||Julius Wool, Executive Director, Queens Hospital Center
Julius Wool, who has served as the Queens Health Network Chief Financial Officer since 1998, was appointed Executive Director of Queens Hospital Center this month. Wool made one of his first major public appearances as the new ED at a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of a new 40-inpatient-bed expansion designed to respond to the growing demands for healthcare services following a number of hospital closings in the borough of Queens.
The expansion follows the recommendation of the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century - known as the Berger Commission - which in 2006 mandated restructuring, consolidation and closing of numerous health facilities. The Queens Hospital project was the only expansion the Berger Commission recommended.
“Since 2008, when the Caritas Hospitals closed, we immediately began to feel increasing demand for our services and have since steadily experienced higher volumes in the emergency department, hospitalizations, primary care clinics, dental services and mental health services,” Wool said. “The 40 extra beds will help us fill a gap for inpatient services, while we continue to focus on also providing broader access to primary and preventive healthcare services to help keep our community healthy and out of the hospital.”
The 40 inpatient beds, which are expected to be fully operational by December 22, are part of a $22 million, four-phase construction and renovation project funded by a $12 million New York State HEAL grant and $10 million in capital funds.
Between fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2010, demand for services at Queens Hospital Center increased as follows:
- Adult Emergency visits increased by 49.8 percent -- from 39,979 to 59,746;
- Medical discharges increased by 9.5 percent -- from 7,620 to 8,342;
- Hospital occupancy rate rose by 10 percent -- from 89 percent to 99 percent capacity;
- Medical primary care visits increased by 9.5 percent -- from 57,493 to 62,967; and
- Mental Health services increased by 14.3 percent -- from 48,646 to 55,580.
Wool has a long and distinguished career with the Health and Hospitals Corporation, having joined HHC in 1985, said Ann Sullivan, Queens Health Network Senior Vice President.
“Julius Wool is the right leader to oversee the continued growth of Queens Hospital and meet the changing demands of healthcare reform,” Sullivan said. “He has been a strong advocate for quality services for our patients, while working to ensure the financial viability of our hospitals.”
Among his accomplishments, Wool led the HHC Inpatient Documentation and Coding Improvement Project, which improved collections by $60 million corporate-wide, including $14.5 million at Queens and Elmhurst hospitals, from September 2009 to June 2010.
Wool has assumed increasingly demanding leadership positions since joining HHC. He served as Budget Director and Chief Financial Officer at Queens Hospital Center and also serves on the HealthFirst Board of Directors and the GNYHA Finance Committee.
He grew up in Queens and received his BA from Queens College, and an MPA degree from Baruch College. His wife Andrea Newmark is chair of the Chemistry Department at Cooper-Union and they have two daughters.
“My challenge will be to continue to improve the quality and safety of care, and access to care for patients, in an environment in this borough where demands are constantly increasing as resources are shrinking,” Wool said.