Political leaders join fight to keep Mount Vernon Hospital open

The possible closure of Mount Vernon Hospital is getting national attention as political leaders join the fight to keep it open.

News 12 Staff

Jul 19, 2020, 7:52 PM

Updated 1,403 days ago

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Political leaders join fight to keep Mount Vernon Hospital open
The possible closure of Mount Vernon Hospital is getting national attention as political leaders join the fight to keep it open.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has joined forces with Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, hospital workers and other officials to try and save the hospital.
The battle has been raging since late last year, when Montefiore Health System announced plans to close the 121-bed hospital and build a $41 million emergency and ambulatory care facility about a mile away.
Registered nurse Sheila Skinner has worked at Mount Vernon Hospital for 32 years.
"This hospital is important," says Skinner. "It helped me raise my children, it helped me care for this community. I love this hospital."
The possible closure also comes at a time of heightened concerns. Schumer says that as of Friday, there are 2,700 cases of COVID-19 in Mount Vernon - which has the highest poverty rate in Westchester County.
Supporters say the issue goes far beyond the closure of a hospital. They say it is a matter of greed, economics and racism.
"Mount Vernon is one of the Blackest and brownest communities north of the Mason-Dixon line," says Patterson-Howard. "And for us to sit back and accept this type of treatment, it is not going to happen! We're ready to have a conversation, but we are also ready to fight!"
Meanwhile, Montefiore Health System has said that the hospital is still open and seeing patients, and that no official closure plan has been submitted to the state.
"In the face of the greatest public health crisis we've had in 100 years, where it has deeply impacted the Black community, you do not close down hospitals and restrict access to health care," says Schumer.


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