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St. Vincent's To Receive $6 Million Booster Shot

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TWC News: St. Vincent's To Receive $6 Million Booster Shot
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Governor David Paterson announced Monday that the State Assembly and private sources are coming up with $6 million to keep cash-strapped St. Vincent’s Hospital running temporarily.

The governor says that will give a task force more time to come up with a long-term solution.

While the governor's office tells NY1 that task force hasn't met since February 17th, hospital officials say the task force has been meeting by telephone daily.

The Greenwich Village facility is $700 million in debt and the governor had originally given the task force a month to come up with a rescue plan.

Supporters who rallied Monday outside the hospital said they still don't have a firm date when the landmark institution could close.

"The nurses need to rally because we need to be together. This has been a very stressful situation for all of us for the last couple of months,” said St. Vincent's Nurses Association President Eileen Dunn.

"I've been employed here for the last 20 years, so basically I grew up here at St. Vincent's; it's a family," said another hospital worker. "It's sad what's going on. But the real issue is the impact it's going to have on the community."

Union employees have already agreed to a 10 percent pay cut for the next four months and non-union workers have agreed to slice salaries as much as 25 percent.

"The Health Commissioner Danes could be a little more helpful as well in terms of getting involved and really putting the state back in a place where compassion and health care is of value," said Lorraine Seidel of the St. Vincent's Nurses' Union.

The hospital has already laid off 300 unionized and non-unionized workers.

A previous deal to buy the hospital and phase out its emergency care facilities was abandoned after much criticism.

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