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A new teaching hospital in Newark? Officials to present arguments to fund study examining issue

Since its opening in 1979, University Hospital in Newark has evolved into a healthcare facility serving large numbers of Newark residents , including more than 83,000 emergency room visits and nearly 16,000 in-person stays in 2002 alone.

However, the installation has not grown a bit.

On Wednesday morning in Newark, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, the executive director of Shereef Elnahal University Hospital and a host of other area and health care officials will argue that the state must approve a $ 500,000 budget line that will produce a study examining the need for a new facility.

Shereef Elnahal. (File photo)

Elnahal said the study is justified, as is a new installation.

Elnahal said the 519-bed hospital is struggling to meet the growing needs of the community it serves. In addition to emergency room visits and in-person stays, the facility had just under 200,000 outpatient clinic visits and delivered 1,318 babies last year.

As a Level 1 Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey, Elnahal said the institution would benefit from an expanded capacity to provide comprehensive care for critically injured and life-threatening individuals. And a new University Hospital facility would also allow the institution to better fulfill its mission as the premier teaching hospital for Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine, allowing it to be a regional resource for advanced services in many medical specialties, he said.

"Since the Newark Accords were signed, the University Hospital has been delivering for Newark and Essex counties first and foremost," Elnahal said. “With our community's growing primary care needs, lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, an incipient post-pandemic mental health crisis, and the community's demand for more comprehensive and specialized care, our current facilities are poised. to explode.

"A new and modern facility will allow us to meet and exceed these needs, in our quest to build a modern and thriving biomedical campus."

It is estimated that the facility is already facing a significant capital investment need – in the range of nearly $ 250 million over five years – that will not produce any tangible improvement in facilities or health outcomes.

Elnahal said that any money spent should make a difference.

"We have also proven to be worthy of these investments," he said. "With remarkable improvements in quality, financial performance, regulatory compliance, and near-universal achievement of all tasks assigned to us in the 2018 Governor's Monitor Report, we are poised to design and execute on a new campus for the community we serve. "

Oliver and Elnahal will be joined by Rutgers Chancellor for Biomedical and Health Sciences Brian Strom, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., and State Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark).

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