By Anna Gustafson
Forest Hills Hospital recently named a new executive and medical director, a move expected to help the institution deal with the influx of patients due to the closure of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals in early March.
Geralyn Randazzo, a nurse, was named the executive director and Gerard X. Brogan is now the hospital’s medical director.
Hospital officials anticipate the two will help mitigate the 25 percent jump in volume in the emergency department since St. John’s and Mary Immaculate hospitals permanently shuttered their doors, according to a statement from the North Shoreâˆ’LIJ Health System. Forest Hills Hospital is a member of the system.
The hospital has also seen a 5 percent increase in patient discharges since St. John’s and Mary Immaculate closed.
Randazzo said she and Brogan, along with a team of other hospital officials, are making changes to the institution to accommodate the spike in the number of patients.
“We’re adding leadership positions,” Randazzo said. “We’ve hired a new director for the ICU and we have a new chief of medicine coming. We’re looking to expand our capacity in the building.”
The executive director said the hospital has been able to reactivate eight of its beds and plans to add more in the future.
“We have a desire at some point in time to expand the capacity of this building, whether it be at this site or another location,” Randazzo said. “We need additional beds to accommodate the growing volume.”
Randazzo, who holds a master’s in nursing, was the deputy executive director prior to assuming her new position. As executive director, Randazzo will be responsible for the hospital’s dayâˆ’toâˆ’day operations. She replaces former executive director Robert Hettenbach, who left last July.
Brogan is now responsible for overseeing the hospital’s clinical departments and medical affairs, according to the release issued by Forest Hills. He previously was the vice president of emergency services for Plainview and Syosset Hospitals and director of Plainview Hospital’s Stroke Center.
Community members have been concerned St. John’s and Mary Immaculate’s closings would stretch area hospitals dangerously thin. Forest Hills also saw New Parkway Hospital shuttered in November, though Randazzo said there was not a large increase in volume after that, largely in part because “there were more hospitals in the area to absorb the patients.”
Caritas, the parent company of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February because it had nearly $100 million in debt, according to court papers.
After closing in November, New Parkway Hospital became Concordia Management and now offers radiology, laboratory, hyperbaric and wound care and sleep center services.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by eâˆ’mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718âˆ’229âˆ’0300, Ext. 174.