As northern Bergen County evolved from farmlands to suburbia after World War II, the need for accessible medical care grew with the population. Pascack Valley Hospital opened in 1959 with an 86-bed facility on 20 acres along Old Hook Road in Westwood. Sadly, after nearly 50 years serving the public, Pascack Valley shuttered in November 2007.
Hackensack University Medical Center purchased the hospital in October 2008, and the community supported them in their efforts to open the facility. At a time when several hospitals in New Jersey were closing or facing bankruptcy, the visionary HUMC leadership remained committed to providing the hospital beds the region needed. First, in October 2008, the hospital’s emergency room re-opened as a satellite ER. In 2012, the State awarded HUMC a certificate of need (CON) to re-open the entire Pascack Valley Hospital as HUMC at Pascack Valley.
Together, HUMC and Legacy Hospital Partners – plus some 300 construction workers – renovated and modernized over 400,000 square feet of facilities. After 16 months and $96 million in construction and equipment costs, HUMC at Pascack Valley opened on June 1, 2013 – the first new hospital to open in New Jersey in 30 years.
The hospital now employs 438 full-time and 322 part-time workers, and the economic impact to the region has been significant. Throughout Westwood, doctors and other health-related services occupy previously vacant offices, and the central business district is once again thriving. Shops and restaurants, local mechanics, hair salons … virtually every type of business has been impacted positively because of the re-opened facility. Additionally, the hospital contributes invaluably to the borough’s real estate tax revenues.
HUMC at Pascack Valley has also established itself as an active community leader. For example, the hospital’s multi-purpose room has been designated a “community room” and is made available to various civic and community groups for meetings. In cooperation with the local chamber of commerce, the hospital in involved with health fairs, screenings and education programs. Additionally, it underwrites costs for Westwood’s “Home for the Holiday” parade, summer concerts and various other events.
Pomarico Design Studio Architecture, PLLC
Wm. Blanchard Co.
Hon. John Birkner Jr., Mayor
Borough of Westwood