For 40 years, Richard Gullott took care of patients at St. Clare's Hospital. Now he's hoping to find a solution that will take care of him and the 1,100 other former St. Clare's workers.
"It was a very special place," Gullott said. "I don't see it anymore."
Gullott was one of about a hundred people attending a meeting with Bishop Edward Scharfenberger on Thursday at Siena College.
It is the first time the Bishop and pensioners have met since the collapse of St. Clare's corporation pension system became public.
"It's in my heart to do everything I possibly can to help these people," Scharfenberger said.
The closed door meeting lasted about 90 minutes. The Diocese of Albany would not allow the press to attend.
The Bishop calling this a first step as he heard concerns and emotional stories from former workers.
"We're going to have to get together, put our heads together, and come together with some plan," Scharfenberger said.
The Bishop could not give a figure that would prevent pensions from being reduced drastically or eliminated altogether.
Some state senators have requested $53.5 million from the state to restore the fund. The hospital was absorbed by Ellis in 2008.
Looking ahead, some pensioners are remaining optimistic.
"We want to start from today and go forward," said Mary Hartshorne, who worked at the hospital for 28 years.
State Senator Jim Tedisco has also called on the state comptroller to audit St. Clare's and determine what caused the situation, how much money is needed to restore the fund, and who should be held accountable.
If no actions are taken, the pensions will be terminated early next year.