By Phil Corso
Another Queens hospital shut its doors this week because of financial hardship.
Holliswood Hospital, a 27-year-old, 125-bed, private psychiatric hospital in the middle of the borough, officially closed Aug. 12 and started the process of letting go of nearly 400 employees and discharging its remaining patients. The facility, which offered mental health services to residents and members of the military, is slated to close its doors for good in the coming weeks, a spokesman said.
The abrupt closure came as the result of a fallout in financial negotiations, which cost the jobs of hundreds of mental health technicians, nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists to name a few, the hospital said. Holliswood was in talks with borough nonprofit PSCH Inc. to help keep the facility afloat, but they were unable to strike a deal, according to Holliswood’s spokesman. PSCH Inc. did not comment on the discussions.
A Holliswood spokesman said the facility started discharging its patients earlier this month to other hospitals throughout the borough, depending on each of their specific needs.
Holliswood, at 87-37 Palermo St., was the sixth major hospital to close its doors in Queens over the last 10 years, joining the ranks of Parkway in Forest Hills, St. John’s Queens in Elmhurst, Mary Immaculate in Jamaica and Rockaway’s Peninsula and St. Joseph’s.
An Indiegogo online fund-raising site was created for Holliswood Aug. 6 with a listed goal of bringing in $1 million in donations. As of press time, the site was showing only one $6 donation with 9 days to go. That lone donation came from John Udarbe, a psychiatric doctor from the hospital, the website showed.
“Due to the ownership departing, and no other institutions capable of absorbing the hospital, it will be closed within the next few months,” the fund-raising site said. “However, with your help and contributions, the financial gaps of these other potential buyers can be closed, a deal brokered and the hospital saved.”
Borough President Helen Marshall has long been vocal on what she has called a health care crisis in Queens as hospitals continue to shutter on her watch. Her office commissioned a study on the matter, titled “The Vision for a Comprehensive and Sustainable Healthcare Delivery System in Queens,” back in 2006 and concluded that health care throughout the borough was “not sustainable in its current state.”
The study recommended that a large comprehensive hospital be built in the Rockaways, a suggestion Marshall said went ultimately ignored at the borough’s expense.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.