Thursday, June 17, 2010

O'Toole's Trash

*6/18 UPDATE: A call to St. Vincent's from a major media outlet, who emailed me, reveals the hospital is auctioning off these items and they are not being destroyed.

As the goodbye notes on boarded-up St. Vincent's hospital continue to accumulate, across the avenue at the hospital's doomed O'Toole building, an outdoor courtyard has filled up with discarded medical equipment.

It's a tangled graveyard of exam tables, scales, IV stands, walkers, chairs, and much more.

I don't know what's to become of this equipment. Left out in the elements, it looks a lot like trash. And visible red stickers announce the single-word instruction: DESTROY.

While some of it may be trash, much of it looks viable. Why is this equipment not being donated to community medical clinics in poor neighborhoods in the city, or across the country? Couldn't an organization that helps set up clinics in places like Haiti take this on?


Tricia said...

What a waste. There are organizations that match up orgs looking to give away equipment with orgs in need. I've also been wondering why the lights are blazing every night in the main building if the hospital is closed & broke.

penelope said...

If those whom SVH treated and are still in need of her are deemed "TRASH", why should office equipment and other supplies be deemed more?

John said...

These pictures make me very sad. I was born at St. Vincent's in '78 and have always liked being able to walk past the place that I was born and see that it was still there. My aunt also went to nursing school there. She has had cancer for awhile now and is sadly in her final days now. Sad and ironic that she is passing just as St. Vincent's is disappearing.

Anonymous said...

Probably the cost of shipping those extremely heavy things is more than it's worth?

Anonymous said...

What is going to happen to all the buildings? Is there any chance that another hospital will take over or will everything just be sold to the real estate overlords?

Mary said...

The following is the email address to sign a petition to establish a hospital on the west side of Manhattan. Would be great if this was passed on to lots and lots of folks.

Mary said...

One reason the lights are on in the main building is that Continum or some such organization has moved their offices there and work out of some of the upper floors now.

JD said...

I know this seems like a huge waste and a shame, but think about it for a second. For it to be given to a needy hospital or something, somebody would have to
-collect all the stuff
-inspect it to make sure it's in good working order
-catalog it
-clean it (maybe sterilize it)
-find a place to store it
-find somebody who's interested in it
-package and ship it

That's a hell of a lot of work for what looks like mostly relatively low-value stuff like tables, stands, etc. It's not like they're throwing away MRI machines. By the time you get through with that, it's probably not much cheaper than getting new stuff, which is also available in the quantities and sizes you want, instead of "whatever St. V was throwing out". There's a reason most charities prefer donations of money instead of stuff.

Does seem to me like they could at least have had a yard sale or something...then again, they're probably afraid of some jerk buying something and then suing them for ten million because he claims he got a disease from it or some damn thing.

Ken Mac said...

our tax dollars at work.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i'm sure it is too much of a hassle and expense. and i feel like i'm being too idealistic for saying so. but it seems they could just call up some charitable organization that manages this stuff for needy entities.

can't be that hard.

Erika said...

I passed by the now defunct hospital a few weeks ago and snapped these photos.

The messages bring tears to my eyes.