students considered

themselves N.Y.U.’s “elite”; holding

a degree from University Heights, versus

“Downtown,” was a mark of prestige.

Recklessly, N.Y.U. sold the campus to

CUNY in 1973.

Does the Bronx location make a

degree from the Heights any less valid

or less N.Y.U.-affiliated? Obviously

not. And, as Greenwich Village Society for

Historical Preservation Director Andrew

Berman demonstrated with superimposed

maps at June 21’s Community Board 2

meeting, most peer institutions’ footprints

are signifi cantly larger than the university’s

present one.

N.Y.U., the university-choked community

is speaking — rather, screaming — its

opposition to further development here.

And opportunities not only knock; they

should be knocking you out. The Bronx

is much more remote from Greenwich

Village than, say, the Financial District. If

in doubt, use MapQuest.

Susan M. Silver

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to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity

and libel. The Villager does not publish

anonymous letters.