Before an appreciative audience of medical personnel, health care providers and media, Governor David A. Paterson visited New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) to announce $436 million in grants.
On Friday, September 25, Paterson announced the funding, through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State (HEAL NY), “to institutions that are creating more effective and more efficient ways of caring for those in need.”
“Thanks to these grants, our health care facilities will get much-needed technology upgrades that will save them money, more of our hospitals will be able to join forces to improve patient care and our long-term care system will be able to provide better service to the growing population of aging New Yorkers and New Yorkers with disabilities,” said Paterson.
New York State Department of Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., accompanied Paterson; both acknowledged that Queens has lost three hospitals in the last year.
NYHQ received $4 million to renovate and expand its Emergency Department with 14 new treatment spaces, a short-stay unit to reduce admissions and support space.
Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center received more than $18.3 million combined to help fund a “Transformational Hospital System Restructuring” involving vascular and cardiology services; emergency room reconfiguration, and a consultant to make the Queens Hospital Network “a more rational, cost-effective array of services.”
Other Queens institutions receiving some of the $30 million dedicated to the borough include Charles B. Wang Community Health Center; Damian Family Care Center; Flushing Hospital and Medical Center; Forest Hills Hospital; Institute for Community Living; Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Diagnostic and Treatment Center; Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center; Mount Sinai Hospital; and Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.
Daines explained that despite calls for contingency funding for the closed hospitals in case of an epidemic, existing facilities had plenty of “surge capacity” in case of catastrophe.
“It’s more a function of available staffing rather than space,” he said.
The very last question was posed to the much-mentioned and very pregnant Assemblymember Grace Meng as Paterson was leaving the hall by The Courier: “Is it a boy or a girl?”
As the overdue mom, who told The Courier she was expected to deliver on Tuesday, September 29, gave a thumbs-up and mouthed the words “It’s a boy,” the basketball-playing Paterson deftly cut back to the lectern and declared:
“It’s a Democrat.”