2010-12-17 / Letters

Preserving a Community Institution

Dear Editor,

The recent editorial on Peninsula Hospital in this economic climate was an important article for our community. In essence it highlighted the impressive resume of services offered at this area facility. As an active physician and facial reconstructive surgeon who does considerable work at Peninsula, the importance of enumerating the facilities at our institution is a core piece of knowledge needed for our beloved Rockaway community. To my personal estimation, having trained in my specialty at the renowned Walter Reed Hospital as a military surgeon, expertise and capabilities at Peninsula Hospital are of a very high order even in comparison to many large and well-known medical centers. Having seen the best of American medicine as a military and civilian surgeon my impression of our overall professionalism and capacities is an impressive one.

For a small community hospital our residents and patient base should be pleased and fortunate to have this hospital to rely on for healthcare needs both emergency and elective.

Specifically the emergency room is manned by some of the best and capable physicians I have ever met involved in this crucially important parameter of medicine. Compassion-ate, professional, skillful, and amiable, they are a major asset to the Rockaways. The mainstay of the physician corps in this department are a true superior bunch. Emergency care at Peninsula Hospital is simply outstanding. Among some of the other exceptional services at Peninsula are the excellent radiology department manned by Dr. Stanley Sprecher and Dr. Richard Steinberg, two of the very best radiologist in the country. Our pediatric department guided by Dr. Olawepo is also superb. There are many others seriously expert capabilities at this hospital that are well directed and operated. It is not my intention to elaborate on all of them but to recognize that they exist and are crucially important for our community.

Peninsula is the catch basin for all major medical and emergency issues from Marine Park in Brooklyn to the Five Towns border. Its central location makes it a most necessary facility to keep in constant running order. Our dedicated staff who mostly live in the Rockaway area treat patients regardless of ability to pay and with the same compassionate and professional high standards for all who come our way.

Recent times have not been kind to our economy. The recession and planned government cuts have placed a burden on all institutions like ours. While our able CEO, Robert Levine, and our new allies at Medisys are doing a tremendous job to keep all aspects of the hospital running without any diminution of services, it is a daunting task. We have fortunately been successful in our efforts to this point, but times are tough and some community advocacy would certainly be helpful. Community members and leaders should hopefully rally to maintain the integrity of this hospital. It would be a serious shot in the arm if our political representatives could be impressed to lobby for policies and funding that helps keep community assets like Peninsula Hospital running at tip top operational levels. This is a paramount issue for the Rockaway’s. We invite and appreciate all residents of our area to share our concerns and get involved.

HAROLD BENDELSTEIN,MD

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