Tag Archives: Peninsula Hospital

Leaders vow to save and expand St. John’s Hospital at community forum


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

If only one thing could be taken away from the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital forum on March 13, it’s that “St. John’s is not closing.”

The phrase was repeated numerous times by leaders of the hospital during the meet-and-greet event, which featured hospital chair Bishop Lawrence Provenzano, CEO Richard Brown, a representative from the State Department of Health, and Steve Kramer, executive vice president of the hospital’s employees’ union, 1199 SEIU.

State Senator James Sanders put the forum together to allow residents a face-to-face conference with the leaders to answer the community’s concerns about the future of the hospital.

Instead of closing, everyone in the room was focused on how the hospital and health care in the Rockaways would expand.

“My job is to make sure that nobody deviates from the path,” Sanders said. “The bottom line is we are going to save this hospital and we are heading north.”

Brown announced updates on the expansion of the hospital’s emergency department.

The project will cost an estimated $9 – $10 million, and double the size of the emergency department. The construction will be carried out in three phases over nearly two years. The expansion is lengthy because the emergency department will continue to stay open during construction.

Residents, who have complained the department is too small, hope the expansion could happen sooner.

“Yes, it’s terrible,” said Rockaway resident Anita Hunter, who was born in the hospital and whose sister currently works there. “You can barely walk in there. There are so many people lined up outside the examination room.”

Residents also used the forum to hasten the possible merger between the hospital and Catholic Health Services of Long Island, which would allow St. John’s to expand its services and resources.

Brown said the merger was still in the discussion phase. He said metaphorically that St. John’s is “dating” the Long Island organization, but not yet “married” to them.

“What we in this room are looking for is to see St. John’s be a first class hospital,” Kramer said. “We ask you, Bishop and CEO Brown, to make moves as quickly as possible to expedite the merger.”

Perhaps the most exciting statement made at the meeting, though, was Sanders declaring he would like to see the shuttered Peninsula Hospital used as an additional emergency department. The room was immediately filled with cheers.

“I didn’t take this job to lose,” Sanders said. “I didn’t come on to be in charge of the dismantling of health care in the Rockaways. I believe in this place and I believe we can do better.”

 

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Fire breaks out at former Peninsula Hospital


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

A blaze broke out at the former Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway Tuesday afternoon, the FDNY said.

The fire started in an outside boiler at the 51-15 Beach Channel Dr. site about 4:45 p.m. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze in about an hour, the FDNY said.

No one was injured in the fire.

Fire officials said the cause is still under investigation.

The hospital closed in 2012.

 

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Doctors of the World to open free clinic in the Rockaways


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Doctors of the World,

Doctors of the World are coming local – to the Rockaways, intending to boost the area’s health care.

The international network of doctors has 14 locations worldwide which combined work in 79 countries and recently signed a lease to open a free primary health care clinic at 2-30 Beach 102nd Street, making the Rockaways the only U.S. site.

“The Rockaways have a severe shortage of health care services available to them,” said Noah Barth, program coordinator. “[It also has] a long history of being excluded or not given enough attention from city and state resources.”

At the clinic, Doctors of the World will provide free service to the public, including the uninsured, thanks to a reliable donation foundation.

“Health care is a fundamental right,” Barth said. “We see our work as filling a gap.”

St. John’s Episcopal has been the lone hospital left on the peninsula since the closing of Peninsula Hospital in April 2012. The community at large has voiced the need for more health care facilities.

At St. John’s, the emergency room at times has gotten overrun with patients, but “on the whole we have been doing okay,” said hospital officials. Post-Sandy complications and the summer’s heat wave have brought in patients with lung issues, including asthma and COPD.

In the Rockaways, the high concentration of seniors and public housing facilities creates a high need for services that the community is not getting, including storm-related treatment, Barth said.

“There is a chronic shortage of a lot of things,” he said.

Additionally, Doctors of the World has done community outreach to determine just how to cater to their future patients.

“We want to try and really understand from the community level what the situation is, what the needs are and what the community wants, as opposed to telling them what they want,” Barth said.

There is no definitive timetable as to when the clinic will open, but is projected to open within a couple of months.

 

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Potential purchaser eyes Peninsula Hospital


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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Michael Melnicke, a nursing home owner, has been named as a potential buyer for Peninsula Hospital and its nursing home, according to court documents.

