A clinic exclusive to Hudson Yards community draws criticism



Hudson Yards development on West 33rd Street and 11th Avenue. Photo: Lizzie Mulvey.













Plans for a health center exclusively for employees and residents of Hudson Yards are drawing major criticism from locals who oppose the center’s restrictions on access.

Members of Community Board 4 are concerned that the clinic, set to open in early 2019, will unfairly deny much needed healthcare services for residents in the surrounding community, which has seen several hospitals close in recent years.

Following the announcement of the new health clinic in March, the Human, Health and Housing Services, a subcommittee of CB4, met in June with Mount Sinai and Hudson Yards developer, Related Companies, to express opposition to the center’s exclusionary policy. Mount Sinai deemed health services to be sufficient in the district, but CB4 said that Mount Sinai has a responsibility to provide care to all members of the community, and is planning to continue its fight to change the clinic’s policy.

“There are not enough health centers in this neighborhood already,” said Scott Sternick, a resident of Hell’s Kitchen. “There is one walk-in clinic and one hospital uptown and that’s it,” he said, referring to Ryan Health and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, both in Midtown. “To be excluding residents is not okay.”

Two hospitals in the community, St. Vincent’s Midtown and St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, in Greenwich Village, have closed in the past ten years, requiring residents to seek emergency care outside of the district. St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, which closed in 2010, regularly treated uninsured and low-income patients, raising concerns about adequate health services for financially-strapped families in the district today.

Jesse Bodine, district manager of CB4 confirmed that the board’s primary objective is to remove the center’s policy of exclusivity and guarantee access to all members of the general public, a sentiment echoed by local residents.

“I cannot go there but they can come to my hospital if they get hurt in my neighborhood? I do not agree with that,” said Natasha Lyndia, a Mount Sinai patient who lives on West 54th Street. “They should accept all patients, they should not deny anyone, period.”

Employees of Hudson Yards who aren’t full-time might not be able to use the clinic either. A press release about the health center doesn’t specify if contract workers would have access to its services. Roman Gonzalez, a construction worker at Hudson Yards, said he’s concerned.

“When you get hurt, especially when you are bleeding, you do not want to waste time. The exclusivity really bothers me,” he said. Through its completion in 2025, Hudson Yards will employ over 23,000 construction workers, according to the company’s website.

Some full-time employees of Hudson Yards have mixed opinions about the health clinic. Sydney Lim, who works at VaynerMedia at 10 Hudson, said, “Personally I would not use the health center because I have my own doctors that I have been going to for a while.”

Jessica Schneider, who works for L’Oreal in Hudson Yards, confirmed she would utilize the health clinic if they take her insurance. “It would definitely help for days, like today, when I have strep throat and had to take two hours off of work to see a doctor.”

Community Board 4 plans to meet with Mount Sinai and Related Companies again to reiterate their opposition and discuss potential alternatives to the proposed health center. But no date has been set yet for a meeting and a public review of the clinic is not required. Mount Sinai and Related Companies were not available for comment. Regarding next steps, Jesse Bodine said, in an email,  “CB4 will continue to advocate for possible alternatives to the proposed Hudson Yards health center.”