Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, February 6, 2011

JFK Hospital pats self on the back in full-page ad. Should it?

Aerial view of JFK Medical Center in Edison (Google).
Plainfielders who read the print edition of the Sunday Star-Ledger will find a full-page ad by JFK Medical Center on page 27 of the Union County edition, title 'A New Day at JFK'.

Such ads, unless they are tied in to a special issue or emphasis by the paper, often represent a response to unsettling news about the subject institution in the community.

In this case, it could be as a result of the hasty and unexpected departure of Solaris' CEO John McGee (see my post here), quickly followed by the termination of forty administrators, including fundraising staff (see here), both underscoring impressions in the community that Solaris is a financially troubled institution.

The ad touts various care specialties at JFK that have won recognition (those familiar with the history of Solaris will find bitter irony in JFK getting credit for angioplasty and stroke care -- areas in which Muhlenberg led the state).

As part of touting the construction under way at JFK's Edison facility, the ad says --

...[o]ur brand new Emergency Pavilion will bring the life-saving speed and efficiency of our current emergency room into an environment that is based on a patient-centered design. The new Pavilion will include private rooms, specialty treatment areas and rapid access to the emergency specialists..
Plainfielders who have experienced the tender mercies of JFK's current emergency room might beg to differ.

There are complaints that treatment in the current ER is given with anything but speed and conditions are so crowded that patients often spend up to a day or more on a gurney in a hall instead of a room.

And this with a separate Satellite Emergency Department at the Muhlenberg campus!

If Solaris thought it would escape the noose of charity care by separating itself as  much as possible from the Plainfield patient base (deliveries routed to Trinitas in Elizabeth, much care shunted to the Neighborhood Health Center, trauma to RWJ), it has no doubt come as a bitter surprise to find that charity care among its own Edison patient base has swollen so dramatically.

Plainfielders have fretted over the fate of the Muhlenberg SED, to which Solaris is only committed into 2013, per the closure agreement with the State.

However, given the continuing fiscal pressures on JFK and its own growing charity care, it seems to me at least likely that Solaris will do everything within its power to ensure that the Muhlenberg SED STAYS OPEN and its patient load is NOT SHIFTED to JFK.

Just don't expect any flowery full-page ads explaining it.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

For ER visits, Plainfielders should consider the high-quality care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and St Peters University Medical Center, both in New Brunswick, and both having state-of-the-art facilities and skilled and caring staff.

Rob said...

I can only imagine how bad it would be if Jerry and Sharon weren't on the front lines from day one fighting the fight...

WHEW !! Thank you Lord !

Dottie Gutenkauf said...

Somerset Medical Center has a top-quality Emergency Room. Highly recommended!

Blackdog said...

JFK is crooks! I needed a ride to the ER. Plainfield rescue squad took me,(and not to JFK), but I got a bill in the mail from JFK, $1895.00 for the ride! I didn't know they owned Plfd Rescue Squad!