Tag Archives: Peninsula Hospital

Peninsula Hospital’s patients absorbed by other hospitals


| mchan@queenscourier.com

While Peninsula Hospital struggles to stabilize itself financially, elected officials say they’re worried for already “overburdened” area hospitals receiving the brunt of patient overflow.

“Other hospitals are overtaxed and overburdened as it is,” said Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder. “St. John’s [Episcopal Hospital] was overburdened when Peninsula was completely opened. Now that it’s closed, I can’t imagine the patient load they have to deal with.”

According to Liz Sulik, a spokesperson for Peninsula, the hospital has transferred approximately 78 patients so far. She said they were moved to a “variety of hospitals” including the North Shore/LIJ Health system, based upon their acuity levels.

However, because of Peninsula’s “isolated geographic area” and recent hospital closures over the past few years, Senator Joseph Addabbo said there are few other facilities in the area that could openly receive the patient excess.

“Every second counts when we talk about emergencies and providing health care to residents. The need just gets magnified when you think about Peninsula’s geographic location. St. John’s cannot handle the entire peninsula,” Addabbo said. “We’re already seeing a reduction in hospital beds with a growing senior population and people moving into the communities. We certainly need these beds. Now is not the time to reduce them.”

But according to CEO Nelson Toebbe, St. John’s has flourished in the face of chaos.

“While it is regrettable that Peninsula General Hospital has closed, St. John’s has been able to fully accommodate the increase of patients,” he said. “Measures have been initiated in the past several months to enhance capacity, service and access to both inpatient and outpatient care. The board of managers, management and staff of Episcopal Health Services remain strongly committed to serve the healthcare needs of the Rockaways and the Five Towns.”

Back in August, when Peninsula faced potential closure threats after its former sponsor MediSys decided to end its affiliation with the hospital, St. John’s received permission from the state to begin expansion of its emergency room outpatient care, surgery, intensive care and in-patient facilities, according to Toebbe.

The added emergency department bays and 62 new medical, surgical, pediatric critical care beds helped house the extra patients, officials said.

Still, local politicians continue to push for Peninsula’s reopening.

“Southern Queens and the Rockaways need access to quality health care,” Goldfeder said. “Whatever problems there are, we need to get the right people in the hospital to resolve them and get the hospital back up and running.”

 

HEALTH CRISIS


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 Hospital’s problems persist


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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A sinking Peninsula Hospital has had to throw more than 200 workers overboard in a buoyant effort to stay afloat.

Roughly 240 hospital employees were temporarily laid off, officials said, as the embattled facility continues to struggle with bankruptcy and emergency service shut downs. The sudden terminations were instituted short-term, officials said, in order to conserve cash while the hospital is “on diversion.”

Peninsula was 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.

However, patients can still be treated at the hospital, so long as no blood work is required, officials said.

Peninsula officials said they are aggressively taking action and working with experts in the field to bring the lab up to par — which essentially means building a new one from the ground up, they said. Officials hope to reopen within two weeks contingent on state approval.

“It’s a big job, but we are working around the clock to get all of the necessary changes completed,” said Todd Miller, CEO of Peninsula. “All elements in the Department of Health’s survey of the lab are expected to be addressed by the hospital by week’s end. Once these initiatives are complete, the hospital is hopeful that the Department of Health will quickly lift the diversion of the hospital through a satisfactory review of our corrective action plan.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee has been appointed to take over all operations at the Far Rockaway facility — rendering Miller and the board of directors moot in the interim.

Attorney Howard Fensterman, who represents Peninsula, said hospital officials have consented to the court-ordered change. He said the appointment of a trustee would not be “detrimental” and would in fact help the hospital move forward in its plans to re-emerge from bankruptcy.

“The hospital needed to refocus its efforts,” he said. “The dispute regarding the appointment of a trustee was detracting from valuable time, effort and energy that needed to be allocated toward reopening and correcting the lab problems.”

While a specific trustee has not yet been chosen, Fensterman said the hospital is still on track to exit bankruptcy in approximately 60 days.

 

Peninsula will make payroll


| mchan@queenscourier.com

The doors of Peninsula Hospital will be kept open, according to hospital officials.

“We’re definitely reaching payroll,” said Liz Sulik, the hospital’s director of external affairs.

The embattled Far Rockaway facility was previously in danger of not meeting payroll after December 26 without a cash infusion.

