SALEM — New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Shereef M. Elnahal, MD, MBA, recently approved a certificate of need (CN) application that allowed the transfer of The Memorial Hospital of Salem County to Community HealthCare Associates, effective Jan. 31, 2019.
As of Feb. 1, the new name of the hospital was changed to Salem Medical Center. The change in ownership will return the hospital to a not-for-profit community hospital.
“This is a milestone moment for our hospital and for our community,” said Chief Executive Officer Tammy Torres, DNP, MSN, RN. “Commissioner Elnahal’s approval of the CN is welcome news to our physicians, employees and patients. We now begin a new chapter in our nearly 100-year history of providing health care services to Salem County and surrounding areas.”
Long-time and current Board member Ceil Smith, executive director of the Salem Community College Foundation, is excited to see the hospital return to its original non-for-profit status. “I have been on the hospital Board for 17 years. I have seen it undergo many changes. Our community needs a vibrant and strong hospital. Returning to a non-profit will open many new opportunities for Salem Medical Center, opportunities that were unavailable to us as a for-profit.
“We are moving in the right direction,” she continued, “and our future today looks brighter than it has in a long, long time.”
The CN approval allowed for the transfer of previously approved 26 adult psychiatric beds as well as approval for 30 long-term care beds at the facility. In addition, Salem Medical Center is licensed for 114 medical-surgical beds and 12 intensive care beds.
“As a Board member and physician leader, I can say unequivocally that our physicians support this new ownership and are optimistic for plans for a relevant and successful hospital,” said Douglas Mazzuca Sr., DO., a member of the medical staff since 1987. “This is indeed a new era, a new beginning, one that our community will benefit from as we move together into the future.”
Approximately $30 million will be invested into the hospital facility as well as medical technology and equipment.
“There are a number of initiatives being discussed at the Board level,” added Dr. Torres. “Soon we will outline our full vision with our community and our employees. But I can say without a doubt that new and exciting times are ahead for our hospital which will allow us to continue to bring quality and much needed care to Salem County and surrounding areas.”