The health care executive and former board member of the closed hospital is leading a group looking to buy the facility, which closed in April when it ran out of cash. The Daily News reported the cost of the hospital, clinic and affiliated nursing home would be $24 million.

The documents, filed by court-appointed trustee Lisa Lapin Jones, said that a number of suitors had put in bids for the hospital, but Melnicke’s was the top offer.

“Following in-person meetings with several bidders, discussions with advisers and after considering the relevant issues, the trustee determined that the purchaser’s offer was the highest and best offer received,” Jones wrote in the court documents, as reported by The Daily News.

The break down for costs would be: $16.75 million for the affiliated nursing home, $6.25 million for the hospital area and $1 million for the clinic, according to The Daily News.

Calls to Melnicke and Jones for comment were not answered.

Joseph Mure, formerly a board member for Peninsula, said he had heard Melnicke was interested in buying the shuttered facility, and hoped it remained a health care site.

“I wish [Melnicke] well, I just hope that it remains some sort of hospital or medical facility for the Rockaways,” Mure said.

Mure said he heard different plans for the hospital, including turning it into a psychiatric ward, but was unsure if any of the rumors were true. Regardless, Mure said he hoped the emergency room would at least stay open and return to serving the Rockaway community.

“Whatever they do, we just hope that its medical related so it can help any kind of emergency situation in the Rockaways,” he said. “If they keep the emergency room there and they treat patients on an emergency basis and they’re well staffed and equipped, it would be the greatest thing in the world.”

Grant to help St. John’s Episcopal with patient overflow


| mchan@queenscourier.com

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital received a $5 million shot in the arm from the state, after the sudden closure of Peninsula Hospital left emergency health care in the Far Rockaway community strained, officials said.

A $5,357,680 grant will be awarded to St. John’s thanks to New York State’s Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL NY), said Nelson Toebbe, the hospital’s CEO.

“We are very pleased to have received notification of this significant HEAL grant,” Toebbe said. “It addresses important concerns of our community’s residents toward creating more immediate access to health care in our area since the closure of Peninsula Hospital, and of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in its ongoing commitment to serving the community with quality care.”

Peninsula shuttered this April, leaving St. John’s the only hospital in Rockaway to serve more than 100,000 residents. Since the closure, St. John’s has had a 35 percent spike in patient visits to its emergency department, an approximate 11 percent increase in its inpatient volume and an 85 percent rise in its regular occupancy rates, said spokesperson Penny Chin.

The hospital’s emergency services were briefly diverted mid-May, as well as for an hour on the day Peninsula permanently closed in April, but Chin did not say whether St. John’s has experienced a diversion since then.

“St. John’s is attempting to provide care for 130,000 year-round residents, in addition to the influx of tourists that travel to our area in the summer months, and this can’t be adequately done without an increase in capacity,” said Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder, who said he was closely involved in negotiations between Governor Andrew Cuomo and state agencies to secure the funding. “It’s only the first step to getting the Rockaways back where it needs to be in relation to health care, but it’s a great, great first start.”

The award is part of the final round of grants under the state’s existing Medicaid 1115 Waiver, which expires March 31, 2014. Funds are allocated through the New York State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Officials said the grant would enable St. John’s to expand the hospital’s emergency department, which would include converting the inpatient space to outpatient and ambulatory care and creating an observation unit in the department.

 

Health commish leaves meeting amid ‘state of emergency;’ offers for Peninsula still on the table


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Former Peninsula Hospital employees, elected officials and residents had only one hour to convince Health Commissioner Nirav Shah to consider the needs of the community before the state’s top health official silently slinked out of the four-hour meeting.

“That’s disrespectful,” said Mary Kampa, 52, a former nurse at Peninsula.

More than 200 people packed the public forum, held on May 10 by the State Department of Health (DOH) at Knights of Columbus Hall, to plead with the DOH to address the “state of emergency” in the area and to relieve the health crisis caused after Peninsula was shuttered last month.

“The Rockaway residents are scared and they are angry,” said Joan Sommermeyer, a labor representative for the New York State Nurses Association.

Resident Bernie Feuer said he fears the approaching beach season at the Rockaways, which sees close to 10,000 visitors each week during the summer. Some residents said the potential drownings, boardwalk injuries and heat wave cases would be too much for St. John’s Episcopal to handle.

