St. Mary Hospital in Hoboken, built in 1863, is the oldest acute care medical hospital in Hudson County. Yet for all its history, the hospital has had financial difficulties, in part because St. Mary provides care for a large number of the poor (as defined by Medicaid, charity, and self-pay).
The hospital lost an estimated $27 million in 2005 and loses an estimated $2 to $3 million a month, according to hospital officials.
In December, Bon Secours, the health care company that took over operations in 2000, voted to close the hospital in one year if they can't find another buyer. Mayor David Roberts has renewed talks with the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, which had planned to buy the hospital before UMDNJ experienced its own financial difficulties. UMDNJ has recently returned to the table.
Since then, many staff workers and residents have rallied to keep the city's only hospital open. (See www.savestmary.com). The hospital treats approximately 32,000 emergency cases a year.
Additionally, on Tuesday, children from the Hoboken Public Schools presented Mayor Roberts with approximately 3,000 postcards supporting the local efforts to save St. Mary Hospital.
School officials hope the effort will encourage Gov. Jon Corzine release state and federal funding to save the hospital.