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Ackerman gets $440K for LIJ psych hospital

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U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) announced Friday he has secured $440,000 to help with the redevelopment and rebuilding of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System’s Hillside Hospital.

The money will pay for the construction of the Glen Oaks hospital’s new Child and Adolescent Pavilion — a 112-bed inpatient building for treating children and adolescents.

Hillside Hospital, a group of numerous building on the LIJ campus, is the mental health facility of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. It is a 223-bed inpatient and outpatient hospital renowned for its work in the diagnosis, treatment and research of mental illness.

“These funds will ensure that the North Shore-LIJ system can conduct leading edge research while providing the best possible care for our children and teenagers,” Ackerman said. “I am pleased to have been helpful in making this vision a reality.”

Paul Hochenberg, executive director of the LIJ medical center, said the funding secured by the congressman will be used in the rehabilitation of Hillside Hospital scheduled to begin toward the end of 2002. He said with the renovation, “we will be able to provide state of the art facilities,” which will help to provide better patient care and enhance the hospital’s environment.

“The hospital will be celebrating its 75th anniversary next year and LIJ its 50th anniversary,” said Hochenberg. “It is a very appropriate time for us to be embarking on a renovation of Hillside Hospital.”

He said Dr. John Kane, chief of staff at Hillside Hospital, was responsible for engineering the project and helped to develop the strategies for rebuilding the aging hospital.

Ackerman said the hospital at 75-25 263rd Street is one of the nation’s premier mental health facilities and houses one of the nation’s four Clinical Research Centers for Schizophrenia established by the National Institute of Mental Health. In 2000, Hillside treated 13,494 patients of which 2,164 were admitted to the hospital.

“Adolescents and children are a fast growing section of the inpatient and ambulatory population and the hospital’s programs will be helped by this bill,” Hochenberg said.

The funding secured by Ackerman was part of the Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriation bill signed into law last month by President George Bush.

The multimillion-dollar rehabilitation endeavor should start toward the end of 2002 and be finished in a few years, Hochenberg said. “It is a significant step forward in behavioral health treatment.”

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

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