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Local News December 22, 2011  RSS feed

MED. CENTER EYES FUTURE

Jamaica Hospital CEO Welcomes Board 9
by Sam Goldman


Jamaica Hospital President and CEO Bruce Flanz updates Board 9 on the present and future of the medical center. 
(photo: Sam Goldman) Jamaica Hospital President and CEO Bruce Flanz updates Board 9 on the present and future of the medical center. (photo: Sam Goldman) The head of Jamaica Hospital updated Community Board 9 on the present and future of the medical center at the board’s Tuesday, Dec. 13 at its Trump Pavilion.

Jamaica Hospital CEO and President Bruce Flanz, who took the top job in March, started his report to Board 9 with news that he has just visited the trauma team that attempted to save the life of Det. Peter Figoski, who was killed in the line of duty in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Cypress Hills on Dec. 12 (Figoski was posthumously promoted to Detective on Dec. 19).

“We’re just so proud of our staff,” he stated, adding that “while we can’t guarantee results, we can guarantee effort.”

He then turned to the circumstances surrounding Flanz’s promotion to CEO and the dismissal—and subsequent arrest and conviction for bribery in September—of former CEO David Rosen.

“I’m a big believer in being candid and honest,” said Franz, who added that the hospital’s board of trustees released Rosen shortly after his indictment and appointed Franz to provide stability “in a very uncertain time.”

In addition, MediSys, the hospital’s parent company, hired former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter (now in private practice) to perform a thorough review of Jamaica Hospital to ensure that no other laws are being

-SEE BOARD 9 ON PG. 81- broken.

Although the full report is scheduled to be released in January 2012, Franz told the crowd that the report will show that Rosen’s actions were “not a systemic issue.”

With the review over, Franz expressed hope that the focus will remain of giving “the absolute best care that we can provide.”

To do so, the hospital created a 10-point plan intended to determine their priorities, with an emphasis on the quality of care.

“We don’t believe that bigger is necessarily better,” Franz noted, and with an eye on getting “leaner and meaner,” MediSys has disassociated itself from Peninsula Hospital in the Rockaways, and hopes to do the same with Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn by merging it with Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, a plan urged by the state’s Medicaid Redesign Task Force.

With three Queens hospitals within three miles of Jamaica Hospital (Mary Immaculate, Parkway and St. John’s) closing in recent years, Franz admitted that his medical center is “stretched out as much as we can.”

“No doubt in today’s environment, health care facilities are really under the gun,” he added; however, he believes that while 2011 was “a year of crisis ... 2012 will be a transformational year” for Jamaica Hospital.

Crime update

Police Officers Joe Martins and Jose Severino of the 102nd Precinct’s Community Affairs Unit reminded the crowd to shop safely by hiding their purchases in their car trunks, and to move your car, to prevent thieves from “Christmas shopping while you are shopping for someone else,” according to Severino.

“You don’t want to advertise that you just bought a laptop,” said Severino.

He also noted that the precinct is cracking down on “reckless behavior” on scooters and motorized bicycles.

The two officers also had some words for Detective Figoski.

“Even if you don’t know the person directly, it still affects you. Yesterday was a long and tough day for a lot of us,” said Martins. “It makes you really think when your wife or your mother or your sister or your brother tells you, ‘be careful.’”

Greenway push

In her report to Board 9, Chairperson Andrea Crawford noted that a push has resumed to create a greenway on the abandoned Rockaway Beach train line, claiming that the Trust For Public Land plans to fund a feasibility study of the proposed greenway.

A 2007 push for the greenway came up short but there is renewed interest, Crawford noted, due to the success of the High Line in Manhattan.

Crawford claimed that there is support for the greenway “from Forest Hills to Ozone Park” as well as in City Hall, and expressed hope that the first phase of the project will be completed in the next three to four years.

(Editor’s Note: Board 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio told the Times Newsweekly on Wednesday, Dec. 14 that no presentation has been made to his board regarding the greenway at this time. The northern end of the decommissioned train line lies within Board 6’s confines, but the advisory body voted the project down in 2007 citing security concerns and the greenway’s proximity to nearby homes.)

Traffic change shelved

A proposal to switch the direction of 84th Street between Liberty and Atlantic avenues to a one-way southbound route was tabled due to reports that the FDNY was against the proposal.

Queens Department of Transportation Commissioner Maura Mc- Carthy noted that the agency received a request from local lawmakers to examine the change in the hope that it would benefit area businesses, especially on Atlantic Avenue.

According to one board member, ra local fire company (which the Times Newsweekly has identified as Engine Co. 293, at 87th Street and 91st Avenue) uses 84th Street as a route to return to their stationhouse; changing the street’s direction to a southbound one-way streer would have to travel via Rockaway Boulevard, increasing their travel time.

Liquor licenses

Board 9 voted to approve onpremises wine/beer licenses to Mistura Peruana, at 84-23 Jamaica Ave. and Lucky Thailand Kitchen, at 88- 05 Jamaica Ave., both in Woodhaven; as well as on-premises liquor licenses for El Nuevo Triangulo Restaurant, at 75-11A Rockaway Blvd. in Woodhaven.

All the license approvals were contingent on the applicants having all their other paperwork (such as building permits) in order; according to Consumer Affairs Committee Co- Chairperson Jim Cocovillo, some applicants have received liquor licenses without having the ability to open.

“There are too many places going into business, not getting [certificates of occupancy], and it’s causing us problems,” he noted.

The committee will decide at their next meeting whether to make this a permanent requirement for new liquor license applications within Board 9.

In addition, an off-premises beer license for Ashley Stop & Shop, at 93-20 101st Ave., was denied due to the establishment’s violation of the 200-foot rule, and an on-premises liquor license for El Rio Bar Corp., at 131-15 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill, was tabled due to what Crawford called “way too much unknown” about the site’s new ownership.

Finally, Tom Chiofolo, the committee’s other co-chair, noted that the committee is keeping an eye on a recent move by Manhattan Community Board 10 in Harlem to require that all new bar applicants close two hours earlier than the law requires, at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.

Chiofolo expressed interest in adopting this requirement, and in partnering with other Queens community boards to expand this movement throughout the borough to “show some solidarity” before pushing for a permanent change to those rules.

Board 9 usually meets on the second Tuesday of the month at various locations throughout its confines. Call 1-718-286-2686 for more information.