Tag Archives: Todd Miller

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’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.

 

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.”

Children’s treatment program at Peninsula Hospital may soon be homeless


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Ronald Lamb.

Three months after they rallied to rescue Peninsula Hospital Center, parents of a children’s day treatment program in the complex say they now need saving too.

The hospital center in Far Rockaway has housed the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center — and its children’s day treatment program — for over 10 years.

But now, Peninsula’s new management, Revival Home Health Care, says they need the space back — and fast — leaving program officials and its 15 current students scrambling for a new home by the end of the year.

“I think it’s really disappointing and sad because that’s a good program. It really is,” said Denise Hendricks, mother of a 13-year-old mentally handicapped student in the program. “The community needs that program. They do. For me and my child, it’s good where it’s at right now.”

The program provides clinical and academic services for children and teens who mostly reside in the Rockaway area, according to the program’s director, Ronald Lamb, and who suffer from profound behavioral and emotional difficulties.

Lamb said the program provides educational and therapeutic services — including individual and group therapy, psychiatry and parental guidance and counseling.

“I’m very troubled by it and very disappointed,” he said. “I think it’s much too short notice for us to find a sufficient, appropriate space in the community to house our program. It’s also extremely disruptive to our children to have to move out in the middle of the school year. It would create a highly traumatic situation for them and would damage their emotional, psychological well-being.”

Lamb said he received the notice of termination within the past month, when Dr. Peter Nelson, CEO of Addabbo Center, was informed by the hospital center’s new CEO Todd Miller.

He said they were given three months to vacate the premises.

“If we don’t have a place to go, we’ll be homeless. We’ll have to suspend our operations,” he said. “There have been some leads for new locations,but nothing is concrete and nothing has proven yet to be a viable option.”

Peninsula officials said the space is needed to expand the hospital’s emergency room.

“The hospital felt that was adequate enough time to move,” said Liz Sulik, director of external affairs. “That’s the time they needed to get going with their own plans. Beginning in January, I believe they anticipate needing the space.”

Sulik said hospital officials were very conscious of the time it would take for program officials to find a new location and offered to help facilitate the move.

“When notice was given, the hospital took everything into consideration. I think they did everything possible, even delay their own plans to move forward,” she said. “Hopefully they will find adequate space so that the program can be moved in an orderly fashion and not cause any disruption for the students.”

But parent Juana Ruiz said disruption is imminent for her 13-year-old son, who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“I really don’t feel good about this. He doesn’t cope well with changes. He doesn’t adjust to movement because of his condition. I’m worried that he’s not going to do as well once they move him,” she said.

Ruiz said ever since her son began going to the center, he has improved so much that he has become “one of the best kids in there.”

“They know they’re dealing with mentally-ill children,” she said of hospital officials. “If they knew how much damage they’re doing to these kids, they would give the center more time. How can you pick up a kid and tell him, ‘This is not your school anymore. We have to move you out.’ They’re not doing damage to the owners or the people who run the program — they’re doing damage to our children.”

Now, frustrated parents and program officials plan to compose a formal letter to the hospital. Lamb said he hopes to earn if not a permanent stay, more time — at least until next summer — to move.

“We rallied to save the hospital, to help them continue, and now they’re pulling us out,” Ruiz said.