healthcare funding

Hackensack Meridian Health Invests $35M in Raritan Bay Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health is investing $35 million in Raritan Bay Medical Center to expand Behavioral Health and Long Term Acute Care (LTACH) beds, addressing an immediate need identified in the latest community health needs assessment.

“Raritan Bay Medical Center has provided high quality, compassionate care to the Perth Amboy community for more than a century. Our investment will strengthen patient access to critical community services and meet their future healthcare needs,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“We applaud Hackensack Meridian Health’s investment of $35 million dollars towards the expansion of in-patient Behavioral Health services at Raritan Bay Medical Center,” said Senator Vitale, Speaker Coughlin and Assemblywoman Lopez. “The ongoing pandemic has placed a spotlight on the growing needs for Behavioral Health services and this evidence-based investment will only add to the competence and high-quality care available at Raritan Bay Medical Center. We appreciate the economic impact this planned expansion will have in Perth Amboy, creating dozens of job opportunities in the hospital and throughout the construction phases of the project. As an anchor institution in the City of Perth Amboy, we are glad the Medical Center is consistently being re-imagined to accurately address the needs of the Perth Amboy community. We have no doubt this investment will create a center for excellence in Behavioral Health and look forward to the many positive outcomes this investment will yield.”

Hackensack Meridian Health’s plan to Reimagine Raritan Bay Medical Center will include:

  • Maintaining medical surgical, ICU and OB/GYN beds and a full service emergency department to continue to serve and meet the inpatient needs of our communities.
  • An investment of $35 million in Behavioral Health and Long Term Acute Care (LTACH) services.
  • An expansion of access and capacity to meet patient demand by increasing Behavioral Health beds at Raritan Bay Medical Center to 81, subject to New Jersey Department of Health approval.
  • An effort to recruit additional physicians to enhance access and scope of services, and meet the community’s needs.
  • Behavioral Health will become an inpatient, specialized center for excellence that includes geriatric care and Dual Diagnosis (psychiatry/addiction) services. Throughout the five-year phased plan, specialty care programs will be added to Behavioral Health that will allow for patients and the community to receive this specialized service with a seamless continuum of care, close to home.
  • For LTACH, Raritan Bay will be a discharge option for patients who would typically exceed length of stay at all HMH sites and become a specialty ventilator hospital in the HMH network, a new service that is not currently offered by HMH.

“Behavioral health issues are often stigmatized topics resulting in prolonged suffering in silence in our Latino community,” said Mayor Helmin J. Caba. “With this investment in Perth Amboy, it addresses the issue head on with early and effective interventions and raises awareness in normalizing conversations around them to ultimately improve our city’s health overall.  We are proud to work with Hackensack Meridian and grateful for this commitment to our residents.”

The Reimagining Raritan Bay Medical Center efforts will also add union construction jobs in the short run, and permanent jobs for these additional services.

“The ongoing demand for inpatient Psychiatry beds has been growing for years and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Donald Parker, president, Behavioral Health Care Transformation Services, Hackensack Meridian Health. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us, readily available psychiatric services are essential to the overall health and well-being of the citizens of New Jersey. The expansion of Raritan Bay Medical Center to focus on mental health is a vital and timely step in this necessary direction.”

LTACH beds are expected to open in Q1 2022, followed by Behavioral Health beds in mid-2022.

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