Updated 09/03/2011 10:20 AM
New Plan Likely Saves Peninsula Hospital From Closure
Peninsula Hospital's vital signs are so good that the state has allowed the ailing Queens hospital to re-open its emergency room to ambulances after an investor rescued the hospital from closure. NY1's Nicole Ward filed the following report.
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Peninsula Hospital has been serving the Rockaways for 104 years. But for several months, the future wasn't so bright. Financial problems plagued the facility, leaving it on the brink of bankruptcy and in danger of completely shutting down. Recently, its emergency room has only been open to walk-ins, with no scheduled elective surgeries.
If Peninsula closed for good, it would have been the fourth hospital in Queens to shut down since 2008, leaving only St. John's Hospital to serve the Rockaways. But now, Revival Home Health has stepped in and offered a financial life line.
"The Department of Health is reviewing it as I understand and then our board of directors have agreed to it," said Peninsula Hospital Director of Public Affairs Liz Sulik.
"We've actually convinced the DOH that we do have staffing; we do have supplies; and that we do have money to restructure this hospital," said Peninsula Hospital Board Member Joe Mure.
Mure says Revival Home Health COO Todd Miller has been named the hospital's chief restructuring officer, and that he's very excited to overhaul the hospital.
"We've been delighted with the reception that we've gotten from the workforce at Peninsula - they're an outstanding group - we toured the facility," Miller told NY1 via telephone. "And the outpouring of affection and the longevity fo the staff there, who have mostly lived on the peninsula, it's just terrific that we're able to save the hospital, save all these jobs, and continue to provide top notch healthcare on the peninsula."
While the deal still needs to be signed off on, the diversion order has been lifted. Ambulances are now once again allowed to bring patients to the ER. And Peninsula should be a fully-functioning hospital by the end of the Labor Day weekend.
Rockaway residents are delighted.
"Very excited, very excited because I relieved that I can go across the street because I live right near by. I live on the other side of the road, said one Far Rockaway resident.
"Yea, pretty happy, 'cause now that I think about it, it's the only hospital right where we live," said another.
The takeover is expected to save about 700 jobs at the hospital.