Parkway Hosp. emerges from 3-yr. bankruptcy

By Alex Christodoulides

New Parkway filed its notice of effective date with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the hospital announced last week.Dr. Robert Aquino, chief executive officer and president of New Parkway Hospital, was delighted with the news, saying it puts the hospital “in a position to become one of the region's premier hospitals.”In the three years since New Parkway entered bankruptcy, the hospital has added several new services and programs, consistently achieved the best emergency room turnaround time in Queens and significantly reduced its length of stay while improving patient outcomes, the hospital said.”I look forward to making some exciting and important new announcements in the very near future,” Aquino said.What those plans are will be revealed at a later date.”We are in discussions with the state Department of Health about those plans,” said Fred Stewart, vice president of new business development at New Parkway Hospital. “There will probably be some restructuring of the hospital, some redirection as to how we can become an even more needs-driven institution.”Stewart declined to elaborate beyond saying that the hospital may eliminate some of its 251 acute care beds.The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 after negotiations with its creditors broke down. The biggest creditor, health care workers union SEIU 1199, cut off health and pension coverage for its 625 union members at Parkway until the hospital paid a $13 million debt that it had accumulated since 2001.Aquino stepped into the top spots at Parkway Hospital in 2004.Parkway has also been seeking to fight the 2006 state-commissioned Berger report that recommended closing it and four other New York City hospitals in order to reduce health care costs. Parkway believes it should be exempt from the recommendation because it is a for-profit institution that takes no grants or subsidies from the state or any other agency.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.