North Shore-LIJ, VillageCare to open permanent urgent care center

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North Shore-LIJ, VillageCare to open permanent urgent care center

by Heather Mayer, DOTmed News Reporter | August 26, 2010
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and VillageCare will work together to open an urgent care center in lower Manhattan that will also offer a range of other services, the facilities announced this afternoon in an e-mail sent to DOTmed News.

If approved by the state, the urgent care center will open early this fall, just eight blocks from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital.

"We are extremely pleased that North Shore-LIJ has reached agreement with VillageCare to provide an urgent care center in the community that was served by St. Vincent's hospital," said state health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines, in prepared remarks. "The state health department fully expects to approve this project quickly so that residents will have access to these services. We look forward to working with North Shore-LIJ to make this come to fruition as quickly as possible."

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North Shore-LIJ’s efforts to jump-start the former St. Vincent's Hospital's urgent care center had been delayed, in part, due to the Catholic hospital's demands not to provide birth control or birth control advice at the center, according to reports.

Using physicians and nurses from North Shore-LIJ, the center will occupy about 10,000 square feet of the 20,000 square-foot building, open to the community around the clock.

“Rather than locate the urgent care center in temporary space at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, we are pleased to partner with VillageCare to provide a long-term home for the facility eight blocks away,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, in prepared remarks.

The center will also offer outpatient pediatric care, imaging services and sub-specialty care, including ear, nose and throat, urology, cardiology and neurology.

St. Vincent's Hospital on Manhattan's West Side closed its doors April 30, $700 million in debt. While North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has been poised to renovate the former emergency room into a temporary urgent care center, staffed by Lenox Hill Hospital, it ran into snafus over the course of the last six months.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been extremely vocal on the closing of St. Vincent’s and the delays in opening the urgent care center. Just last week, she called on the health commissioner to take action.

But now, she commends the joint effort.

“I am pleased with the agreement announced today between North Shore-LIJ and the VillageCare. This collaboration will provide 24-hour urgent health care to residents of the West Side of Manhattan,” she said in prepared remarks. “As I have said all along, the west side of Manhattan still needs a full-service emergency room and hospital, but this is a good intermediary step that was facilitated by our office and the local elected officials.”