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Press Releases

Queens Hospital Center Opens New Expanded Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) to Meet Borough’s Growing Demand for Healthcare Services

Project Clears Way For Enlarged Emergency Department in 2013

Nov 30, 2012

Jamaica, NY

Queens Hospital Center (QHC), part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, today celebrated the opening of an expanded Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) to help meet the growing healthcare needs caused by recent hospital closures in the borough. The new unit, which at 8,500 square feet is almost double the size of the existing CPEP that will soon be phased out, arrives at a time when more and more Queens residents are relying on Queens Hospital Center for their healthcare needs.
Queens Hospital Center Executive Director Julius Wool was joined by Queens Health Network Senior Vice President Ann M. Sullivan, MD, Queens Health Network Dean and Medical Director Jasmin Moshirpur, MD, and Martin Maurer, MD, Director of Psychiatry at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the expansion.
“Queens Hospital Center’s new CPEP represents more than a physical expansion of this service. The new setting allows for a more comprehensive and thorough treatment of all psychiatric emergencies seen on a daily basis,” said HHC President Alan Aviles. “By addressing the increasing demands of the community, Queens Hospital will be better equipped to guide those patients with psychiatric conditions to achieve maximum health and hopefully be successful in re-entering the community setting.”
“As a former Executive Director of Queens Hospital Center, it is gratifying to see a critical longterm project that was envisioned as part of QHC’s overall modernization reach fruition,” said HHC Executive Vice President Antonio Martin. “An expanded CPEP was an idea long in the making. Now that it is here it will only benefit the hospital’s emerging patient base, as more patients choose QHC for all their healthcare needs.”
Regular emergency departments are typically not optimally equipped to deal with psychiatric emergencies. The CPEP is designed to provide the best environment for the evaluation and treatment of psychiatric crises, including suicidal or aggressive behavior, depression, and psychosis. The program offers a discrete space that meets safety standards for psychiatric patients and provides 24 hour-a-day/7 day-a-week staffing by psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and other professionals. Based on each individual’s needs, treatment is initiated and a referral for additional outpatient services is made, or the patient is admitted to one of the inpatient behavioral health units. The CPEP also offers an extended observation unit for patients who need crisis stabilization without requiring inpatient admission.
The $9.3 million, 20-month CPEP expansion project was funded through a combination of New York State’s HEAL NY program and capital funds from HHC. The construction is part of an ongoing project at QHC to expand and improve its facilities for the residents of Queens.
In the first phase of the project, a new 35-bed Psychiatric Unit was built on the fifth floor of QHC’s Pavilion. The second phase added 40 additional beds to the hospital’s Medical-Surgical complement. Following today’s opening of the new, larger CPEP, the existing 4,500 square foot CPEP unit will be converted to help expand the hospital’s Emergency Department in a project to begin in 2013.
“The completion of the new CPEP reinforces Queens Hospital Center’s position as a major community hospital serving neighborhoods across the borough,” said Queens Health Network Senior Vice President Ann Sullivan, MD. “As the borough’s population grows and diversifies, there will be a greater need for superior mental health services. The new CPEP is staffed with professionals who can design individually tailored plans of care, focus on reducing symptoms and help patients function more independently.”
“In keeping with the Corporation’s compassionate approach to behavioral health, QHC’s expanded CPEP will help foster a coordination of services with our clients, families and healthcare providers,” said QHN Dean and Medical Director Jasmin Moshirpur, MD. “Our overarching goals remain that of assisting in managing patients’ care within the least restrictive environment, reducing hospital length-of-stay, reducing the frequency of re-hospitalization, and doing all we can to guide the patient toward maximum health, safety, and independent living.”
“The new CPEP is a welcome addition to Queens Hospital Center’s growing list of expanded services,” said Queens Hospital Center Executive Director Julius Wool. “The refurbished space provides approximately 3,400 patient visits per year and includes an Extended Observation Unit and Pediatric Holding Unit that allow adult and adolescent patients a dignified place to stay while they are awaiting placement. The arrival of the new CPEP is a symbol of our dedication to the improved healthcare of those in our community.”
“Our psychiatric emergency department is led by the collaboration and expertise among staff psychiatrists, internists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, nurses, and behavioral health associates,” said Martin Maurer, MD, Director of Psychiatry at Queens Hospital Center. “Together, these professionals provide evaluation and acute treatment of all psychiatric emergencies – with the ultimate goal of stabilizing patients at the least restrictive level of care. Patients can then return to the community and find the services they need already in place for them.”
The CPEP project was designed and built by the Fletcher Thompson architectural firm and constructed under the auspices of the Gilbane Building Company.

Contact: Ian Michaels (HHC) (212) 788-3339

About Queens Hospital Center

A member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and the Queens Health Network, Queens Hospital Center is a major healthcare provider in the borough of Queens. Its foremost mission is to provide quality, comprehensive care to all members of the public regardless of their ability to pay. The year 2010 marked its 75th anniversary of serving the communities of central and southeastern Queens, having first opened its doors as Queens General Hospital in 1935. Newly modernized – the result of a four-year, $149 million capital project – the hospital officially reopened its doors to the community in January 2002 with a sprawling state-of-the-art facility. Encompassing 360,000 square feet, it is now comprised of 301 licensed beds, spacious ambulatory care suites featuring both primary and specialty services, and cutting-edge equipment. It also houses four Centers of Excellence in Cancer Care, Diabetes Management, Women’s Health and Behavioral Health. To learn more about Queens Hospital Center, visit www.nyc/queenshospital.

About HHC

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlusHealth, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nychhc.org/hhc or find us on facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or twitter.com/NYCHealthSystem.