“With St. John’s on diversion so often due to the closing of Peninsula Hospital, many of these patients will not make it. They will have to be transferred to facilities off the peninsula. This tragic eventuality is totally inhumane, unacceptable and avoidable,” Kampa said.

St. John’s is now the only hospital on the peninsula, serving more than 100,000 residents. According to a spokesperson, the hospital’s emergency services were briefly diverted last week, but the only other time services were temporarily delayed was for an hour on the day Peninsula permanently closed.

Since Peninsula’s closure, St. John’s has experienced a 35 percent increase in patient visits to its emergency department, while its inpatient volume has increased approximately 11 percent and its regular occupancy rates have risen by 85 percent, the spokesperson said.

Shah directly addressed the sometimes raucous crowd one hour into the meeting, saying their concerns were heard “loud and clear.”

“The reality is we’ve gone far, and we have a lot of work to do. For too long, this community has not gotten what it deserves in terms of the quality of care,” Shah said moments before leaving. “I can’t say that I have all the answers. I wish there was a silver bullet, but it’s not that easy. I wish it were because then we would do it.”

The health commissioner’s sudden and quiet departure placed the burden on three deputy health officials to hear out angered residents and local leaders, who said the early hearing — scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. — was already “set for failure.”

“I’m disappointed that Commissioner Shah didn’t see fit to stay past 5 p.m. Four hours, in my opinion, is not a lot to ask for when you’re a public servant,” said Councilmember Eric Ulrich. “He works for us. We don’t work for him.”

Meanwhile, Seth Guterman, president of People’s Choice Hospital — an investor which had expressed interest in saving the hospital — told the panel the company is still willing to sit down with health officials and the community to ink a deal.

“We’re here to help you if you want to do this,” Guterman said. “If there’s a win-win for the creditors, a win-win for the community and a win-win for the hospital, it should be entertained. It shouldn’t just be shut down because a trustee wanted to make money for the creditors.”

The DOH will issue a report within 60 days of the forum, addressing the public’s comments. Shah said “there is work being done as we speak” in terms of increasing primary and acute care in the area.

Death knell for Peninsula Hospital


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Peninsula Hospital has been sent to the morgue.

The foundering Far Rockaway facility has officially shut its doors for good, officials said.

The State Department of Health (DOH) did not return calls for comment, but former board members said the institution closed after 5 p.m. on Monday, April 9.

“It’s a shame, and it’s terrible for the people of Rockaway,” said former board member Joe Mure. “It’s really sad what has happened with this hospital.”

Peninsula submitted a closure plan to the DOH, which as of April 3 was still under review, according to agency spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond. While trustee Lori Lapin Jones determined on March 26 to shut down operations at the hospital, Hammond said at the time there was no time frame as to when the hospital would close.

The community has held nightly rallies in protest of closure, even marching en masse in front of DOH Commissioner Nirav Shah’s Manhattan office as recently as Wednesday, April 4.

“It’s devastating. The impact that closing this institution will have on our community is going to be enormous,” said Dr. Ed Williams, president of the Far Rockaway NAACP. “Despite what a lot of folks who are actually orchestrators in terms of closing the hospital say, people will certainly die in this community with just one hospital. The fatalities are going to be incredible.”

Williams said he nervously anticipates beach season — and potential drownings — at the Rockaways, which he said sees close to 10,000 visitors each week during the summer.

St. John’s Episcopal is now the only hospital on the peninsula, serving more than 100,000 residents. According to Mure, its emergency department has been placed on diversion several times since Peninsula’s closure, and Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon alleged at least three people have already died on their way to St. John’s — a facility he said is “obviously busting at the seams.”

“They have too many people in their emergency room,” Mure said. “In an emergency situation, they have to leave the area. That could be a matter of life and death.”

A St. John’s spokesperson said the hospital was only on diversion for an hour on Monday, April 9. CEO Nelson Toebbe said operations at the hospital are running “smoothly.” He said plans are in the works to hire more workers and expand the 257-bed hospital.

“To meet this challenge requires everyone to pull together. St. John’s asks for everyone’s support and understanding in the coming months,” Toebbe said.

Peninsula was pinned for critical deficiencies and failed state health inspections on February 23, which forced the hospital to temporarily halt its emergency care services and stop admitting new patients.

At least two different investors expressed interest in saving the hospital, Mure said — including Chicago-based People’s Choice Hospital — but rescue efforts were too little, too late. The DOH has also revoked Peninsula’s certificate of operation, which Simon said renders the potential saviors moot regardless.

