Text of the statement from Caritas, which runs St. John's Queens Hospital, Mary Immaculate Hospital, Monsignor Fitzpatrick Pavilion for Skilled Nursing Care and clinics throughout Queens:

For the past week, there had been a measure of guarded optimism about the future of St. John’s and Mary Immaculate Hospitals despite the dire financial crisis facing both institutions.

This glimmer of hope was based on the publicly-expressed determination of our elected officials, led by New York State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, to keep the hospitals open and serving the people of Queens.

However, round-the-clock efforts by elected officials and with the New York State Department of Health over the past week have proven futile. No adequate source of funding has been identified and no long-term plan for the continued operation of the hospitals, several ambulatory care facilities and the Monsignor Fitzpatrick Skilled Nursing Pavilion, has been forthcoming.As a result, the Caritas Board of Trustees voted yesterday, February 5th, to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court later today. In a separate motion, the Board also voted with deep regret to file a closure plan with the Department of Health at the Department’s direction. Since there has been no official or unofficial news from Albany this week regarding a possible solution to the hospitals’ financial crisis, the Board was, much to its dismay, left with no recourse. Time has essentially run out.

Consequently, in the ensuing weeks Caritas and its dedicated staff of medical professionals will make every possible effort to ensure that patients are properly cared for as our health system begins the complex process of winding down its programs and operations.

Accommodations will be made at nearby hospitals and health centers for the additional patient load. Even during the difficult closing period, patient care will remain the highest priority for Caritas and the 2,500 loyal members of the hospitals’ staff.

There will be a rally on the steps of the State Capitol Building in Albany the afternoon of Wednesday, February 11th.