The first thing Google suggests when you type in Harlem currently is "Harlem Hospital." So of course locals would be upset at the rumors that the financially troubled hospital would be closing. So let's be clear everybody: Harlem Hospital is not closing. It is just, like most hospitals these days, going through a tough time.
To help squelch the rumors the Hospital held a town hall meeting last weekend and everyone was invited. Seriously, not only were State Sen. Bill Perkins and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer on hand but so was Rep. Charles Rangel (an admitted "Johnny-come-lately" to the concerns).
The hospital’s executive director, Dr. John Palmer, reviewed the causes of Harlem Hospital’s troubles for the audience—which include the budget deficits in New York, Medicaid cuts in general and the hospitals disaffiliation with Columbia University (the two had been entwined since 1962)—summing up “as you reduce funds coming in and revenues coming in, you can no longer provide the staffing and services you need. Part of HHC’s plan is to reduce and consolidate services, preserve necessary medical services and create centers of excellence to improve the quality of care provision.”
In the end though the core message seems to be "yes, the hospital is going through some pains right now but don't worry. It isn't going to be the next St. Vincent's.