Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Imminent Closure of Muhlenberg Emergency Room: A Letter to the Commissioner

As all or most of our residents know, when the then-Commissioner of Health for the state of New Jersey granted the certificate to close Muhlenberg Hospital almost five years ago, she mandated that the emergency room remain open for a minimum of five years.

This coming August will mark the five-year anniversary since the hospital closed.  Since that time is fast approaching, and as there is still a need for emergency health services (at a minimum to be provided to Plainfield and its surrounding communities from what was once Muhlenberg Hospital), I mailed the letter shown below to current Commissioner O’Dowd, yesterday. I am looking forward to a favorable outcome.

In the meantime, I will continue to look for opportunities for the Muhlenberg campus to continue to deliver a significant amount of healthcare to our residents and neighbors.



1 comment:

Alan Goldstein said...

This is a good start. Keeping the SED open is good for the community and buys time with which we can potentially find the right formula to maintain the campus for the provision of health services. I believe that partnering with some of the state's largest healthcare-related companies, along with Rutgers and UMDNJ, and JFK itself, we can find an economically viable combination of niche hospital, research facility, and emergency room, that along with the nursing school would be both a quality service provider and a provider of much need local employment.

These partnerships could also be leveraged to related development elsewhere in the city, with an eye to light industry, distribution and warehousing, tied to the larger companies, and offering attractive job opportunities to our residents.
I say partnerships in the sense of spreading the investment risk so a workable plan can be derived.

Partnerships are also to be had in the public and private spheres. I've been an advocate for an economic development corporation run largely separate from, but in conjunction with, City Hall and the city's Master Plan. One that is able to be proactive and vocal, raise equity, and take on numerous projects. I would like to see the neo-Muhlenberg be its first mission. Hopefully we'll get the time and JFK won't close up shop a couple of months from now.