“I think if we had more time and more money, things could have been different,” Mure said.

Jones did not return calls for comment.

Rockaway Beach resident Barbara Reiche, 67, said her husband suffers from asbestosis and diabetes. He has been in and out of Peninsula within the last year-and-a-half, she said.

“With that hospital closing, if St. John’s and Jamaica Hospital are on diversion, then the closest hospital is like 45 minutes from here. He would never make it any further than Peninsula. I don’t know what’s going to happen to him if he has to go the hospital again,” Reiche said, fighting through tears.

Peninsula Hospital set to close on Monday according to report


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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According to published reports, Peninsula Hospital will shut its doors for good on Monday, April 9.

Hospital officials did not yet confirm, and local leaders could not verify the rumored sudden termination.

Peninsula has already submitted a closure plan to the state Department of Health (DOH), which as of April 3 was still under review, according to spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond.

While trustee Lori Lapin Jones determined on March 26 to shut down operations at the hospital, Hammond said there was no time frame yet as to when the hospital will close.

The community has held nightly rallies in protest of the hospital trustee and the DOH’s decision to close the hospital. According to Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon, they plan to soon lead a mass demonstration outside the DOH’s headquarters in Manhattan.

Members of 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have also been spreading the word through their Facebook page, “Peninsula Hospital & Our 1199 Coverage Save Our Hospital.” The site reported several interested parties are looking to purchase the hospital.

The foundering Far Rockaway facility was pinned for critical deficiencies and failed state health inspections on February 23, which forced the hospital to temporarily halt its emergency care services and stop admitting new patients. Peninsula also laid off more than 240 employees last month.

 

Peninsula trustee keeps children’s program ‘in consideration’


| mchan@queenscourier.com

When one door closes, another one opens.

At least that’s what the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center is hoping for.

According to Dr. Peter Nelson, the health center’s CEO, the ill-fated future of Peninsula Hospital may mean security for the center and its children’s day treatment program.

Peninsula has housed the center and its programs for over 10 years. But last November, hospital officials said the center had three months to vacate the premises in order for the hospital to expand emergency room services in its stead.

The move left program officials and its 15 current students — most who suffer from profound behavioral and emotional difficulties — frantically scrambling for a new home.

The children’s day treatment program was later granted a six-month extension period in December, pushing the move-out date to June 30. But now that officials plan to pull the plug on the floundering Far Rockaway facility, Nelson said the court-appointed trustee — Lori Lapin Jones — may allow the health center to remain in its current building on Beach Channel Drive, which he said would put a halt to expedited efforts to secure a new location.

“I’m delighted that the worm has turned,” said Nelson, who said he recently met with the trustee to discuss the fate of the center. “The trustee, Ms. Jones, is very sensitive to the issues that relate to the children and the program that we’re providing. She said she would do everything that was within her power to see that we were kept in consideration for staying there. She could not make any guarantees, of course, but she said she would certainly make our issues known to the parties that were going to be the final solution for Peninsula Hospital. And she said she would hope that those parties would include us in terms of staying at the site so the children can have a continuing home for the program.”

Nelson said he also spoke with 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officials, who represent the hospital’s workers and who Nelson foresees will be “the largest force in the decision-making process.”

“They spoke with the same kind of assurance,” Nelson said. “I feel like, at this point, our issue is being heard, and we just need to wait and see how things play out. Everybody is concerned about the children’s day treatment program, but there is no final say as to who would be purchasing the place, what they would be doing with it and so on. There are no guarantees.”

According to Kevin Finnegan, 1199’s political director, the union hopes the health center will be able to stay at the site.

“We hope to grow with them. That’s our plan — to preserve the stuff that’s there now and expand into the Rockaways. We love the Addabbo Health Center,” he said. “We’re pushing for the most robust ambulatory center that the Department of Health is willing to fund.”

While union officials continue to explore alternative options for the repurposing of the site, Nelson said he has put three options on the table. He said he was willing to sign a short-term lease, which would ensure the program another couple of years, to secure a long-term lease, which would allow the program to stay at its current site for 15 more years or to purchase the building.

“I’m fairly confident we’ll be part of the conversation with whoever might be interested at this point in terms of coming up with a solution,” Nelson said. “We’re still kind of the flea on the elephant’s rear end. We just don’t have the big resources to come in and solve people’s problems. We’re making a limited proposal, and anything is fine with me. I’m very flexible. My main bottom line is I want to have a place for the program. That would be a big step forward for us.”

