Prognosis for Beth Israel: New E. 13th mini-hospital
By Lincoln Anderson
nswering mounting questions about the future of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, on Wednesday, Mount Sinai Health System announced a $500 million investment to create a new “Mount Sinai Downtown” health network — the centerpiece of which will be a new, much smaller hospital on E. 13th St.
The new Downtown network, a press release said, will “usher in a sweeping transformation of care delivery from river to river below 34th St.”
As has been rumored and reported over the past year, the current Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital — which occupies the full block of prime Gramercy real estate between E. 16th and E. 17th Sts. and First Ave. and Nathan D. Perlman Place — will eventually be sold, a P.R. spokesperson confirmed.
In turn, the key feature of the new plan is a vastly scaled-down Mount Sinai Downtown Beth Israel Hospital to be built on the site of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai — specifically, on the site of its residents building, at 321 E. 13th St. The press release said the new hospital would be built at E. 14th St. and Second Ave. However, the spokesperson confirmed that the plan is for it to be built at the residents building site.
The Eye and Ear Infirmary extends from E. 14th St. to E. 13th St. along Second Ave., with its north building located on E. 14th St. and its south building on E. 13th St.
An Eye and Ear employee who spoke to The Villager last week, however, said staff there had been previously told that the infirmary’s south building was being eyed for a smaller-sized hospital — but that plan apparently was up in the air. Mount Sinai recently told staff living in the infirmary’s 14-story residents building on E. 13th St. that they would have to vacate by the end of August.
In addition, a number of Beth Israel nurses had told The Villager two weeks ago that they were being told all the rebuilding plans were now totally off the table and that the plan was simply to close the hospital — and soon. Beth Israel’s Gilman Hall residence, at E. 17th St. and First Ave., which is currently being emptied, was reportedly being considered as a site for the new hospital, as well, at least until recently. This Tuesday, Crain’s reported that Gilman Hall has now been put on the market for $80 million.
All proceeds from property sales are to be funneled back into the nonprofit Mount Sinai Health System.
All the employees who spoke to the newspaper in the past two weeks had accurately predicted that a major announcement on the hospital and infirmary was imminent.