Holliswood Hospital shuts its doors

Holliswood Hospital is the latest Queens facility to close its doors.
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Another Queens hospital shut its doors this week because of financial hardship.

Holliswood Hospital, a 27-year-old, 125-bed, private psychiatric hospital in the middle of the borough, officially closed Aug. 12 and started the process of letting go of nearly 400 employees and discharging its remaining patients. The facility, which offered mental health services to residents and members of the military, is slated to close its doors for good in the coming weeks, a spokesman said.

The abrupt closure came as the result of a fallout in financial negotiations, which cost the jobs of hundreds of mental health technicians, nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists to name a few, the hospital said. Holliswood was in talks with borough nonprofit PSCH Inc. to help keep the facility afloat, but they were unable to strike a deal, according to Holliswood’s spokesman. PSCH Inc. did not comment on the discussions.

A Holliswood spokesman said the facility started discharging its patients earlier this month to other hospitals throughout the borough, depending on each of their specific needs.

Holliswood, at 87-37 Palermo St., was the sixth major hospital to close its doors in Queens over the last 10 years, joining the ranks of Parkway in Forest Hills, St. John’s Queens in Elmhurst, Mary Immaculate in Jamaica and Rockaway’s Peninsula and St. Joseph’s.

An Indiegogo online fund-raising site was created for Holliswood Aug. 6 with a listed goal of bringing in $1 million in donations. As of press time, the site was showing only one $6 donation with 9 days to go. That lone donation came from John Udarbe, a psychiatric doctor from the hospital, the website showed.

“Due to the ownership departing, and no other institutions capable of absorbing the hospital, it will be closed within the next few months,” the fund-raising site said. “However, with your help and contributions, the financial gaps of these other potential buyers can be closed, a deal brokered and the hospital saved.”

Borough President Helen Marshall has long been vocal on what she has called a health care crisis in Queens as hospitals continue to shutter on her watch. Her office commissioned a study on the matter, titled “The Vision for a Comprehensive and Sustainable Healthcare Delivery System in Queens,” back in 2006 and concluded that health care throughout the borough was “not sustainable in its current state.”

The study recommended that a large comprehensive hospital be built in the Rockaways, a suggestion Marshall said went ultimately ignored at the borough’s expense.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 1:52 am, August 23, 2013
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

s says:
great location for a new public high school!
Aug. 22, 2013, 2:09 pm
C from Queens says:
The owners are crooks and were funneling monies from the Hospital to help out their other agencies. They probably were mismanaging funds to pay for their high class lives. How come the 2 other locations are still open? It's a shame all those people lost their jobs. There were really good people at that worked at this hospital. No severance, and short notice but the owners can claim bankruptcy and collect. Shame on it all!
Aug. 23, 2013, 2:11 pm
AL from Queens Village says:
This is a travesty! This is most certainly a healthcare crisis. Too few hospitals remain for far too many people. Just one more area that shows NYC and its surrounding areas don't have room for the poor and middle class.
Aug. 26, 2013, 2:48 pm
AL from Queens Village says:
This is a travesty! This is most certainly a healthcare crisis. Too few hospitals remain for far too many people. Just one more area that shows NYC and its surrounding areas don't have room for the poor and middle class.
Aug. 26, 2013, 2:48 pm
AL from Queens Village says:
This is a travesty! This is most certainly a healthcare crisis. Too few hospitals remain for far too many people. Just one more area that shows NYC and its surrounding areas don't have room for the poor and middle class.
Aug. 26, 2013, 2:48 pm
Thetrueword from Holliswood says:
There is a report from a patient stating that the hospital staff kept patients locked in their rooms because they didn't feel like patrolling the halls. In addition social workers who were never there and only saw patients for about 10 minutes and never saw them again. Looks like the staff just hid out in the seclusion of Holliswood because no one was ever checking on them. Looks like it just caught up with them in the end. There are also reports stealing funds. The staff seem very upset about themselves but if you notice not very concerned about the patients. So the reports about the staff must be true.
Aug. 29, 2013, 8:18 pm
R Biel from Bayside, NY says:
My daughter was in Holliswood when the facility was only a few years old, and it's very sad to see it close. My daughter got very intense therapy, and I know that it helped her in many ways. What a shame to hear that it's closing!!! It's a major loss for the people that need help.
Sept. 13, 2013, 1:31 pm
K. Thompson from Fresh Meadows, NY says:
I was an intern at Holliswood Hospital and the staff were upset because they didn't receive any severance pay. There were employees there for 10,20,30 years. What are they supposed to do now in a world that's tech savy? Additionally, you have well qualified Nurses but you have all of these other hospital closings. I feel bad for the individuals that were hired back in April 2013 and don't qualify for unemployment insurance. This is disgraceful. You have people that closed on homes, putting their kids through college, and professionals that are expecting babies. You have interns that struggled to find a suitable environment and when they do this happens. For clarity, the staff do not LOCK any patient in any rooms. For safety, the doors only close when a patient is changing their attire nothing else.
Sept. 18, 2013, 10:08 am
Elizabeth from Queens, NY says:
I have worked with many clients who received services at Holliswood - and just like any institution (schools, hospitals, treatment programs) there are those clients who do extremely well and report an excellent exprerience at the facility, and then there have been those who reported a negative experience; overall, the far majority of my clients had much mor positive to say about the staff of Holliswod than negative.

