Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, August 8, 2013

'Restore Muhlenberg' coalition commemorates 5th Anniversary of hospital closing Saturday

A photo from the 2012 Commemoration.

Members of the 'Restore Muhlenberg Coalition' and the Plainfield chapter of People's Organization for Progress (POP) invite the public to join them Saturday in commemorating the 5th anniversary of the closing of Muhlenberg Hospital.

The groups, which rallied forcefully to save the hospital when the former Solaris Health System first announced plans for its closing, waged a fierce community-based struggle to keep the hospital open.

Sadly, the state sided with Solaris (now known as JFK), despite failing to prove that the service area including Plainfield and the surrounding communities was 'overbedded'.

One concession wrung from Solaris as a result of the struggle was to keep a satellite emergency department (SED) open on the former Muhlenberg campus. That agreement was set to run for five years (ending this August) and a Community Advisory Group (CAG) was set up under Mayor Robinson-Briggs' chairmanship.

JFK has not petitioned the state to close the SED (though it still could) and is talking of moving the SED to the former Kenyon House at the corner of Park Avenue and Randolph Road, which currently houses a DaVita Dialysis Centers location.

JFK's proposal to demolish the hospital and replace it with rental housing is hotly contested by the former hospital's neighbors. Strong interested purchasers have not materialized for the campus -- either as a medical facility or for residential development.

Democratic mayoral nominee Councilor Adrian Mapp has advocated that the City consider putting the Muhlenberg property on the tax rolls as it is not serving the purpose for which its tax exemption was originally granted.

The commemoration will be held at the corner of Park Avenue and Randolph Road at 3:00 PM on Saturday. Parking is available in the lot on the corner.

While you're making plans, St. Mark's Episcopal Church will be holding its annual fish fry in the church parking lot that same afternoon. St. Mark's is just a few blocks down Park Avenue from the hospital, right on the South Plainfield line. Though the fish fry is scheduled from Noon to 5:00 PM, my suggestion is you go BEFORE the Muhlenberg event as the fish fry always sells out.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Not trying to be argumentative here, but what is the purpose? Plainfield has been mismanaged for the past 25 plus years that I've lived here, why would we expect anything else and yet we continue to commorrate another failure....there are so many others, why not just how a commemoration for the decline of the entire city since the 70s, all the bad decisions made, socially and huge memorial to a city whose finest days are over...and then, get on with it,

Anonymous said...

After 5 Years its still closed Not to Worry that will be the site of the New Elmwood Gardens. Low Income Development.