Nelson said he expects solutions to “start crystalizing” within the next two weeks, but he’s crossing his fingers in the interim.

“It’s going to be soon,” he said.

As of now, the program and its students are still expected to move out by the end of June.

Community won’t give up on Peninsula Hospital


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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While efforts to resuscitate Peninsula Hospital have flatlined, the Rockaway community has not yet pulled the plug on saving it.

“They’re finding a way to shut the doors for no reason. We’re not going to give up until we reopen the hospital,” said Democratic Assembly District Leader Lew Simon.

Following trustee Lori Lapin Jones’ March 26 determination to shut down operations, Peninsula has already submitted a closure plan to the state Department of Health (DOH), which the agency is now reviewing, said spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond.

Hammond said there is no time frame yet as to when the hospital will shut its doors. However, 1199 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members are saying complete closure is slated for Friday, April 5.

While 1199 officials said its members will be enrolled in the union’s Job Security Fund to continue receiving healthcare benefits, employment and placement services, local leaders said the peninsula cannot survive with just one hospital.

The community has held nightly rallies in protest of the hospital trustee and the DOH’s decision to close the hospital. According to Simon, they plan to soon lead a mass demonstration outside the DOH’s headquarters in Manhattan.

The union has also been spreading the word through their Facebook page, “Peninsula Hospital & Our 1199 Coverage Save Our Hospital.” The site reported several interested parties are looking to purchase the hospital. However, Peninsula declined to comment.

The foundering Far Rockaway facility was pinned for critical deficiencies and failed state health inspections on February 23, which forced the hospital to temporarily halt its emergency care services and stop admitting new patients. Peninsula also laid off more than 240 employees last month.

Peninsula Hospital to close


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Officials plan to pull the plug on Peninsula Hospital.

The floundering Far Rockaway facility is required to submit a closure plan to the state’s Department of Health (DOH), said Michael Moran, a spokesperson for the agency.

News of the termination came after a long series of unshakable bankruptcy battles and instability at the hospital.

Failed state health inspections found the hospital’s lab to be “a danger and threat” to patients on February 23, which forced the hospital to temporarily halt its emergency care services and stop admitting new patients.

Peninsula then had to lay off over 240 employees this month in order to conserve cash while the hospital was “on diversion,” according to officials.

A court-ordered bankruptcy trustee — Long Island attorney Lori Lapin Jones — was recently appointed to take over all operations at Peninsula. She determined on March 26, according to bankruptcy court files, that revival was not in the cards for Peninsula.

The sudden news has even thrown Borough President Helen Marshall off guard.

“I was assured in writing [on] March 12 that [State Commissioner of Health] Nirav Shah’s office was working closely with Peninsula Hospital to provide support to their efforts to come back into compliance. That makes [this] announcement particularly bewildering,” she said. “There is a medical crisis in Rockaway. One hospital is now responsible for the care of more than 100,000 residents living on a peninsula that has limited access and egress options.”

Marshall said her office commissioned a study in 2006, finding the healthcare delivery system in Queens not to be sustainable in its current state. She said she recommended there should be “one new comprehensive hospital built in the Rockaways.”

“No one listened,” Marshall said. “We now have a situation where reports have surfaced that St. John’s Hospital is turning people away, while nearby Peninsula Hospital is laying off approximately 1,000 individuals.”

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital has been absorbing the brunt of Peninsula’s patient since the lab shut down last month.

According to CEO Nelson Toebbe, the hospital “stands ready to meet the healthcare needs of the community.”

Toebbe said St. John’s is currently waiting for state approval for plans to expand its emergency room, ambulatory care, surgery, intensive care and in-patient facilities.

“Assuming state approval is granted quickly, those steps should be complete in the coming months,” he said. “We have been working diligently with the DOH to obtain approvals for expanded capacity within our facilities, since talks of the potential Peninsula Hospital Center closure began months ago. We will move as fast as possible subject to required reviews and access to capital.”

DOH officials said the agency would monitor operations at Peninsula to ensure an orderly closure, while working with other providers to make sure patients have access to services that will be closing and making sure medical records are transferred to appropriate providers upon the request of patients.

Moran said there is no time frame yet as to when Peninsula’s doors will close for good.

