In a way, it feels like I’ve spent much of my life in hospitals. First, caring for all the friends I lost to AIDS before effective treatment was available for HIV. Then, caring for my partner as he died of a long illness. Most recently, caring for my father as he lost his battle with COPD.

Hospitals are rarely pleasant places to be, but they are the only place to be sometimes to be surrounded by teams of critical-care professionals.

St Vincent’s hospital in Greenwich Village was the most amazing place ever. During a time when gay men were reviled just for being sick, the the nurses, doctors, and social workers of St Vincent’s not only cared for our bodies, they nurtured our souls.

I mean, I realize hospitals are often not pleasant places. But when you need one, they are so so very important.

I know we need to do a much better job spreading more routine health care out into the communities, but I don’t think I’d ever want to see a day when a hospital was not there if I needed it for myself or my loved ones.

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