There were some leaks before that announcement last month
May 13, 2016 - Nurses from Mount Sinai Beth Israel made emergency calls to The Villager on Tuesday.
It wasn’t to provide medical care — but rather to let the newspaper know what they say is already a done deal: that the historic hospital will close, and “sooner rather than later.”
Official word may come extremely soon, the nurses said.
“They are going to make a big announcement before the end of the month,” one of them said. “We anticipate this is coming next week.”
The closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital in 2010 is still being viscerally felt on the Lower West Side. It’s almost unfathomable then, that so soon afterward, the Downtown area could now also lose Beth Israel, its lone remaining large hospital.
Last June, as The Villager first reported — based on the tip of a concerned reader who heard it from his doctor — hospital officials were telling staff that the Beth Israel campus would be sold and that the hospital would be rebuilt nearby. In a way, it all sounds a bit similar to what happened with St. Vincent’s, where ambitious plans to build a new state-of-the-art hospital tower fell through, shortly after which St. Vincent’s closed under a mountain of debt.
According to three veteran Beth Israel nurses who contacted The Villager this week, hospital administrators kept up the rebuilding mantra until a couple of months ago — when the narrative abruptly shifted dramatically, and it was learned that the place would be shuttered for good. Now, no one is saying much at all.
The article from June 2015:
June 18, 2015 - A Villager subscriber tipped the newspaper off this week that big changes are afoot at Beth Israel Hospital. Basically, doctors affiliated with the hospital, at E. 16th St. and First Ave., are saying that its administration hopes to rebuild the hospital, ideally at a spot nearby or, failing that, at the current site.
One doctor told the reader that “Mount Sinai Hospital is planning to sell the property Beth Israel is on and relocate the hospital.”
Providing further details, another doctor informed him that, “At a recent meeting of the Beth Israel medical staff, the C.E.O. told them that the plan is to build a state-of-the-art new hospital one block north of the present hospital. Apple, Google and other high-technology firms are to be involved. The plan is to keep the present hospital open until the new hospital is completed and then sell the property. If they cannot get the necessary governmental approvals or secure the new land needed, they will renovate the present hospital.”
The Villager reader spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to identify the two doctors, saying he feared causing a problem for the doctors and jeopardizing his relationship with them.