Bayley Seton Hospital

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Bayley Seton Hospital
Sisters of Charity/Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center
Bayley Seton Hospital.jpg
"Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence"
Location Staten Island, New York, New York, New York, United States
Care system Public (former); Catholic (current)
Hospital type General and Teaching (Former); Outpatient (Current)
Affiliated university New York Medical College
Emergency department Previously Level 1, now Closed
Founded 1831
Lists Hospitals in New York
Bayley Seton Hospital, March 2008, seen from Vanderbilt Avenue, looking north.
the original Seaman's Retreat buildings, viewed from the west, sometime in the 1860s or 1870s.

Bayley Seton Hospital (BSH) is a hospital on Staten Island, New York City. As of 2009 it is primarily a psychiatric and social services outpatient hospital, operated jointly by Richmond University Medical Center and Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center.


Bayley Seton is located on a 20-acre (81,000 m2), 12-building site in the Clifton and Stapleton areas of the North Shore of the New York City Borough of Staten Island. The complex is bounded by Bay Street to the east, Vanderbilt Avenue to the south, Tompkins Avenue to the west, and residential development to the north.[1] The block, with portions sold off over time, also includes Public School 721, the Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center, the New York Foundling Hospital Staten Island, and an unaffiliated geriatric center.


Marine Hospital Service[edit]

The current Bayley Seton campus was constructed around the Marine Hospital Service (MHS) buildings at the site. On October 1, 1831, Staten Island's first hospital, the Seaman's Retreat, was opened here, to serve retired naval and commercial sailors.[2] Three of these original colonnaded structures remain, dating from the 1830s and 1840s. The MHS was to provide medical treatment to naval personnel. On May 6, 1857, the Port of New York Quarantine Hospital in Tompkinsville, about a mile north along the shore, was attacked by a local mob, fearful of the mostly immigrant detainees. The next year, on September 1, 1858, a mob again attacked the hospital, burning it down.[3][4]

A new quarantine center was created on Swinburne Island (a fill off the South Shore of Staten Island, about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Fort Wadsworth). In 1874, some of these resources were transferred to the Marine Hospital Service buildings at what is now BSH. Also housed here was the Seaman's Retreat, which would later become Sailors' Snug Harbor, when moved around three miles (5 km) northwest in 1883. At that point, the entire complex was operated by the U.S. Marine Hospital Service.[5]

National Institutes of Health[edit]

U.S. Marine Hospital Service buildings, 1887, looking west from what is now Bay street.

With this move came a greater need for the study of disease. In 1887, 28-year-old MHS officer Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun established a single-room Laboratory of Hygiene for Bacteriological Investigation on the top floor of the Marine Hospital, where it remained until 1891. The building still stands and is part of Bayley Seton Hospital.[6] In 1902, the United States Congress passed legislation to fund the Laboratory and move it to Washington where, as a result of the 1930 Ransdell Act, it became the National Institutes of Health.

Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital[edit]

In the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt began a campaign to construct and maintain U.S. Public Health Service Hospitals, to serve the military, veterans, and the general public. As part of this process, what is now the main building of Bayley Seton was constructed. Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was built as a five- to seven-story hospital, in a Mayan revival style. Until 1981, the hospital operated inpatient and outpatient services, emergency, surgery, and rehabilitation wards.[7] Military installations at Fort Wadsworth, Fort Hamilton (just across the narrows in Brooklyn), the Staten Island Homeport, Miller Field Air Station, as well as air, naval and Coast Guard installations built during the Second World War assured a large military and veteran population for the hospital. In 1980, President Ronald Reagan announced plans to close or sell all such hospitals, and despite local protest, Staten Island Public Health Service Hospital was sold to the Sisters of Charity of New York, a Catholic medical and social services system.

Bayley Seton[edit]

Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center

The Sisters of Charity renamed the hospital Bayley Seton, after New York's Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and her father Richard Bayley, a surgeon and founder of the New York Dispensary[8] and head of the Quarantine Station in Tompkinsville. The renamed hospital expanded its campus buildings to include the Saint Elizabeth Ann outpatient clinics and turned over part of the campus to the New York Foundling Hospital. In the 1990s Amethyst House, a women's Drug Abuse Treatment center was opened,[9] as well as an Alcoholism Acute Care Unit on the 3rd floor, a Saint Vincent's Nursing School on the fifth floor,[10] social service agencies in other buildings, including the Richmond Center for Rehab & Specialty Care Center, hospital inpatient drug rehab treatment services, services for co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, a psych emergency center (a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program - CPEP), and the center for a mental health client dispersed housing and in-community employment program.