But now, the hospital is “moving forward at a steady pace.”

“We’re meeting the challenges as they arise, and we’re looking forward to a very bright future,” Sulik said.

Peninsula and its creditors will return to bankruptcy court on Thursday, December 22.

Sulik declined to comment on court proceedings, although published reports say the court will discuss a $3 million loan to the hospital from Revival Home Health Care, which took over hospital operations in September.

As Peninsula struggles, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has hope


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Officials of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center — and 15 students in the complex’s Children’s Day Treatment program — have been granted an early Christmas wish.

The health center and its treatment program have been housed by Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway for over 10 years. But over a month ago, Peninsula’s new management, Revival Home Health Care, said they needed the space back — and by the end of the year — in order to expand the hospital’s emergency room, according to officials.

Now — after first receiving notice to vacate the premises in only three months — Dr. Peter Nelson, the CEO of Addabbo Center, said the program has been given a six-month extension period, and they now have until June 30 to find a new home.

“We made progress in that Mr. Miller acknowledged that it would take longer for us to make the move than by December 31,” Nelson said about the recent — and successful — joint meeting he had with Todd Miller, the hospital’s new CEO, along with representatives from the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Department of Education (DOE).

“There’s a lot to do, but I feel like I have great partners in the DMH and in the DOE to make this happen,” Nelson said.

But by March 1, if program officials cannot guarantee to the DOE that they can provide a suitable new location for its students in time for the June 30 cut-off date, then the DOE will start notifying parents of the students that there will be a different arrangement come next September, Nelson explained.

This would mean that the program would no longer exist and the children would probably be bussed to other programs off the peninsula, said Nelson.

“I have high hopes,” he said.

But if all goes well, the program’s new quarters may turn out to be just a hop and a skip away.

Nelson said program officials have their sights set on the land adjacent to the complex, which is owned by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), on Beach Channel Drive.

He said he was working closely with officials at the EDC, the Department of Mental Health, as well as elected officials, including State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., to move forward with the project, but no plans have been set in stone.

“That would be the best case scenario,” Nelson said. “Nothing is definite for another week or two, but the feeling about it is very positive.”

To be safe, program officials are still looking into other sites, said Nelson.

“I’m really working hard to keep the program open,” he said. “At the end of it all, it will be what it will be.”

And the treatment program isn’t the only one struggling to survive.

An embattled Peninsula Hospital has recently grabbed business headlines for being low on cash and is now in danger of not meeting payroll after December 26 without a cash infusion.

Peninsula and its creditors will return to court on Wednesday, December 14.

Hope for health center in Far Rockaway


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Officials of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center — and 15 students in the complex’s Children’s Day Treatment program — are hoping they won’t be left out on the streets the second the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.

The health center and its treatment program have been housed by Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway for over 10 years.

But close to a month ago, Peninsula’s new management, Revival Home Health Care, said they needed the space back — and by the end of the year — in order to expand the hospital’s emergency room, according to officials.

Now — after first receiving notice to vacate the premises in only three months — Dr. Peter Nelson, the CEO of Addabbo Center, said the program has hope in its frantic search for a new home and more time.

“The message got through to him,” Nelson said of Todd Miller, the hospital’s new CEO, whom he had recently met with regarding the time frame of the removal process. “I think at this point, we’ve got his attention. He wanted to be reasonable, and he wanted to see that we were working hard to find a new place. I think we’ll be able to have more time to relocate than by December 31.”

Miller told The Courier that he has in fact granted the program an extension, but did not specify how long.

He said program officials, Peninsula personnel and representatives from the Department of Mental Health will meet next week on December 7 to discuss plans moving forward, including how much time will be actually needed.

“We’re not going to put them out on the street,” he said. “We’ve always been open to a solution that works for everyone. There was just a process that we needed to go through to make sure [program officials] were focused on the fact that they ultimately needed to find a new space.”

He said he was working closely with officials at the Department of Mental Health, as well as elected officials, including State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., to move forward, but no plans have been set in stone.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Miller is going to make a decision not to have the day treatment program at the hospital,” said Addabbo, who had also met with Miller to discuss the status of the center. “He feels that he wants to expand services of Peninsula Hospital, and I commend him for that and I commend him for his vision for the hospital, but it’s important to continue the program for the children and to find an alternative space for them.”