“The hospital needs to put together and file a closure plan,” he said. “We will have to wait to see that.”

Peninsula Hospital declined to comment.

Peninsula Hospital to close permanently


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Peninsula Hospital to permanently shut down

Peninsula Hospital Center will permanently close, bringing to an end a chaotic chapter in its life marked by six months in bankruptcy and a failed rescue attempt by an investor that had no experience in running a hospital.

The state Department of Health shut down the laboratory of the Far Rockaway hospital on Feb, 23, an action that sealed Peninsula’s fate. With no revenue from patient admissions for the past month, Peninsula no longer has sufficient working capital to stay open. Its affiliated nursing home will not shut down.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20120326/HEALTH_CARE/120329909#ixzz1qFmOrWDD

Brooklyn and Queens men fatally shot Sunday morning in separate incidents


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Brooklyn and Queens men fatally shot Sunday morning in separate incidents

Two men in their 20s were fatally shot Sunday morning in separate incidents in the Bronx andQueens.

A 29-year-oldBronxman was shot in the chest and buttocks near his home onMorrison   Ave.in Soundview about 2:30 a.m. He was rushed toJacobiMedicalCenter, where he later died.

Read More: The Daily News

 

Trayvon Martin case: Friends come to George Zimmerman’s defense, saying he’s not racist, ‘fears for his life’: report

Friends of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teen in Florida last month, have come forward to say the 28-year-old acted in self-defense and is not a racist.

Joe Oliver, who said he has known Zimmerman for a decade, said his friend “couldn’t stop crying” for days after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, on Feb. 26.

Read More: The Daily News
Dick Cheney gets heart transplant

Former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant Saturday, his office announced.

Cheney is recovering at the Intensive Care Unit of Inova Fairfax Hospital inFalls Church,Va., aide Kara Ahern said.

The ex-veep, who had been on the transplant list for 20 months, does not know the heart donor’s identity.

Read More:The Daily News

 

Obama to North Korea: You will ‘achieve nothing by threats or provocations’

Warning North Korea from its doorstep, President Barack Obama said Pyongyang risks deepening its isolation in the international community if it proceeds with a planned long-range rocket launch.

“North Koreawill achieve nothing by threats or provocations,” Obama said during a news conference Sunday inSeoul,South Korea, where he was to attend a nuclear security summit.

Read More: The Daily News
Far Rockaway summer forecast: deadly

When the thermometer hit 80 degrees last week, I checked for a Far Rockaway summer forecast.

No other city beach community is as dangerous in the summer as Far Rock, where theQueensdistrict attorney has a special unit just to prosecute local shootings.

Read More: The Daily News
Doctors-in-training stage mutiny at Peninsula Hospital

PeninsulaHospital’s doctors-in-training are staging a mutiny as the troubled hospital’s vital signs continue to look grim following a state-mandated shutdown of its lab, the Daily News has learned.

A coalition of furious medical residents are pushing their governing body, the American Osteopathic Association, to revoke Peninsula’s credentials as a teaching facility before the court-appointed overseer gives them all the axe, sources said Tuesday.

Read More: The Daily News

 

Relatives of victims in Afghan shooting spree paid $900K by US military

Relatives of 17 people shot dead in a rampage by a US soldier in southern Afghanistan were paid tens of thousands of dollars in compensation, a tribal chief and government officials said Sunday.

The money — provided by theUSmilitary — was handed over at a private ceremony at theKandaharprovincial governor’s office, they said.

Read More: The New York Post

This Morning’s Headlines


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Bust in 1980 Queens slay

An NYPD detective cracked a really cold case this week when fingerprints from an inmate were linked to the death of a Queens man in a home-invasion burglary 32 years ago. Ernest Mattison, 49, formerly of Flushing, was charged with murder in the Sept. 10, 1980, strangulation of Cecil Schiff, 73. Schiff, who fled Poland to escape the Holocaust, was found dead in his Franklin Avenue home, sitting in a chair and bleeding from the head. Read More: New York Post

 

‘Justice for Trayvon’

The parents of a Florida teen shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain vowed at a Union Square rally last night to seek justice for their son. “Trayvon Martin did matter . . . We are not going to stop until we get justice for Trayvon,” the teen’s father, Tracy Martin, told a crowd of 1,200. He described his 17-year-old son as “your typical teenager . . . Trayvon was not, and I repeat, was not a bad person.” He lashed out at George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old aspiring law officer who claims he killed Trayvon in self defense while patrolling his gated community. Read More: New York Post

