A mandatory injunction to reopen The New Parkway Hospital was denied in U.S. Federal Court on Tuesday, October 20, but the facility’s owner has said that he can prove the hospital can turn a profit.
“We were prepared to defend the decisions and actions we took,” said Claudia Hutton, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, of the hearing.
Mark Fogel, a licensed private investigator for Parkway, told The Courier that the hospital is one of about 100 to have borrowed money from Medical Capital Corporation, which, he said, has since been taken over by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
With Parkway in arrears for more than $30 million, the federal court appointed a receiver, Thomas A. Seaman, to act for Medical Capital.
“He has joined in our motion to reopen,” said Fogel, who told The Courier that Parkway’s financial losses occurred not under Aquino’s stewardship, but rather under the previous owners.
“I am informed that there is a shortage of hospital beds and emergency room centers in the area, due in part to the closing of two nearby hospitals,” wrote Seaman in his declaration on October 15, as obtained by The Courier, “thus indicating that the reopening of Parkway Hospital as a fully-licensed and operating hospital a preferred alternative toward maximizing the return for the Medical Capital receivership state.”
If Parkway were not granted the injunction, Seaman went on to write, “I am informed that, aside from a health care facility, there would be a few viable uses for the building, such as a low-security correctional or detention center or a half-way house.”
Seaman does concede that these options “would likely meet with community opposition.”
“The federal government can do anything it wants,” said Fogel. “Can you imagine a prison in the heart of Forest Hills?”
“We’re hoping for some kind of medical facility with some kind of senior care,” said Dan Andrews, spokesperson for Borough President Helen Marshall, who said that the office was unaware of any alternate plans for the Parkway site. “What we want is not to lose the state certification for the number of beds that were at Parkway.”
At the hearing, former Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio – who pleaded guilty to one count of honest services mail fraud and vacated his seat after a Manhattan grand jury indicted him for receiving approximately $1 million from hospitals and related entities – had been subpoenaed to testify, but the judge deemed it unnecessary.
MediSys CEO David Rosen (in Queens, MediSys includes Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals) had also been subpoenaed.
A spokesperson for MediSys did not immediately return phone calls.
“This is really Seminerio’s legacy to Queens,” said Fogel.
Dr. Robert Aquino, owner/CEO, has said that he has obtained the investors to put up the money to get the hospital up and running – and profitable – according to Fogel.
And because of the closure of St. John’s Queens and Mary Immaculate Hospitals, Fogel said that Parkway’s “census of patients will definitely increase.”
“We’re in the midst of negotiating for outside analysis to verify projections on Parkway’s profitability and ability to reopen quickly,” said Fogel.
Due to misinformation, our online edition misstated that Mark Fogel was an attorney for Parkway Hospital. The attorney is Lawrence P. Wolf, Esq. Mr. Fogel is a licensed private investigator and a spokesperson for Parkway.