In the borough's, and possibly the country's, first union between the two medical fields, American Mobile Dental Corporation plans to park one of its fully equipped vans behind the Forest Hills hospital, which will then inform patients in its Medicaid ward that oral hygiene and dental services are available outside."(We) will have immediate access to a large patient base that is in serious need of dental services," said Dr. Charles Randolph, chief executive officer of the five-month old mobile dental provider. The partnership is a first for the Westchester-based company, which currently owns two vans that visit homeless shelters and welfare facilities throughout the metro area, Randolph said. "The van is perfect because it does not take up an inch of hospital space," he said, adding that the convenient service would save patients the time and money of traveling to separate dental appointments. Randolph, who also runs a private dental practice in Westchester, said his state-funded company will acquire four more vans and expand to other states within the next 18 months.In a letter to Randolph, Parkway's president, Dr. Robert Aquino, said, "I look forward to our future working relationship being beneficial."Randolph said he hopes to begin visiting the 251-bed hospital by April.Parkway's services drew some negative press recently when a Feb. 21 article in Crain's New York Business listed the facility as one of eight city hospitals that were "ripe for shuttering."Aquino responded vehemently to the article, calling it "grossly inaccurate and not based on any factual evidence.""Allow me to assure you that The New Parkway Hospital is a viable and thriving community hospital that stands ready and able to serve the complex health-care needs of the residents of Queens," he said in a March 9 letter to the editor of TimesLedger Newspapers.Parkway received support from the Greater New York Hospital Association, whose president, Kenneth Raske, in a Feb. 23 letter to Crain's editor, said the article "created news" that only caused "extreme consternation and anxiety among the thousands of families" and workers who are served and employed by the eight flagged hospitals.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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