Plans to close Mt. Vernon hospital put on hold

Plans by Montefiore to close Mount Vernon Hospital have been put on hold.
The hospital was set to close this year following an announcement in 2019.
Montefiore officials tell News 12 they haven't submitted a plan to the state to close the hospital. Work to build a replacement emergency center on Sanford Boulevard are also on hold.
Civilians like the Rev. Dr. Stephen Pogue, leader of the Save Mount Vernon Hospital Committee, want to see more than a delay.
"If they're going to really save and transform this hospital, they have to put the services back in the hospital,” says Pogue.
Montefiore was planning to build a new complex for all emergency services while all other inpatient and surgeries would go to other local hospitals.
For months, the decision has led to resource and bed reductions and forced residents to visit New Rochelle and Bronx hospitals for care.
Protests began this past summer when the hospital closed its ICU amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're the jewel of Westchester, but we lose our luster when we don't have quality health care,” says Pogue.
Patient Tamika Henry also wants to see more done to keep the doors open, saying in part, “Where would we go? It's convenient. It doesn't make sense to me. It's lifesaving.”
Former Mount Vernon hospital nurse Winnie McRae knows the importance of localized health care. "As large as Mount Vernon is, it's crazy not to have a hospital here,” says McRae.
Even as it reduces services available, a spokesperson for the hospital says it's still open and serving the community.