Addabbo said the one agreement made during his most recent meeting with Miller was that Miller would be “reasonable in providing the program enough time to find an appropriate, accessible space.”

“I appreciate that courtesy. It is an important program for these children, and the families depend on it,” Addabbo said.

The Children’s Day Treatment program provides clinical and academic services for children aged eight to 10, as well as therapeutic services — including individual and group therapy, psychiatry and parental guidance and counseling. The majority of the students are from the Rockaway community, according to officials, and suffer from profound behavioral and emotional difficulties.

“We’re just trying to make a plan about how we would move, when we would move and get them to work with us around that plan rather than work to try to evict us,” said Ronald Lamb, the program’s director. “I hope that it will lead to a mutually beneficial solution.”

Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has hope


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Officials of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center — and 15 students in the complex’s Children’s Day Treatment program — are hoping they won’t be left out on the streets the second the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.

The health center and its treatment program have been housed by Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway for over 10 years.

But close to a month ago, Peninsula’s new management, Revival Home Health Care, said they needed the space back — and by the end of the year — in order to expand the hospital’s emergency room, according to officials.

Now — after first receiving notice to vacate the premises in only three months — Dr. Peter Nelson, the CEO of Addabbo Center, said the program has hope in its frantic search for a new home and more time.

“The message got through to him,” Nelson said of Todd Miller, the hospital’s new CEO, whom he had recently met with regarding the time frame of the removal process. “I think at this point, we’ve got his attention. He wanted to be reasonable, and he wanted to see that we were working hard to find a new place. I think we’ll be able to have more time to relocate than by December 31.”

Miller told The Courier that he has in fact granted the program an extension, but did not specify how long.

He said program officials, Peninsula personnel and representatives from the Department of Mental Health will meet next week on December 7 to discuss plans moving forward, including how much time will be actually needed.

“We’re not going to put them out on the street,” he said. “We’ve always been open to a solution that works for everyone. There was just a process that we needed to go through to make sure [program officials] were focused on the fact that they ultimately needed to find a new space.”

He said he was working closely with officials at the Department of Mental Health, as well as elected officials, including State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., to move forward, but no plans have been set in stone.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Miller is going to make a decision not to have the day treatment program at the hospital,” said Addabbo, who had also met with Miller to discuss the status of the center. “He feels that he wants to expand services of Peninsula Hospital, and I commend him for that and I commend him for his vision for the hospital, but it’s important to continue the program for the children and to find an alternative space for them.”

Addabbo said the one agreement made during his most recent meeting with Miller was that Miller would be “reasonable in providing the program enough time to find an appropriate, accessible space.”

“I appreciate that courtesy. It is an important program for these children, and the families depend on it,” Addabbo said.

The Children’s Day Treatment program provides clinical and academic services for children aged eight to 10, as well as therapeutic services — including individual and group therapy, psychiatry and parental guidance and counseling. The majority of the students are from the Rockaway community, according to officials, and suffer from profound behavioral and emotional difficulties.

“We’re just trying to make a plan about how we would move, when we would move and get them to work with us around that plan rather than work to try to evict us,” said Ronald Lamb, the program’s director. “I hope that it will lead to a mutually beneficial solution.”

Could it be the spirit of the season?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

It might still be the worst way to start off a New Year.

Officials of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in Far Rockaway — and 15 students in the complex’s Children’s Day Treatment program — are hoping they won’t be left on the street the second the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.

With time winding down, Peninsula Hospital’s new management, Revival Home Health Care, had said they needed the space back by December 31 in order to expand the hospital’s emergency room, according to hospital officials.

Parents, staff, elected officials – and we at The Queens Courier – were outraged, especially since only three months’ notice was given for the Center to find a new home.

How could Revival seemingly be so heartless?

But, with a mere month to go, Dr. Peter Nelson, CEO of Addabbo Center, said that Todd Miller, CEO of Revival, has agreed to be “reasonable in providing the program enough time to find an appropriate, accessible space.”

Even State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., for whose father the Center is named, intervened on behalf of the children, meeting with Miller to discuss the status of the center.

We commend Dr. Nelson and Senator Addabbo on their efforts on behalf of the children.

As you know, The Courier has a long and storied history of advocacy, and we feel kudos are in order for these two men.

Now, we can only hope that Miller and Revival will be moved by the spirit of the season.