My experience of the Director of Adolescent Services, Dr. Reed Welson, was remarkable. He was very clearly an extremly bright, well educted, sensitive, compassionate man who was able to think outside the box to consider how best to help his clients and families meet their goals.

The abrupt closing of a facility with such an important mandate for taking care of such a vulnerable population - should not have happened. I am very disappointed that our community does not have a regulatory body to prohibt such shocking disruptions of service to the most needy of our community from happening. Many of the cients at Holliswood Hospital were trauma survivors and survivors o multiple losses. To have the place they were being cared for by close so suddenly -was an additional sudden trauma and loss that these patients did not need or deserve.

There were patients who were admitted only a day or a few days before the announcemnt came about the closing. I find it hard to believe that the hosital could not have planned for a more thoughtful, graceful, medically responsible ending to their era of care. If there is not a law to prevent this - there certainly should be.

My thanks go to all of those who helped those who needed help, when they need it.

My best wishes go to all of the patients who's care was disrupted with the hope that they receive the services they need from caring professionals in a place that can truly go the distance and provide for them.
Sept. 18, 2013, 1:23 pm
Joan from NJ says:
I am very sorry to hear about the closing of this hospital. My son came there in a crisis time in his life . Everyone on staff was caring and supportive to him and us as his family. I hope that the staff all find jobs. We needed them, they were there for us and now they won't be there for others. A real shame.
Oct. 1, 2013, 12:42 pm
Annie from Holliswood says:
A good high school concentrated on computer science and gives 2 years of college credits like Bard HS in Astoria should be built here. Students can graduate with an associates degree. This location can easily accommodate about 300 students if restructured properly.
Nov. 3, 2013, 9:49 am
Glad they are shut down! says:
The news that this hospital has closed down
Has brought peace and happiness to my heart. This was the worst hospital. I will say one thing I was put into the solitary room because I couldn't sleep one night and kept getting up asking for food because i was hungry.. they didnt even give me a juice, milk, or a cracker..Staff got upset and locked me up in the solitary room which had urine on the floor I was bare foot and steped on the urine I was telling staff to let me out there is urine on the floor and they didn't let me out till the next day.
Dec. 31, 2013, 1:18 am
mary from Jamaica says:
I was extremely shocked to hear Holliswood closing. My daughter was treated in holliswood and I can honestly say.. The faculty and doctors DID a well job with her treatment.. She is well now and I'm grateful she was able to have the care at the time... it's unfortunate for other children that may require the help and there's not enough facilities and available rooms for these kids..
Jan. 13, 2014, 3:01 pm
Chris from NY says:
I'm glad this place is shutting down. I used to be a patient there many many years ago and I remember spending a whole lot of time in my room. I remember coming down with strep throat and don't recall them giving me any care. I do remember feeling like a zombie with all those meds they forced me to take...
April 3, 2014, 3:52 pm
Jamie from Holliswood says:
Sad that the hospital has closed its doors, but hopefully the property gets used for something useful such as a school.
April 15, 2014, 7:05 pm
Camea from Queens says:
I'm so glad they shut down I was a patient in 2003 and 1999 and I can honestly say this was NOT a good place at all. The social wokes didn't even talk to us except fo once in a while. It was boing too. They did not take us out fo ai and we had to stay in ou ooms with nothing to do fo at least 2-3 hous a day. I saw staff violently take down some of the patients. I even witnessed a staff putting a sheet ove a patients head. I had to stay hungey most of the time cause they food was mad nasty. Wheneva it was an emegency (fo example anotha patient acting up) They would send us all to ou ooms which was so not fai. This hospital was like jail. Believe me. I'm so glad they shut it down. They would also foce you to take mad meds ova thee and I hated the way they made me feel. Those meds made you feel like a zombie.
June 23, 2014, 4:10 pm
SO GLAD!! from Queens says:
Holliswood was the wost hospital I've been to tha memoies of what I saw happen ova thee with my own eyes still haunts me today. I saw otha patients tied up to they beds, I saw patients being foced to stay isolaion oom fo hous on end and cying and begging to be let out, and staff still didn't let them out. Thee was a female put in isolation oom fo "sobbing and being upset" she begged staff to be let out and they ignoed he pleas. Afte a while, she cied and begged to be let out because she had to use the ladies oom, and they still didn't let he out. Instead they ignoed he and when she continued to plead a male staff yelled into the isolation oom "I'll bing you a pot" This place was hell.
