Tag Archives: DOH

WATCH: NY Department of Health laboratory monitors the flu virus

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Screenshot NYSDOH YouTube channel

This weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for all of New York state, which allows pharmacists to give flu vaccinations to patients between six months and 18 years of age.

There are already 19,128 cases of flu reported in the state this season, more than the 4,404 positive laboratory tests that were reported during last year’s influenza season.

According to the New York State Department of Health (DOH), as of January 5, there have been reports of 2,884 patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza and two children have died of the flu in the state. In 2011 there were only 1,169 total hospitalizations.

Here’s a look into the laboratory at the New York State Department of Health, where efforts are underway to reduce and monitor the effects of this season’s flu.


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Just when we thought Peninsula Hospital had gotten the life-saving CPR it needed, it seems the facility is once again flatlining.

Late last month, the hospital was barred from accepting new patients after the State Department of Health (DOH) shut down the lab. Reportedly, there was expired blood plasma and staffers handling samples were not wearing gloves.

Now, 230 employees — nurses, emergency room personnel and support staff — have been let go as a result.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, the judge overseeing Peninsula’s Chapter 11 proceedings is ordering a trustee be appointed to handle all operations at the facility.

What is going on?

It seems that no one did their homework when it came to Revival Home Health Care, which took over the cash-strapped Peninsula from MediSys last year.

Already $60 million in debt at the time, Peninsula was seemingly “saved” by Steve Zakheim, whose wife owns Revival, but who was reportedly required by the DOH to sign an affidavit that he would steer clear of Revival’s operations.

Did anyone know this before Revival took over Peninsula? Or was the ink dry before the vetting process was complete?

And there are also concerns over a conflict of interest, since Todd Miller, former Chief Operating Officer for Revival, is now serving as Peninsula’s chief executive.

A very shrewd Zakheim reportedly included a provision that allows him to withdraw his offer if a trustee is appointed — meaning Peninsula may be forced to close after all.

We had hoped that the hospital would enter a new “chapter,” but it seems that its “revival” might be ill-fated.


Peninsula narrowly avoided closure, now ordered to shut down

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Peninsula Hospital has temporarily halted its emergency care services after state health officials declared the hospital’s lab to be “a danger and threat” to patients.

The Department of Health (DOH) ordered the suspension of the Far Rockaway facility for a period of 30 days after it failed inspections on February 23. Patients can still be treated at the embattled facility, so long as no blood work is required, officials said.

However, a second state mandate ordered the hospital to stop admitting new patients and cancel all surgeries and procedures. The issue also forces Peninsula to suspend any activities that depend upon laboratory services while a plan to transfer inpatients to other facilities is developed.

“Putting patient safety at risk is outrageous and unacceptable,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. “Our hospitals and health care facilities must be held to the highest standard to protect the health and safety of our families.”

Liz Sulik, a spokesperson for Peninsula, said the hospital is fully cooperating with the DOH and is currently developing a plan to transfer current inpatients to alternate facilities. So far, 78 patients have been transferred, officials said, though where they were taken was not specified.

Sulik said Peninsula is “expeditiously developing a plan to remedy the laboratory deficiencies and hopes to restore full services as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Goldfeder said he will work with colleagues and the communities of southern Queens and the Rockaways to ensure the medical and health care needs of the neighborhood are met in the interim.

Peninsula’s board of directors met during an emergency court hearing on February 27. However, hospital officials did not comment on results of the meeting in time for press.

Check with www.queenscourier.com for updates as this story develops.