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Children’s psych center keeps Glen Oaks home

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State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) said...

By Adam Kramer

The proposed plan by the state Office of Mental Health to move the Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center onto the grounds of the campus of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, has been nixed by the state Senate.

State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) said the Senate Budget Subcommittee rejected OMH’s plan to merge QCPC and the Creedmoor adult facility as well as plans to consolidate and close psychiatric facilities throughout the state.

John Gallagher, Padavan’s spokesman, said the relocation of QCPC will not be included in the Senate’s budget. He said the relocation proposal still needs to go before Gov. George Pataki and the state Assembly, but usually all three legislative bodies are needed to approve a consolidation.

The relocation of QCPC to the Creedmoor campus was viewed as a cost-saving measure.

Padavan said the relocation and consolidation proposal came as a shock to him and other members of the Legislature and it was not a surprise the committee opposed the “absurd behavior.”

“It is a widely held view that children and adults must be treated separately to ensure a certain quality of care and level of safety,” he said. “There is significant research to back this up and countless mental health experts support this.”

Creedmoor is located on a swath of land in Bellerose stretching from Winchester Boulevard to Commonwealth Boulevard along Hillside Avenue. The Queens Children’s Hospital sits across the street from Creedmoor on Commonwealth Boulevard.

Padavan said in January that QCPC was slated for $17.5 million worth of renovations, but the project was vetoed in favor of relocating the hospital. He said OMH had proposed an increase in spending at QCPC due to the $64 million that would have been saved because of the relocation.

“I also think any cost-savings benefit at the expense of these young people is nominal,” Padavan said, “especially when one takes into account the renovations and changes that will have to be made at the Creedmoor facility in order to relocate Queens Children’s. You simply can’t throw children in with adults.”

Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center treats 84 inpatient and 225 outpatient children with mental health problems from around the borough The hospital’s community-based system of care teaches children how to cope with their family school and community.

The 350-acre Creedmoor property consists of 75 buildings used to house a wide variety of city and state agencies. The state psychiatric hospital is concentrated in Building No. 40, the largest structure on the campus, and uses five other buildings to house a chapel, its administration and a museum.

In recent years the state has been selling off sections of the facility as its patient population shrinks for schools, community organizations and private development.

Roger Klingman, a spokesman for the Office of Mental Health in Albany, said the agency understood the Legislature’s views and would work with it to find a resolution.

He said the proposal would have put the two populations under the same roof, but as two separate entities there would have been no co-mingling of children and adults.

There will be a meeting on the proposed relocation Friday, March 16, at 1 p.m. at the Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center. For information call JoAnn Guida at 264-4560.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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