June 23, 2014, 4:21 pm
Holliswood was hell from Queens says:
This place sucked. My fist night at this place, staff put me in isolation oom because I asked them nicely to make a phone call home. They told me I had to wait till the moning because "phone time was ove" and aftee that staff told me to go to my oom I went and came out late and they put me in isolation oom fo being "uncoopative with staff" when I cied and asked to be let out, they came in with medication, when I didn't want to take it they called many staff in the oom who slammed me down on the floo and gave me a shot. This place was my wost nightmae.
June 23, 2014, 4:28 pm
YAY!!!! from Queens says:
This hospital was not a good place. I'M SO glad they closed!!!!! I was a patient many yeas ago and it was so bad. Such a nasty and unsanitay place.
June 23, 2014, 4:32 pm
YAY!!!! from Queens says:
This hospital was not a good place. I'M SO glad they closed!!!!! I was a patient many yeas ago and it was so bad. Such a nasty and unsanitay place.
June 23, 2014, 4:32 pm
Amy from Queens says:
I was a patient on the adolescent unit many yeas ago and Holliswood helped me a lot, I came to hospital depessed and suicidal and they talked with me and they put me on meds that helped me and now I am 30 and I am back in society. I am so sad it's closed because now people in my shoes can not get help.
June 23, 2014, 4:39 pm
Camille from manhattan says:
My son was 32 when he was admitted to Holliswood hospital, He was suffeing fom depession and sadness and I can honestly say Hollliswood helped him a lot. He came home a new man and I applaud the staff and nuses fo helping my son. I am impessed with theti sevices. So sad that this hospital is gone, it helped many people.
June 23, 2014, 4:47 pm
They lied to me from Queens says:
I was admitted to Hollliswood due to issues with alcoholism. They pomised to help me but they neve did and I was going though vey bad withdawals which made me go nuts and instead of them helping me they kept me in cuffs all day and physically estained. Vey bad.
June 23, 2014, 6:16 pm
Too many fights at Holliswood says:
I was a patient at Holliswood fo 2 weeks and I can't say they helped me at all, I was thee due to depession and I was pomised a session with psycoogist at least 4 times a week to discuss why I was depessed. It neva happened. Place was vey stict too and they did not even allow us to socialize much cause most of the times we wee in ou ooms, also way too many fights between patients and lots of patients was getting taken down by staff (I mean lots of staff like 4-5 staff at once) fo simple things such as cying o yelling o efusing to stay in they oom when staff told them they had to. Patients would also thow stuff on the floo and bathooms was always locked which I hated. Place was smelly too and when I complained about it none of the staff did anything about it. Not good hospital at all. Glad they closed.
June 23, 2014, 9:09 pm
keith from manhattan says:
Holliswood helped my son and staff was OK, if not supportive. However, it's a large piece of land in the middle of a very pretty, secluded neighborhood. Easy to imagine the space turned into high end single family homes, would not be surprised if real estate interests influenced the decision to shut this hospital down.
Sept. 16, 2014, 2:29 pm
T from holiswood 2007 &2010 says:
I was admitted to this hospital twice. Honestly it was horrible, They never fixed the problem with the AC freezing the room and they only gave us 1 thin blanket. They would result to sedatives for arguments between patients even if they were minimal. They allowed fights to happen often and only broke them up once they were getting TOO extreme. It was just a horrible hospital experience, it looked pretty on the outside but the inside was really bad
Oct. 28, 2014, 9:53 pm
Robert from Queens says:
I was in hospital many times over there as a kid then when I got older it was not bad for people with mental illness along with drug problems for many years then as I went back after years I seen it fall apart after all good staff left the hospital fell apart I can say as a patient of there it was hell at times but the very few staff that did care they help 1000s of people its sad to see it go but its not the hospital its who runs it but the old staff from the 90s to 20s who put there hearts into helping others like myself its a long story but life moves on
Jan. 10, 2015, 2:10 am
Jef from Queens says:
There is good and bad in everything, Holliswood was no different. You had staff that put their heart and soul into their patients and you had some that came for the paycheck. Over the years Holliswood helped many people and it's truley sad to see it close.
Jan. 14, 2015, 11:09 pm
They ruined my life!!! from Brooklyn says:
The staff where raping women and the girls there if u told you were sedated. Or locked in your room for days and hours. when I was there they also sedated me all the time and I only went there because I was depressed by the time I left there I was a antsy psycho and ever since then my life has been a living hell because I have blackouts because of the meds that they gave me , I will never be the same. Thank God they closed down because alot of lives were probably saved! that was the most horrible hospital on the planet !!!! Nothing but
