The announcement came at...
By Kathianne Boniello
Long at odds with some of its residential neighbors, St. Marys Hospital for Children in Bayside last week announced it had succeeded in finding a new office for its Homecare Program and would relocate about 80 employees by fall.
The announcement came at last Thursdays meeting of the Joint Advisory Community Council, a group of hospital administrators, neighbors and civic leaders that was intended to keep communications between the hospital and its neighbors open.
St. Marys Hospital for Children is a non-profit, long-term and rehabilitation facility that features 97 beds and treats children with a wide range of medical disorders. The hospital, which moved to Bayside from the West Side of Manhattan in 1951, is at the intersection of 29th Avenue and 216th Street.
Civic leaders Frank Skala, president of the East Bayside Homeowners Association, and Dr. Blanche Felton, head of the John Golden Park Block Association, have opposed any expansion of St. Marys Hospital for years and have frequently accused the facilitys administrators of ignoring the community. The hospital sits within a quiet pocket of suburban Bayside overlooking Little Neck Bay.
I want to thank you and I want to thank St. Marys for moving on this issue so quickly on this, Felton told the meeting.
Peggy Donohue, who runs the Homecare Program for St. Marys, said the hospital had signed a lease for a new office in New Hyde Park and had received permission from the state Department of Health June 6 to move the program.
We will be able to relocate a large portion of the staff by September to that office, she said.
The hospitals Homecare Program serves mostly children who are homebound and requires workers to travel to the hospital before going out into the field. Skala and Felton have long maintained that if the programs were moved off St. Marys Bayside site, there would be less traffic in the neighborhood.
Donohue said a second location for the Homecare Program was in the process of being acquired on Francis Lewis Boulevard. The Francis Lewis Boulevard office should be ready for the hospital by early October, she said.
Libby Zimmer, president of the St. Marys Hospital for Children Foundation, the facilitys fund-raising branch, said about 50 employees would move to the New Hyde Park office and an additional 30 would shift to the Francis Lewis Boulevard site.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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