Saint Vincent's[edit]

In 2000, Sisters of Charity turned over Bayley (along with their main Staten Island hospital) to Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center, which already included the Sisters' Manhattan and Westchester County hospitals, to create Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers New York.[11] Facing financial difficulties almost immediately, Bayley saw around half its services closed, including its emergency room, pharmacy, surgery, and most medical clinics.[12] After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, SVCMC spun off or closed almost half its sites, including selling its Bard Avenue Staten Island Hospital to Bayonne Medical Center, becoming Richmond University Medical Center in 2007. Most psych and addiction services were retained, along with addiction treatment, and outpatient clinics for geriatric, HIV, military and family health services,[13] and mother and baby care.

Recent activity[edit]

At the beginning of 2008, SVCMC had formally separated from Richmond University Medical Center, while negotiating a deal to share Bayley Seton. As of 2007, there are an estimated 1,500 patients who use the Bayley Seton facilities regularly,[14] and as of 2004 (prior to the RUMC / SVCMC split) the hospital employed approximately 550 staff, just more than half the 990 employed in 2000.[15]

Six smaller buildings were closed, staff consolidated, and a deal was struck whereby at the end of 2008, the Salvation Army would purchase the Bayley campus, demolish the Main hospital, and build a recreation center. As of March 2008, there has been public, political, and press outcry at this plan, especially as the new Richmond University Medical Center announced it would end most operations at Bayley and scale back operations at its main campus.[16] Similar campaigns have failed to stop closures and downsizing at Bayley in the past.[citation needed]

In 2014 Gotham (TV series) used the hospital as a setting for several scenes.[17]


  1. ^ New Stapleton Waterfront Development Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement, New York City Economic Development Corporation, September 2006.
  2. ^ Top 100 Historical Events in Staten Island, Richmond County, NY, from the Staten Island Advance.
  3. ^ "Staten Island Arson", New York Times, September 3, 1858
  4. ^ Mob burned down hospital Untapped Cities
  5. ^ Coming to America:Immigrants & quarantine at the Port of New York, 1758 to 1954 Parts I - IV, Robert Bachand
    Introduction: Two Centuries of Health Promotion, the History of Public Health Service, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 27 January 2005.
    View of the Quarantine Grounds and Buildings, Staten Island, May, 1858, New York Public Library
  6. ^ Short History of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Victoria A. Harden, Ph.D. Historian, NIH
  7. ^ "Clifton Hospital's Former Staff Holds Dinner for 10th Reunion Recalling Times at Public Health". Staten Island Advance. October 20, 1991. 
  8. ^ Richard Bayley Biography (1745-1801), Health and Medical biographies.
  9. ^ A Guide to the Assemblywomen Elizabeth A. Connelly Papers, 1974-2002, Archives & Special Collections, College of Staten Island Library, CUNY
  10. ^ Residency and Fellowship Graduate Medical Education Programs , SVCMC
  11. ^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (October 3, 1999). "A Conversion At St. Vincents; In Catholic Merger, Serving the Poor Means Courting the Affluent.". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-21. So last summer, the hospital, along with Sisters of Charity Healthcare, a hospital on Staten Island, agreed to merge with the Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens. Overnight, the region's largest Catholic health care system was born, with eight hospitals and scores of other services under its wing. 
  12. ^ Island hospitals going through period of adjustment. Mergers and restructurings have made delivering health a more challenging task, Staten Island Advance Sunday, April 24, 2005.
  13. ^ US Family Health Plan (USFHP), United States Department of Defense health care contract with SVCMC.
  14. ^ see SI Advance article, March 18, 2008, below.
  15. ^ Minutes: assessments of power supplied to staff employed at various agencies, June 29, 2004
  16. ^ "Staten Island University Hospital may try to fill health care gap". Staten Island Advance. March 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-30. RUMC's president announced Friday that its adult and pediatric clinics, along with the HIV/ AIDS center at its Bayley Seton campus in Clifton will be closing because the hospital can no longer afford the annual $1 million cost of sustaining them. 
  17. ^ "Batman spin-off 'Gotham' is back in action at Staten Island's Bayley Seton Hospital". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 


Coordinates: 40°37′20″N 74°04′32″W / 40.62233°N 74.07542°W / 40.62233; -74.07542