Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset Raises Final Steel Beam on Expansion Project

Two months after starting construction on its 76,000 square-foot expansion which will house a new Orthopedic Center of Excellence, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has raised the final steel beam of the two-story structure. Physicians, nurses, community supporters and local government officials joined leaders from RWJUH Somerset and RWJBarnabas Health for the ceremonial beam signing.

“With this milestone, our steel framework is complete and we are now one step closer to opening a state-of-the-art facility that will offer patients world-class care close to home,” said Patrick Delaney, chief administrative officer, RWJUH Somerset.

“Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has built a reputation in orthopedic care that draws patients from throughout the region,” said Bill Arnold, executive vice president, RWJBarnabas Health, president, RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region and president and chief executive officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “This new facility will ensure that we can address the expected growth in joint surgeries in our communities, and that we have modern amenities and advanced capabilities to attract top physicians to this center of excellence.”

The vertical expansion above the hospital’s existing Orthopedics Pavilion and Emergency Department building will house 35 fully private patient rooms, a rehabilitation gym for orthopedic patients and a 10-room Emergency Department Rapid Decision Unit. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.

Enhanced patient privacy and comfort were the guiding principles of the design of the new Orthopedic Center of Excellence, which will feature private rooms with amenities such as convertible sleeper sofas for patients’ family members who wish to stay overnight as well as USB ports and work areas. The rehabilitation gym is conveniently located on the same floor and provides the opportunity for patients to begin physical therapy on the same day of surgery, preparing them to go directly home from the hospital.

The project will also include a 10-room Rapid Decision Unit for RWJUH Somerset’s Emergency Department. Patients who require additional observation will occupy these rooms, helping reduce wait times in the Emergency Department and offering increased comfort for patients and their families.

“What makes Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset so special is more than just the bricks and mortar,” said Jack Morris, chairman of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Board of Directors. “We are privileged to have an outstanding health care team, including surgeons, nurses and therapists. Their skills and talents combined with their compassion and dedication make this more than just a place of care, but a place of caring.”

RWJUH Somerset has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total hip and total knee replacement surgery. The hospital’s joint surgery program provides a standardized approach to care by all of its joint surgeons, pre-operative education classes, an aggressive rehabilitation program which includes group therapy and a joint care coordinator, a registered nurse who facilitates all aspects of patients’ care from their initial meeting with their surgeon through discharge. Nurses and therapists are specially trained in caring for patients who have undergone total knee or hip surgery.

The expansion project is the most significant construction project on the hospital’s campus in 16 years. The hospital’s recent renovation projects have included a three-year cardiology renovation and expansion project, new Same Day Surgery Unit, new Rehabilitation Services Department and renovations to the Maternity, Radiology, Behavioral Health and Eating Disorders units.

“We are so grateful to our community for their continued support which enables us to grow and expand our services to meet the health care needs of all those who rely on us for care,” said Paul Hubert, chairman, Somerset Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees.

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