HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The hospital on the Hudson River in North Bergen officially became Hackensack UMC Palisades this week following approval from state regulatory authorities.
The acquisition by Hackensack University Health Network brings $50 million into the acute-care hospital for new equipment, operating room renovations and service improvements, reduces costs for billing, purchasing and insurance — and extends HUMC’s reach into Hudson County, boosting its ability to compete with Manhattan’s hospitals.
It also is the culmination of a working arrangement between the two non-profits that began in June 2012 with the sharing of clinical privileges.
“Our opportunities are endless. Our capabilities are second to none,” HackensackUMC Palisades President and CEO Bruce Markowitz said during an official signing ceremony Tuesday in North Bergen.
“There really is a sense of enthusiasm," said Robert C. Garrett, the president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network, which also has HackensackUMC at Pascack in Westwood and HackensackUMC Mountainside in Montclair. "You can feel it in the air and as you look people in the eyes you can see it as well.
“There is no reason for residents of New Jersey to travel to New York for health care ever again.”
Combined, all of HUHN's facilities have 1,717 hospital and nursing home beds, more than 10,800 team members and 3,300 physicians.
It has also signed an agreement to merge with Meridian Health. If the merger receives regulatory approval, it will create a system with 11 hospitals and become the largest healthcare group in New Jersey.
The management team at Palisades won’t change, officials said.
Some employees shared mixed emotions Tuesday.
"After 29 years, I admit it was tough to watch the PMC signs coming down over the last few days," one of them said. "We've all worked so hard over these years to fix what was broken, to make our little community hospital the best it could be. We succeeded and I couldn't be prouder to have been part of it.
"Today, we begin our journey to the next level, as part of Hackensack UMC. I'm feeling sad, nervous, proud and excited all at the same time."