Parkway to make bid to reopen hospital


| tcimino@queenscourier.com |

On Tuesday, October 20, representatives for The New Parkway Hospital will be in U.S. Federal Court to seek a preliminary injunction so the facility, shuttered in late 2008, may reopen.

However, alternate plans for the site may already be in the works.

Mark Fogel, an attorney representing 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.

“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 goes 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 – was subpoenaed to testify. So was MediSys CEO David Rosen (in Queens, MediSys includes Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals).

A spokesperson for MediSys did not immediately return phone calls, nor did the State Department of Health.

“This is really Seminerio’s legacy to Queens,” said Fogel, who noted that the former politician is set to be sentenced in the next courtroom, same day, same time.