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Emergency room to open at old Pascack Valley Hospital

In Uncategorized on May 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Emergency room to open at old Pascack Valley Hospital
Thursday,May 15, 2008

BY LINDY WASHBURNSTAFF WRITERWESTWOOD – An emergency room is to open in October, and a full-service 150-bed hospital will open within two years at the former Pascack Valley Hospital, under plans presented to the public Wednesday night by Hackensack University Medical Center.

“It’s going to be an incredible, beautiful community hospital again – big time!” John Ferguson, Hackensack’s chief executive officer, told 150 residents of northern Bergen County gathered at the Westwood Community Center.

At the same time, Touro University College of Medicine will open a four-year medical school, starting with 40 students in the fall of 2009 or 2010, said its dean, Dr. Paul Wallach. The students, who will eventually number 400, will live in apartments and homes in the community.

“This is probably the most profound developments in Westwood,” said Mayor John Birkner, who chaired the special meeting of the Westwood mayor and council. He invited local residents to tell hospital officials what they missed about the former hospital on Old Hook Road, and what services they would like to see return.

The 251-bed hospital closed in November, after years of financial losses forced it into bankruptcy. More than 750 nurses, technologists and other staff members lost their jobs, and residents of 18 surrounding towns had to seek emergency care elsewhere.

Hackensack and Touro bought the hospital and its 20 acres on Old Hook Road for $45 million in a bankruptcy court auction. They must state approval for both the emergency room and the hospital beds to reopen.

A three-phase plan to restore medical services and renovate the hospital over the next 30 months was presented by Robert Garrett, Hackensack’s chief operating officer. It includes single rooms for all patients, as well as cardiac catheterization, a sleep center, a wellness center, and radiology and oncology services.

Kay Gellert of Westwood, a long time cardiac rehabilitation patient, asked if the Hackensack planned to reopen that popular service.

“We need to reopen that kind of facility,” said Dr. Peter Gross, Hackensack’s chief medical officer, in answer. “This is certainly one of the services we are considering.”

All of the doctors formerly affiliated with Pascack Valley have indicated their interest in returning to the hospital when it reopens, he said.

Ferguson joked with members of the public as they asked questions, and stressed the hospital’s commitment to bringing high-quality medical care to the Westwood site. He asked for continued support, as the hospital’s applications to the state Health Department wend their way through the regulatory process.

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  1. This is a good move. This will do well. HUMC is a fine institution.

  2. will be interesting to see Valley’s next move..

  3. Valley’s ER is a house of horrors. It is not the building, but the people who run it.

  4. It is not the people who run it – the are over crowded with the closing of Pascack Valley Hospital. Valley is doing the best they can — the other ERs in the area are having just as many problems. You are lucky to still have a hospital right at your disposal here in Ridgewood.

  5. 9:40pm – Agree 110%.

    I’ve been to Valley ER once and HUMC ER 3 times. The last time when ambulance came, I asked them PLEASE take me to HUMC, and they did, thank god.

  6. A long time ago, I knew someone on the volunteer ambulance corps of another town. Regarding anyone with a serious injury, his take was: “I always feel sorry for any bastard that we’re directed to take to Valley, because they’re a goner. I’ll always ask to redirect to Hackensack Hospital even if it’s farther so they have a fighting chance.” That statement always stuck with me, because at the time, I thought that all hospitals were the same.

    Yes I said Hackensack Hospital. It was that long ago, when HUMC was just Hackensack Hospital.
    I guess things haven’t changed much. Valley is a local hospital for having babies (which they do very well) and treating local residents’ minor emergencies. They should not try to become something that they are not, unless they wish to relocate out of a residential area.

  7. I was at the ER last month with my mother. The staff there did not care about her, or her pain.

    If Valley is busy then they should put more staff on. The building was fine, there was no one to care for the sick. It was a people issue.

    My mother had never been to valley before, and she would never go back.

  8. The ER staff at valley hide in the nursing station.

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