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Mt. Sinai Hospital gets $1M to handle new patients

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After being hit with a flood of new patients since two other Queens hospitals closed in February, Long Island City’s Mt. Sinai Hospital is receiving $1 million from the state to bolster its staff.

The money, part of the state’s Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers fund, will help the hospital hire more physicians, nurses and nurse’s assistants to staff the emergency room.

“These additional funds will go a long way to improve patient care,” said Mt. Sinai spokesman John Kump in an e−mail. “They will allow us to expand our Emergency Department capacity and make improvements throughout the hospital.”

The facility had a 10 percent surge in hospital discharges during March, Kump said. He attributed that to the closing of St. John’s Hospital in Elmhurst, part of the bankrupt Caritas system that folded in February after the state refused to provide any more funding. Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica was the other site that closed.

Legislators and the state Health Department did provide $18 million in funding to other borough hospitals to expand their facilities in the wake of the closures.

Health Department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton said the agency contacted Mt. Sinai before making the initial allocation, but they declined any assistance.

The hospital is accredited for 235 beds and is currently using 200 of them, Kump said. The hospital has approximately 930 staff members, half of which are nurses, he said.

News of the allocation pleased City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria), who worked with the hospital to request the funding from the state.

“I’m glad to see that the state reconsidered and gave Mt. Sinai the money it desperately needs,” he said, noting Mt. Sinai is the only hospital serving northwestern Queens. “When they originally came to see me, they were receiving absolutely nothing. I thought that was ridiculous because they clearly are being affected by the closings.”

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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