Kings County hospital opens new psych center

Kings County Hospital Center has opened a new $153 million psychiatric center it says will improve the mental-health services it offers.The hospital is hoping the

EAST FLATBUSH - Kings County Hospital Center has opened a new $153 million psychiatric center it says will improve the mental-health services it offers.

The hospital is hoping the new facility will help it protect patients and guard against any fatalities. In 2008, the death of 49-year-old Esmin Green sparked outrage when surveillance footage surfaced, showing her collapsing face-down on the floor of the hospital's psychiatric emergency waiting room after being there for nearly 24 hours.

Further improvements were outlined Thursday by Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan D. Aviles. Aviles says reforms include staff increases and a new leadership team. A second phase will include patient mentors and a consumer and family advisory group.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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