Pols reach out to Health chief

Elected officials last week urged the new state Department of Health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, to help local efforts to restore healthcare services to the Lower West Side after the closing 10 months ago of St. Vincent’s Hospital in the Village.

“We believe our community needs an acute-care hospital and emergency room,” said the Jan. 28 letter to Shah signed by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Richard Gottfried, state Senator Tom Duane, Borough President Scott Stringer and Congressmember Jerrold Nadler.

The letter goes on to say that North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and the Hunter College School of Public Health are examining access to healthcare and gaps in service in the wake of St. Vincent’s closure.

“As we move forward we request that the [state] Department of Health work with us to address our community’s unmet needs,” the letter says.

The letter also asks Shah’s assistance in expediting HEAL NY grants authorized last year for healthcare clinics in neighborhoods surrounding St. Vincent’s. Four federally qualified healthcare centers that were awarded the HEAL NY grants still have not received the promised funding, the letter says.