In fulfilling promises made to the community in previous years, some Hudson County hospitals continued or increased support for outreach programs that sometimes incorporated alternative sites.
Liberty HealthCare System
The Liberty HealthCare System, Inc. has a network of hospitals in Hudson County that includes the Jersey City Medical Center and Greenville Hospital in Jersey City and the Meadowlands Medical Center in Secaucus.
The system also includes Liberty Child and Adolescent Health Services and Liberty Medical Associates, Liberty HomeCare, Liberty Rehabilitation Institute, Liberty Wound Care Center, Liberty Women's Wellness Center, Liberty Cancer Institute, Behavioral Mental Health Center and the Children's Hospital of Hudson County located at Jersey City Medical Center.
During 2000, Liberty continued to expand and enhance the integrated services it provides to those who live and work in the Hudson County area. Liberty facilities also continued to sponsor a variety of community education and outreach events ranging from health fairs to public workshops.
The system's growth is bolstered by the Liberty HealthCare System Foundation, which provides an avenue for community members to support Liberty's efforts.
Jersey City Medical Center
Licensed for 608 beds, Jersey City Medical Center, the flagship hospital of the Liberty HealthCare System, is the region's emergency services provider and a teaching affiliate of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. The hospital won official state designation as a children's hospital and an award for top performance in the emergency room.
Jersey City Medical Center has put a half million dollars into upgrading the ER, making it larger, brighter and more efficient. The hospital has also recruited and trained additional ER staff and streamlined its care delivery system to provide enhanced service for ER patients.
Over the coming months, Jersey City Medical Center will continue to expand its services as it prepares to begin construction on a brand-new facility on the Jersey City Waterfront. New initiatives include a chest pain center, stroke center, bloodless surgery and open-heart surgery.
Greenville Hospital is a 100-bed community hospital providing personalized acute and ambulatory care. Serving the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City for more than 100 years, Greenville Hospital is entering Phase III of its Construction/Renovation Program. In Phase I, the hospital added 14 medical/surgical beds, for a total of 100 beds. In Phase II, the Emergency Room was completely renovated. The hospital also installed a new state-of-the art Endoscopic Ultrasound System (EUS). Manufactured by Olympus, the ultrasonic Gastrofiber Scope improves the ability to diagnose cancers of the digestive tract. In Phase III, the Intensive Care Unit will be renovated and a new lobby, gift shop, and waiting area will be added.
Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center
Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in March, is a 230-bed, acute-care hospital serving North Hudson communities and the developing Meadowlands region.
The hospital also continues to sponsor health and wellness programs, education and outreach efforts, support groups, health screenings and public forums through the LifeSpan Health and Rehabilitation Center; the Liberty Rehabilitation Institute, which provides acute-inpatient care; and the Department of Community Services.
Last summer, Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center expanded its services to include a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program. The program offers workshops and courses in stress reduction, therapeutic massage, acupuncture, holistic healing, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy and biofeedback. The hospital can also provide referrals to affiliated practitioners of these disciplines.
Just before the end of last year, Meadowlands Hospital opened an alcohol and drug detoxification program featuring private rooms. Managed by Liberty Behavioral Health Associates, the new addiction treatment services offers a continuum of care ranging from acute, in-patient detoxification and treatment to comprehensive discharge planning and out-patient care. Patients can be self-referred or referred by their physicians.
Plans are underway at Meadowlands for a psychiatric unit, a high-tech sleep study center, a ventilator unit and a newly constructed same-day surgery center.
A year after naming a new president and chief executive officer, Christ Hospital in Jersey City moved ahead with its efforts to enhance its position as the leading cancer-fighting facility in Hudson County. Christ Hospital is an acute care facility that was founded in 1872 by the Episcopal Church. Its medical team consists of 450 doctors with specialties ranging from allergies to vascular surgery. But as the regional oncology center for Hudson County, Christ Hospital officials say they have a special commitment to prove the best in cancer treatment, services and programs.
In 2000, the Christ Hospital Foundation sponsored "Cruise 2000," a Hudson River sunset fundraiser aboard a private Yacht, chaired by Peter Mangin, president of Garden State Development. Proceeds totaled $144,000 and were used, in part, to purchase laboratory equipment to diagnose cancerous tumors.
Well-known philanthropist and humanitarian Lillian Booth, of Alpine, donated $50,000 for the purchase of vans for transporting patients seeking chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
In December, the hospital held a networking breakfast in Jersey City, featuring Nancy Loo, news anchorwoman for ABC's "Eyewitness News." Proceeds from this event were donated to the Christ Hospital's "Look Good, Feel Better" program, a community service that provides complimentary wigs to women undergoing treatment for cancer.
One of the more significant events of the year occurred in the autumn, when Christ Hospital entered into a collaborative agreement with Compassionate Care, Inc., of Clifton, to open the first inpatient hospice program in Hudson County. A hospice is a facility that offers special care to dying patients. The 12-bed unit is located on the seventh floor of the hospital and has cared for approximately 50 terminally ill patients since October 3.
