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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

JFK in court Friday to void Muhlenberg Foundation purposes


Plainfield's former Muhlenberg Hospital will be in the eye of the storm again on Friday. JFK, parent corporation of the shuttered hospital, will argue in Union County Superior Court that it should be allowed to modify the purposes for which monies were given to the Muhlenberg Foundation.

In its 130-plus year history, the Plainfield
hospital was the recipient of millions of dollars in donations and bequests to be used for providing healthcare-related services. Some of those monies were earmarked or restricted to designated uses and purposes.

One of the suspicions of Muhlenberg activists in the process of Solaris Health System's shutting down of Muhlenberg was that the Foundation was effectively plundered by the purchase of equipment for Muhlenberg which was later relocated to JFK after the Plainfield facility was shuttered.

It is that suspicion, plus a general lack of transparency in the conduct of its affairs that makes this effort to modify or redirect the terms of those funds of particular interest to Muhlenberg Hospital activists.

According to local Restore Muhlenberg coordinator Nancy Piwowar, Friday's hearing will be perhaps the only opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on the proposal.

JFK is asking the Superior Court, which has jurisdiction through its Chancery Division, to allow Muhlenberg Foundation's remaining assets to be used in the relocation of the Satellite Emergency Department from its current relocation to a new unit to be installed in a remodeled Kenyon House (which will continue to house the DaVita Dialysis Center on its second floor) and to support the JFK Snyder School of Nursing at the Muhlenberg campus location.

The hearing will take place in the Chancery Division of Union County Superior Court, located on the first floor of the New Annex Building behind the main courthouse on Broad Street. Chambers are open at 8:30 AM. Court session begins at 9:00 AM; the JFK matter will be addressed in course, with no stated time.

Parking is always a concern in Elizabeth. I suggest if you are going, you plan to park in the lot used by the jury pools at Jefferson and Dickinson. This is a short three-block walk to the Annex. Plan on at least an hour from Plainfield to Elizabeth and walking to the courthouse if you are going.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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