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Queens Chronicle

South Queens: Peninsula Hospital to close — State

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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2012 4:56 pm | Updated: 2:30 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

Peninsula Hospital in Far Rockaway will be closing its doors for good, the state Health Department said Monday, marking the end of a tumultuous six months that included the facility’s clinical laboratory recently being shuttered after investigators found “serious deficiencies” at the site.

A Health Department spokesman said the hospital is now required to submit a closure plan to the state for approval.

“The department will monitor operations at Peninsula to ensure an orderly closure,” the Health Department said in an emailed statement. “The department will work with other providers to make sure patients have access to services that will be closing. The department will also work with Peninsula to make sure medical records continue to be available to patients and are transferred to appropriate providers upon the request of patients.”

The state did not say when it expects the hospital to close, though hospital workers said they have been told it could happen as early as Friday.

Monday’s announcement is the final blow to a hospital that has traveled a rocky path since last summer.

After financial problems rocked the institution, Peninsula’s parent company, MediSys, ended its affiliation with the facility, and state officials ordered in August that it not take in any new patients until an operational plan could be implemented.

After it was announced that Peninsula could close, leaving just one hospital, St. John’s, to serve the Rockaways, there were numerous rallies to save the facility. In September, Brooklyn-based Revival Home Health Care reached a deal to take over the 104-year-old hospital.

After health officials documented a long list of deficiencies at the clinical lab, state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah ordered Peninsula to close the facility in what was said would be a temporary move.

The health officials detailed a number of problems at the lab, noting, for example, that an individual worked alone at the blood bank in January after receiving just two days of training. Because of this, officials said she did no perform quality controls or take the required daily temperatures to ensure that blood was stored in appropriate conditions.

Workers said they were distressed the hospital would close, emphasizing it left the Rockaways with one hospital on the peninsula — St. John’s.

“It’s shameful that it all had to come to this,” said Herschel Kessler, a third-year resident at Peninsula. “Being a doctor in an under served hospital, I saw the importance of Peninsula to the community, and it’s going to cause a lot of heath concerns for the people in the neighborhood.”

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