The leadership of Newark-based University Hospital (UH) presented a preliminary draft of a new $1.8 billion Facility Master Plan during the regular meeting of the board of directors. The meeting also acknowledged the service of interim President and CEO Mary K. E. Maples, who turned over control of the hospital to incoming President and CEO Ed Jimenez today.
“The new Facility Master Plan will reinforce UH’s role as a major academic health center and a social and healthcare engine for Newark and the region,” said University Hospital Board of Directors Chair Tanya L. Freeman. “At this pivotal time, we are also grateful to our Interim President and CEO, Mary Maples, for leading the organization over the past number of months and for her service as chief legal officer and corporate secretary for several years prior. Through her tireless work with her colleagues, she leaves the hospital in an excellent and optimistic position as we welcome our new leader.”
Hospital administrators presented the latest update from Gensler, the global architecture, design and planning firm chosen by University Hospital in 2022 to design the hospital’s latest Facility Master Plan. Now that Gensler and the hospital have reached a preliminary draft of the Plan, UH will review the draft plan with the same internal and external community groups and stakeholders who participated in early interviews and discussions regarding the future of the hospital and the plan.
The process, which will take several months, is meant to further refine the proposal before a final Facility Master Plan is prepared. When completed, the plan will serve as a guide for the preservation, adaptation, refurbishment and potential redevelopment of all current facilities, as well as the identification of new facilities to enhance and optimize space to create a care environment that addresses all of the acute care, emergency, health maintenance, and community health needs of the community now and into the future.
“As we embark on this next phase in the history of University Hospital, I am confident that our Facilities Master Plan will ultimately provide the resources this exceptional team needs to continue delivering on the promises made to our community decades ago,” said Maples.
At the meeting, two significant service announcements were also made. First, UH has been re-designated as a Baby-Friendly® Hospital by Baby Friendly USA (BFUSA). The designation, which involves review of a rigorous set of criteria, demonstrates that UH encourages mothers to nourish newborns with breast milk and promotes a rooming-in policy where babies spend a majority of their first days in mom’s maternity hospital room. This provides for ease of access to the baby for breastfeeding and promotes skin-to-skin contact. UH was the first hospital in Essex County to receive this honor when the Hospital was first designated in 2016.
Second, UH, through the University Hospital Foundation, received $866,400 in American Rescue Plan Funds, administered by the State of New Jersey, to support its Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP). UH, along with 11 other New Jersey-based acute care facilities shared in $10 million of these funds for these programs. University Hospital’s HVIP, launched in July 2017, was the first program of its kind in the state. The measurable impact and success of UH’s HVIP trail blazed the work in New Jersey, establishing the foundation for the New Jersey Attorney General’s New Jersey Violence Intervention Program in March 2019. The HVIP program’s mission is to support survivors of gun violence and their families from the very early stages of the healing journey and help to disrupt the cycles of violence that claim lives. To date, UH’s HVIP has served more than 675 patients since the program launched.
The current 519-bed University Hospital, which opened in 1979, has been relying on its aging infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the community it serves without any major capital investment since first opening its doors. UH is the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and New Jersey Dental School, and any other Newark-based medical education program. UH serves as both an anchor institution and a safety-net hospital for the city of Newark and its surrounding communities. In 2021, University Hospital handled over 83,000 emergency department visits, more than 15,500 inpatient admissions, and nearly 200,000 outpatient clinic visits. As the only State-designated Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey, revolutionizing and expanding the facilities would allow UH to deliver comprehensive care for its patients. UH also operates the Rutgers Health at University Hospital Ambulatory Care Center, which includes in its operations both primary and specialty clinics. In addition, University Hospital is affiliated with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
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