In September, Christ Hospital's Respiratory Department hosted an open house and reception to promote its expanded sleep disorders laboratory. The hospital currently operates two separate sleeping areas to diagnose conditions such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
At the end of 2000, Christ Hospital expanded its emergency department to accommodate the growing number of patients seeking medical treatment. The emergency room, designed 20 years ago to serve 20,000 patient visits per year, saw 45,000 in the year 2000.
St. Mary and St. Francis hospitals
St. Mary Hospital of Hoboken, St. Francis Hospital of Jersey City and the Franciscan Home and Rehabilitation Center made significant strides in the year 2000 as part of the Bon Secours New Jersey Health System (BSNJHS). The BSNJHS is the eighth largest Catholic health care organization in the United States. St. Mary Hospital relocated its new Community Mental Health Center to the former site of St. Francis School in Hoboken.
St Mary Hospital, a 328-bed acute care medical/surgical hospital in Hoboken, also saw the renovation of its obstetrical suite. While plans for a new parking garage seemed to show less progress on the surface, hospital officials said real progress was made with all approvals finally in place, which will allow construction to begin shortly.
At St. Francis Hospital, a 238-bed acute care medical surgical hospital in Jersey City, Family Practices Associates has opened its services.
Newark-based University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey started an Orthopedic Residency Program with Bon Secours this year, and the Sisters of Bon Secours, in support of the hospital's outreach program, contributed to the Parish Nurse Program established in Downtown Jersey City, recently giving $100,000 to the hospital's Assisted Living Project. Bon Secours has also signed a letter of intent to form a health care partnership with Christ Hospital, something that may lead to a closer union over the next year.
The hospital ran two fundraisers last year, raising about $370,000 to be used for new services, new equipment and facility renovations. Future plans include renovating the emergency room at St. Mary's hospital and establishing a "care of the dying" initiative. Both hospitals are currently aggressively recruiting registered nurses and other essential personnel to fill open positions.
Moves made two years ago to become corporately sponsored by the New York Presbyterian Healthcare Network blossomed into remarkable accomplishments for North Bergen's Palisades Hospital in the year 2000. The medical center, which serves southern Bergen County and northern Hudson County, is made up of a 202-bed acute-care facility and The Harborage, a 239-bed skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and assisted-living facility.
Although an autonomous partner in the network, Palisades Hospital has gained access to specialists and academic programs at New York Presbyterian.
In the year 2000, Palisades was able to complete its Medical Arts Building just up River Road in Edgewater, a facility that has become home to Colombian Presbyterian's department of orthopedics and sports medicine. The facility is dedicated to sports medicine, neurological challenges brought about by stroke, Parkinson's Disease, orthopedic injuries, chronic arthritis, and pulmonary conditions. Dr. Lou Bigliani, a shoulder specialist who helped restore the pitching arm of New York Yankee David Cone, is chairman of the department.
Continuing plans first proposed in 1999, in 2000 Palisades introduced its Fitness and Wellness Center, a partnership between Palisades Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System and the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. The 20,000 square foot facility is outfitted with up-to-date fitness and cardiovascular equipment, rooms for aerobics and exercise and other activities, a health education classroom, locker rooms and a sauna.
By year's end, Palisades Hospital had completed the construction on a $4.3 million maternity center, a 20-bed birthing facility that will allow a woman to go through labor, birth and recovery in the same room.
The hospital has also expanded its sleep disorders unit, the Sleep-Wake Center, a high tech facility designed to diagnosis a variety of sleep disorders in order to provide treatment.
The hospital has also expanded its women's services to provide treatment for a variety of fertility issues from problems conceiving to a woman's inability to carry a baby to full term. Also included under the women's services is the new breast treatment program that, among other things, provides an advanced technological approach to detecting tumors.
Overall the hospital has seen a 10 percent increase in in-patients over the last year, two percent higher than predicted.
Bayonne Health Care System
Perhaps the biggest news of the year in the Bayonne Health Care System was the selection of its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert H. Evans in December. Evans previously served as senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Bon Secours Health System of New Jersey.
The Bayonne Health Care system includes the Bayonne Hospital School of Nursing, Bayonne Behavioral Health, a drug and alcohol treatment center, and Bayonne Hospital, a 278-bed, fully-accredited, acute-care hospital which provided services to more than 70,000 people last year. Under Evan's leadership, the Bayonne Health Care System took a bold step early in 2001 by terminating its network affiliation agreement with the Florham Park, NJ-based Atlantic Health System. The affiliate relationship commenced in January, 1998.
Evans, in making the move, said that while the Bayonne Health Care System's relationship with Atlantic Health System had been of value to both parties, the needs of the local community would be better served by having the hospital and other members of the Bayonne Health Care System concentrate its energies and resources at the local level.
Also at year's end, Bayonne Hospital's Maternity Unit received a facelift, and is scheduled to undergo additional renovations. The first phase of the project, which included decorative additions to the patient rooms was initiated and executed through the cooperative efforts of the unit staff members with support from the hospital's maintenance department.
According to John Hausmann, director of plant operations at Bayonne Hospital, a grander-scale renovation is also underway in the maternity unit. "Additional plans include upgrading the washrooms, waiting areas, and hallways of the unit," he said.