(ABOVE: image via facebook)
As Jersey City’s building boom continues, the threat of losing one of its essential hospitals has Mayor Steven Fulop reaching out to Trenton, demanding that negotiations move forward.
Over the weekend, word seemingly got to Fulop that the negotiations between Christ Hospital and RWJBarnabas Health had reached an impasse, prompting the Mayor to contact New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, asking for his “direct involvement” in the matter.
“Should a closure occur, thousands of our residents may abruptly lose access to health care that has been available for generations,” said Fulop in his letter to the Governor. “Furthermore, more than a thousand employees and their families face the prospect of losing employment.”
For more than 140 years, Christ Hospital in the Heights has been serving the Jersey City community. The 362-bed facility treats 47,667 patients annually and is home to a state-certified stroke center and primary angioplasty center, emergency room team and a dedicated OB-GYN emergency department, specialty medicine for child and adult behavioral health, women’s health, heart and vascular care, dialysis, as well as a sleep center and surgical specialties.
“As we all know, the functioning of hospital healthcare systems in New Jersey and the authority under which both parties operate are uniquely governed by the State of New Jersey,” continued Fulop. “I urge you, on behalf of the people of Jersey City, to immediately bring the parties together. I’m convinced that a resolution that saves the hospital and avoids the damaging impacts of closure are possible with the state’s leadership and engagement.”
In October, RWJBarnabas announced its plans to purchase both Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital, ending CarePoint’s tenure at both those locations. RWJBarnabas Health serves nine New Jersey counties covering five million people via its partnership with Rutgers University, creating New Jersey’s largest academic health care system.
Jersey City Ward D Councilman Michael Yun joined the Mayor to express his own concerns about the impact that this closure would have on the city—particularly Jersey City Heights.
“The closing of Christ Hospital would be a devastating blow not only to the Jersey City Heights community, but its impact would also ripple throughout Central Hudson,” said Yun. “From those serviced by the medical institution, to those who work there and make Hudson County their home, no one would be spared from its negative impact.”