Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) announced that St. Johnís Episcopal Hospital was awarded nearly $5.4 million under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State (HEAL NY). The funds will be used to expand services in light of the recent closure of Peninsula Hospital.
ďThis is an enormous first step in finally addressing the health care needs of Southern Queens and the Rockaways now that Peninsula Hospital has closed,Ē said Assemblyman Goldfeder. ďThis funding will ensure that St. Johnís has the tools necessary to expand their services in order to adequately provide for quality health care that our community needs.Ē
This award is part of the final round of grants under New York Stateís existing Medicaid 1115 Waiver, which expires March 31, 2014. Funds are allocated through the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY). The grant will help St. Johnís develop capital projects such as the conversion of hospital inpatient space to outpatient and ambulatory care.
The Department of Health received a diverse group of applicants from around the state and determined the need for capital funding for St. Johnís was crucial given the dire health care situation on the peninsula, Assemblyman Goldfeder noted.
ďSt. Johnís is now the only hospital on the Rockaway Peninsula and it has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of emergency department patients since Peninsula Hospital closed,Ē Assemblyman Goldfeder said. ďSt. Johnís is attempting to provide care for 130,000 year-round residents, in addition to the influx of tourists that travel to our area in the summer months and this canít be adequately done without an increase in capacity. The grant will go a long way in providing the families of the Rockaways with sufficient and reliable care.Ē