April 14, 2021
New Jersey Governor Sheila Y. Oliver and other state and local officials visited University Hospital (UH) and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (Rutgers NJMS) today to ask for funding under Governor Murphy’s budget for funding planning efforts to define a new university hospital in Newark. The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal 2022 includes a specific line item of $ 500,000 for this funding.
To Lt. Oliver included at the announcement the President and CEO of the University Hospital, Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA; Rutgers Chancellor for Biomedicine and Health Sciences Brian L. Strom; Newark’s Mayor Ras J. Baraka; Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., executive director of Essex County; and New Jersey State Senator M. Teresa Ruiz.
“As we recover from COVID-19, we cannot lose sight of the critical role our healthcare system plays in the state. That is why Governor Murphy’s budget includes a significant investment in quality of life to make New Jersey a healthier place to live for all of our residents, ”said Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner for the Department of Community Affairs. “This proposed funding for the University Hospital for a study to research a new plan and design for its physical campus here in Newark will help meet the hospital’s needs and enable it to improve the care our communities so rely on are especially if we endure this pandemic. “
The current 519 bed university hospital opened in 1979 and relies on its aging infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the community it serves. In 2020, the University Hospital looked after 83,122 emergency room visitors, 15,572 inpatient admissions and 199,804 outpatient clinic visits. As a Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey, the facility and community would also benefit from new and expanded capacity to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
As the primary teaching hospital for all medical education in Newark, a new University Hospital facility will also serve as a model for the future of academic medicine and public health, and be a premier regional resource for advanced services in many medical specialties.
“Since the Newark Accords were signed, the University Hospital has been responsible for delivering primarily to Newark and Essex Counties,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, MBA, President and CEO of the University Hospital. “Given the growing need for basic services in our community, the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, a burgeoning post-pandemic mental health crisis, and the community’s demand for more comprehensive and specialized care, our current facilities are bursting at the seams.
“A new, modern facility will enable us to meet and exceed these requirements to build a thriving and modern biomedical campus. We’ve proven ourselves worthy of these investments too – with significant improvements in quality, financial performance, regulatory compliance, and near universal fulfillment of all the tasks set for us in the Governor’s 2018 Monitor Report – and we’re ready to go on a design and build new campuses for the community we serve, ”said Elnahal.
“The governor’s proposed budget gives us an opportunity to examine what an academic health center should look like in the 21st century and how it can serve Newark and its surrounding communities,” said Brian L. Strom, Chancellor of Biomedicine and Health Sciences at Rutgers, MD , MPH. “As we dream of what a new university hospital might look like, Rutgers will continue our important work with the City of Newark, such as working with the city to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, doing robust and life-changing research, and delivering quality patient care all rolled into one Range of specialties in the region. “
“Expanding the university hospital would help improve our Newark residents’ access to health care and services while building on our strong commitment to our community,” said Ras J. Baraka, Newark Mayor. “I am grateful for Dr. Elnahal’s vision and for the guidance of Governor Murphy, our state lawmakers, county and local partners who believe in the importance of the support this brand new facility can bring to so many families and further strengthen our overall health and the medical community, especially when we emerge from the pandemic. “
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