September 29, 2008

St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan Debuts Swiss Re Center for Emergency Education

St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan has been involved in the provision of emergency medicine almost since its inception in 1849. Over nearly 160 years, St. Vincent's emergency physicians, nurses and paramedics have been on the front lines of many of our City's natural and man-made disasters, including both attacks on the World Trade Center. Now, through the generosity of Swiss Re, the hospital will open a new, state-of-the-art Swiss Re Center for Emergency Education on September 29, 2008.

The new Swiss Re Center is a high-tech training facility for the City's first responders, including paramedics and EMTs. The Center will also be used in the education of new physicians and provide a space where grand rounds can take place for all of St. Vincent's medical personnel.

"As Manhattan's only Trauma Center serving the West Side below 59th Street, St. Vincent's plays a critical role in our City's disaster preparedness and response plans," said Henry Amoroso, President and CEO of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. "Thanks to our friends at Swiss Re, we now have a high-tech center to train the next generation of emergency first responders, as well as enhancing the knowledgebase of our physicians and nurses here in the hospital."

Located on the 10th floor of St. Vincent's Cronin Building on West 11th Street, the former lecture hall and several adjoining rooms have been transformed into an integrated modern training center that includes a fully-wired conference room, a 200-seat capacity auditorium, offices for teaching staff and three simulator rooms for emergency medicine training. Previously, these functions were dispersed around the hospital campus and lacked access to today's advances in audio-video and other educational technologies.

"We are very pleased to support St. Vincent's in the opening of the new Swiss Re Center for Emergency Education in Manhattan. The dedicated work of the staff at St. Vincent's and the remarkable efforts of first responders in the New York metro area will be enhanced by the training and meeting facilities available in the center," said Jacques Aigrain, Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Re.

The Center will also serve as an important resource offering emergency preparedness training and services for area corporations and businesses. Several Fortune 100 companies have already expressed an interest in this unique training opportunity at the new Swiss Re facility.

"St. Vincent's is a recognized leader in responding to disasters and emergencies going back to the Civil War," said Alfred E. Smith, IV, Chairman of the Board, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. "We tended to the victims of the Triangle Shirt Waste fire and opened our doors to the survivors from the Titanic, as well as treating over 800 victims from the worst terrorist attack on our nation. The new Swiss Re Center will provide St. Vincent's with a place to share our lessons learned over the last century and a half with other hospitals, doctors, nurses, emergency responders and our corporate neighbors."

As one of the world's leading reinsurers, Swiss Re provides reinsurance products and financial products that enable the risk taking essential to enterprise and progress. Since 1863, Swiss Re, much like St. Vincent's, has been on the forefront of responses to major disasters. In the United States, Swiss Re has provided coverage for major disasters including the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, which destroyed 25,000 homes, left 500 dead and another quarter of a million homeless. Swiss Re also played key roles in helping individuals, businesses and communities recovering from the sinking of the Titanic, the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and hurricanes such as Katrina and Andrew.

Established in 1981, St. Vincent's Institute of Emergency Care is the oldest continuously operating EMS training center in New York City, graduating almost 600 paramedics and thousands of EMTs that work throughout NYC. The Institute will begin utilizing the three simulator rooms to train paramedics and EMTs in protocols for specific emergency scenarios utilizing specialized mannequins. These mannequins incorporate responses similar to humans, such as a gag reflex, bleeding or changes in breathing and heart rates, among others. In the simulator rooms, students will become fully engrossed in scenarios that teach them vital lifesaving procedures and can be observed remotely by instructors via video conferencing.

The new Center's audio-video system is also linked to key conference rooms throughout the St. Vincent's Hospital facility so, in the event of a large scale emergency, the Swiss Re Center for Emergency Education will be linked to the incident command center to communicate with key individuals stationed in other areas of the facility, as well as other SVCMC sites throughout New York City. This technology also will be used to enhance educational symposiums and conferences at the Center.

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard & Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.

 Contact: Michael Fagan 212/604-7965

SOURCE: Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers