Thursday, January 28, 2010

Letter to Help Margaret Grace's Hospital

January 27, 2010

Dear Friends

We urgently need your help to fight against the immanent closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village. St. Vincent's has been struggling with financial problems, and now the state is threatening to sell it to a private hospital corporation who would shut down the hospital's surgical and acute care services within 60 days.

This issue is personal for us. Our daughter, Margaret Grace, is a patient in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit--one of the units that would be closed. We will be seriously affected by this.

Why is St.Vincent's worth fighting for? When we experienced a sudden rupture of Beth's amniotic sac at 18 weeks, our doctor (affiliated with another NYC hospital) dropped us from care when we said we would not terminate the pregnancy. Doctors at St. Vincent's took us in and gave us the care and encouragement we needed. The doctors and nurses in the NICU have treated us--and Grace--like family. The NICU at St. Vincent's takes in dozens of children and parents whom other hospitals have given up on. Three of our NICU mates fall into this category and are thriving. One mother has been pregnant for the last 4 years always delivering days shy of 24 weeks. At the 2 other NYC hospitals she tried, they let her first 3 babies go because of hospital policy not to intervene. Tomorrow she takes home a healthy baby whom St Vincent's
was willing to treat despite being born at 23+weeks. For babies that won't make it, St Vincent's offers a Neonatal Hospice program with free counseling, free care by the chief neonatologist, extra support for single mothers, mahogany infant caskets, and free cemetery plots from the Sisters of Charity. As people of faith who believe in the right to choose, we were shocked to find ourselves and other parents who found they weren't given a choice at other hospitals. We wanted the opportunity to parent our child with integrity through our pregnancy and possibly short life. St Vincent's was the only place we found would do that.

Beyond our personal investment, St. Vincent's mission matters to this city. Founded on 13th Street in 1849, St. Vincent's was founded to provide care for our community's poorest residents. It's mission continues to affirm that ministry: Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers is committed to reflecting God's love by advancing Christ's healing ministry, with Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence to all who come to us in need, especially the poor. In 2008 alone, St. Vincent's provided $46 million in medical care to the homeless and poor of our city. It serves 65,000 in its ER. It has one of the largest HIV/AIDS clinics.

What can you do?

Sign the Petition!
Help St Vincent's keep fighting to stay open by adding your name to the list of supporters so that New York state officials and those involved in its financial future understand it is important to many people:

Forward this email to people who will join their voices to ours!

Show up in person:

Thursday, January 28th, 12 noon at St. Vincent's Hospital, corner of 7th Ave. and 12th Street for a rally with Borough President Stringer and Council Speaker Quinn

Thursday, January 28th, 5 – 7 PM at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, 25 Carmine St. in Greenwich Village, for a public forum on the hospital's threatened closure.

We thank you and Grace thanks you!
Revs. Beth Waltemath and David Lewicki

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