 

Commissioner Kelly sees parents of slain teen

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly yesterday met for the first time with the parents of an unarmed teenage drug suspect who was fatally shot by a cop in the family’s Bronx apartment, The Post has learned. Franclot Graham, Constance Malcolm and their attorneys huddled with Kelly at One Police Plaza for about an hour, and then exited without comment. The sitdown came about seven weeks after their 18-year-old son, Ramarley Graham, was killed on Feb. 2 by Officer Richard Haste, who was assigned to a Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit. Read More: New York Post

 

No rest for this defense as Mike Woodson’s resurgent NY Knicks impress Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers missed their first 14 shots, mainly because they had a hard time spotting the basket through the purposeful torsos and hands. These new Knicks frightened Doug Collins on Wednesday night with their sheer dynamism on defense, which is something he saw only from his own team earlier in the season. The Knicks trap now at halfcourt. They front the ball. They block shots and force turnovers. Read More: Daily News

 

Doctors-in-training stage mutiny at Peninsula Hospital 

Peninsula Hospital’s doctors-in-training are staging a mutiny as the troubled hospital’s vital signs continue to look grim following a state-mandated shutdown of its lab, the Daily News has learned. A coalition of furious medical residents are pushing their governing body, the American Osteopathic Association, to revoke Peninsula’s credentials as a teaching facility before the court-appointed overseer gives them all the axe, sources said Tuesday. Read More: Daily News

Man Charged With Molesting Girl In Manhattan Donut Shop

A man accused of touching an 11-year-old girl inside a Manhattan donut shop is now under arrest. Kerry Abrams, 54, is facing sex abuse charges. Surveillance video caught Abrams after the alleged incident on March 7 at the Dunkin Donuts on First Avenue at 21st Street. Read More: NY1

Panel For Educational Policy Approves 19 School Co-Locations

When it comes to sharing school buildings, and the space squeeze that often results, it is common for parents and teachers to be angry. But Wednesday night at a meeting in Chelsea, Manhattan, some parents were so upset they began to cry. Parents from P.S. 53 in East New York, Brooklyn begged the the Panel for Educational Policy not to vote to move their school to a new building. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Bank Robber Attacks Five Banks In Two Months

Authorities were searching Wednesday for a robber in Queens accused of stealing cash from three out of five banks he has attacked since last month. In the most recent incident last Thursday, police say the man in the above surveillance photo walked into a Chase Bank at 66-02 Grand Avenue in Maspeth and handed a note to the teller demanding cash. He took off with an undisclosed amount of money. Read More: NY1

Trustee named, Peninsula expects to exit bankruptcy


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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The court-ordered bankruptcy trustee appointed to take over all operations at Peninsula Hospital has been named, federal officials said.

Lori Lapin Jones — a Long Island bankruptcy law attorney — was chosen by the U.S. Trustee’s office, an agency under the U.S. Department of Justice, to head the embattled Far Rockaway facility.

“The trustee who was selected was a very good choice. She’s an extraordinarily competent bankruptcy attorney who has tremendous experience serving as a trustee,” said Howard Fensterman, Peninsula’s former attorney, who represented the hospital before the court-mandated change. “I look forward to her getting the hospital back open and leading the hospital out of bankruptcy.”

Fensterman said hospital officials had consented to the court-ordered change, and he said he still expects Peninsula to exit bankruptcy in less than 60 days.

Jones currently serves as a Chapter 7 trustee on the panel of Trustees for the Eastern District of New York and as a court-appointed mediator in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

She started her own Great Neck-based law firm — Lori Lapin Jones PLLC — in 2005, representing a wide variety of parties in out-of-court restructurings and in large and small Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 cases in courts around the country.

In 2009, she received the Long Island Business News’ award for being one of the top 50 most influential women in business.

These credentials, Fensterman said, will help her push the hospital toward recovery.

Two weeks ago, roughly 240 employees at Peninsula were temporarily laid off, officials said. The sudden terminations were instituted short-term, they said, in order to conserve cash while the hospital is “on diversion.”

Peninsula was also forced to halt its emergency care services for a period of 30 days after failed state health inspections found the hospital’s lab to be “a danger and threat” to patients on February 23.

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

Peninsula Hospital declined to comment in regards to the hospital’s new overseer.