evil people worked there. They suppose to help you not hurt you!!!
Oct. 30, 2015, 7:16 am
FORMER PATIENT from Jamaica Queens is HORRIBLE says:
THANK GOD THIS HOUSE OF HORRORS CLOSED !! I was a patient here for 2 weeks . The staff (nurse aids, doctors, security, everyone) was sadistic and abusive. They encouraged and permitted a violent 6 foot thug to go on a rampage that lasted 15 minutes. He threw chairs at other patients, broke an exit sign, slammed doors- the staff were entertained by the fear he caused. I called 911 on a payphone and the cops came to control him because the staff did NOTHING, They drugged me, disrobed me and abused me , they knocked me out with drugs. When I woke up I was disrobed. They had a fight club and encouraged the violent patients to torment the weaker patients. They got mad because I wanted to use the payphone, they locked me in the solitary room and there was dried blood all over the fall. These unethical monsters DESERVED to lose their jobs, they deserve NO severance pay or pensions. F.U.C.K HOLLISWOOD HOSPITAL, THE FORMER STAFF SHOULD ROT IN H-E-L-L.
Jan. 2, 2016, 1:19 am
The former staff should be charged with civil rights violations for abuse and violating the rights of patients.
Jan. 2, 2016, 1:22 am
Will from the says:
Too bad psychiatry is so undervalued in this country. Next stop: the East River.
May 5, 2016, 6:25 pm
Anthony Hernandez RN says:
I was Hired at Holliswood Hospital as an RN located on Three North, five months before it closed. I quickly found a therapeutic bond between my young adult clients. Staff was extremely supportive, educated,sympathetic and empathetic. I may have won a best care gram in three months but as an RN was the award I received from all twenty eight of my clients I received on my unit. A big arts and crafts signature of love from all of them. It abrubtly closed, However time moves on and I want you guys to know that award is in a frame at my desk and I think about u guys daily
Sept. 13, 2016, 9:07 pm
U from Brooklyn says:
I was there back in 1999-2000 And I must say they help me get my life back on track I had serious behavior problems....The staff social workers even Doctor M..... I guess the 90s & early 2000 staff was the best..... I wish everyone the best!
Sept. 27, 2016, 6:38 pm
glad from brooklyn says:
glad they closed they put me2sleep1st day
a lot meds my life isterrible now thank god
Jan. 6, 2017, 12:55 pm
Thomas from Bronx says:
I was a patient there in 2005. I spent 2 months in that hell hole. The staff were rude and they basically treated you like a criminal. In addition to that, they would always resort to hands-on restraining. Even when it wasn't really necessary.
Jan. 7, 2017, 4:02 pm
jessica rosa from bronx,ny says:
Thank ——ing god that —— closed the —— down. that place was like living hell and it was really bad. when we wanted to fight they will encourage it and give us 10 minutes to fight they waited til one was physically injured to stop the fight. I was there at age 11 and i was there do to running away. One day i went to ask the nurse if i can get some water and she told me shes gonna warn me to go back to my room or shes gonna inject me with medicine and i told her i was gonna pass out if i dont drink water as i was explaining why i need water she was getting the injection ready and they all knew im allergic to the injections they give me and they didnt care after they gave me the injection i went into an allergic reaction and they had to give me an eppipen to calm my hives down. then they threw me into the quiet room and right now im 19 years old and i wouldn't recommend that hospital to noone. i wont recommend that hospital to be open again.
March 7, 2017, 11:23 am
Former patient from Queens says:
I was a patient in 3 North (the adolescent wing) more than once in 2009. I suffer from bipolar disorder. When i was a patient i was jumped multiple times constantly sedated, strapped down to my bed and left for days while i drooled on myself, and thrown into the “quiet room” (solitary confinement) in a straight jacket for fighting back my attackers. These are memories nearly ten years later that i will never get out of my head. Sadly out of all of the other psych hospitals i was in throughout my adolescence Holliswood was the most humane. It was more humane than Bellevue, LIJ, and certainly Elmhurst just to name a few, but it certainly was far from the level of care that it should have been. When i was released i was so heavily sedated on Thorazine and other benzodiazepines that i went through withdrawal and it nearly killed me so i continued to use Xanax to cope. I was a full fledge drug addict by the age of 16. I’ve been clean a little over six years now and currently work in the mental health field. After surviving experiences and abuses like the ones i did i Holliswood i was inspired to make a difference in the mental health community. Something needs to change. We are all better off without Holliswood.
July 6, 3:50 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: