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Holliswood Hospital shuts its doors

Holliswood Hospital is the latest Queens facility to close its doors.
TimesLedger Newspapers

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.

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s says:
great location for a new public high school!
Aug. 22, 2013, 3:09 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, 3:11 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, 3:48 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, 3:48 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, 3:48 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, 9:18 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, 2:31 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, 11:08 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, 2:23 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, 1:42 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, 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, 4:52 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, 8:05 pm

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