Efforts Underway to Respond to Potential Closing of New York Hospital and Associated Birth Center

By Rachel Walden — February 3, 2010

Following financial struggles and a move by another hospital system to take over, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan is in danger of closing.  The proposal  has met with community protest, primarily because, as one article notes, “St. Vincent’s treats a disproportionate number of poor, homeless and uninsured patients, who could be forced to go elsewhere for emergency and inpatient care.”

The potential closure has caught the eye of birth choice advocates, as St. Vincent’s houses the The Eli & Abby Manning Birthing Center, created last year to improve birth options at the facility.

According to Choices in Childbirth, St. Vincent’s is:

…currently the only hospital in the City that we know of that is taking strides toward lowering the C-section rate and offering women the option of birthing on their own time. The head of OB, Dr. Mussalli, and his partner Dr. Worth have spent the last year turning things around at St. Vincent’s; introducing the option of birth tubs, providing a home for in-hospital midwifery practices and supporting the homebirth option by signing off on written practice agreements for many of our homebirth midwives and acting as their back-up hospital when transfer from home is necessary.

The organization provides the following suggestions for those interested in becoming involved in the issue:

How you can help:

1. Please visit the new website: www.savestvincents.com and help in whatever ways are at your disposal. Here you can share stories of what St. Vincent’s has meant to you as a parent, provider, or community member. You can also write letters to elected officials

2. Choices in Childbirth is hosting a brainstorming/strategizing meeting for concerned members of the birth community in response to the potential closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital. Drs. Mussalli and/or Worth will attend as well. If you’re interested in getting involved please come to this meeting or contact us at Choices in Childbirth if you’re unable to attend.

Tuesday, February 2

6:45 P.M.

859 Broadway, 3rd floor

@ 17th street

(trains to Union Sq)

Please RSVP to laure at choicesinchildbirth dot org

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