Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with four separate groups of Hoboken seniors throughout the city. During each visit, there were discussions about the importance of our hospital and the services it provides to our community. At some of these sessions, I was accompanied by Phillip S. Schaengold, a former hospital CEO with more than 30 years of health care leadership experience, primarily at academic medical centers and safety-net hospitals in not-for-profit, public and investor-owned settings. The groups with whom we met appreciated his insight and perspective about the importance of urban health care centers like Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC).
Meetings like these are important because I want to make certain everyone understands the facts and the tremendous stakes our community faces: HUMC cannot survive as a stand-alone community hospital. The financial challenges are simply unsustainable. Selling our hospital will save our hospital.
With the help of a tireless Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Board, I have been working for the last year to save our hospital, while releasing the city from its $52 million bond obligation. I am proud that we will achieve those goals through the sale of HUMC to the owners of Bayonne Medical Center. Given the financial challenges our hospital faces, this transaction must succeed. It is the only way we can save our hospital.
I am amazed by the level of resources invested by managed care companies, the unions, and my political opponents to stop this sale from going through for no apparent reason except their own personal gain. I urge everyone in Hoboken to stand united and say “No” to the damaging misinformation campaign and “Yes” to saving our hospital so it can serve our community for another 150 years and more. We cannot let the political shenanigans, grudges and personal ambition of others derail this sale.
I hope that as the new HUMC ownership takes over more Hoboken residents and city employees will choose the excellent services at our hospital. HUMC was there for my family when we needed these services, and I urge all residents to consider it as a health care option. I am confident that our hospital will be even better than ever under new ownership – with new programs, new technology and the same professional staff that has served our community all of these years.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer