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City Council Supports Mount Vernon Hospital

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City Council is standing behind Mount Vernon Hospital workers amid rumors that the facility might close.

Nurses at Mount Vernon Hospital urged the City Council to support them at Wednesday night's Council meeting. Nurses accused the board of directors  of the Sound Shore Medical Center, owner of the hospital, of taking better care of the hospital in New Rochelle and giving Mount Vernon the short end of the stick.

But, while Council members voiced support for the hospital, there is a limit to what the Council can do, said Councilwoman Karen Watts-Yehudah.

“My concern is that our authority as a governing body doesn’t translate what to do, but we are not powerless,” Watts-Yehudah said. “Just because we are not screaming outside with you doesn’t mean that we are not working. We need information you possess and need to pen the letters and do the investigations. We need to know the specifics of what we can do.”

Watts-Yehudah said she was not satisfied with the care her mother received at Sound Shore Medical Center when she was a patient there. She said that, should anything happen to her mother again, she wanted her taken to Mount Vernon Hospital.

Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards has had an affiliation with Mount Vernon Hospital since 1986 when he was the city’s emergency services director. Edwards said the City Council should have a representative on the hospital’s board of directors. Currently, only the mayor of Mount Vernon sits on the board.

“No one gave us an overview of what happened for years,” Edwards said. “We never knew what was happening until the sky began to fall. Things are so critical right now but there is very little we, as a board, can do.”

Council President Roberta Apuzzo said that, during the times she had to stay in the hospital it was the tenderness of the staff of nurses that kept her spirits up.

“They are so dedicated to the quality of care for patients it totally overwhelmed me,” Apuzzo said.”

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