Corzine's goal is to create savings for the cash-strapped state. The commission would be similar to the one that led to the closing of federal military bases over the past decade.
According to figures supplied by the New Jersey Hospital Association, 40 percent of the state's hospitals lost money last year. The rest earned a scant 1 percent profit.
Additionally, since 1995, 18 hospitals have closed or merged with other facilities.
However, the announcement is a bit strange considering locally, Corzine, who lives in Hoboken, is fighting to let the city run the fiscally strapped St. Mary Hospital.
St. Mary unaffected
St. Mary's current owner, Bon Secours Health System, Inc. (BSHI), a private Catholic health care company based in Marriotsville, Md., is currently negotiating to transfer the ownership to Hoboken.
Some have criticized Corzine, a Hoboken resident, for acting on behalf of his hometown hospital while announcing that others around the state should close.
On July 10, Corzine signed a bill into law that allows the city to create a Hospital Authority to oversee the daily operations of the St. Mary Hospital. On July 28 Corzine was at St. Mary Hospital to re-enact the bill signing and address the employees of the hospital.
"It's an extraordinary thing that will end up helping this community," Corzine told the staff at the time. "I love Hoboken and I know what a great city it is. We have to make sure that both the business plan and the fundamental mission of the hospital are accomplished. If that all works, everybody is going to be a winner." This Wednesday, the City Council is scheduled to vote on the formation of a St. Mary Hospital Authority, which will be run by an 11-member board. The authority will function as the hospital's "governing body responsible for establishing hospital-wide policy, establishing and enforcing rules ...maintaining quality of care, and providing institutional management and planning," according to state law.
The authority also will have the power to issue bonds.
Mayor David Roberts said that Corzine has been unguarded about his support for St. Mary and added that city has done due diligence in taking over the operation of the hospital.
"For 144 years, St. Mary Hospital has been a vital asset to our community, and I am hopeful and optimistic that it will begin to thrive given the new leadership and Board of Directors," Roberts said. "St. Mary is more than a community hospital, as we saw by the role it played on 9/11. We are unique as a major transportation center and our proximity to New York City, and St. Mary provides a regional benefit."