Barnabas Health announced its plans today to merge Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood with Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch to create an integrated, regionalized, two-campus partnership. As such, Kimball Medical Center will be renamed, Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus.
“As healthcare in America is changing, Barnabas Health is transforming to maintain its position as a strong and viable healthcare leader for the future,” the medical center said today. “This new network of care between Monmouth and Kimball will provide high-quality, efficient healthcare to the communities in the region. It will also establish a stronger healthcare delivery model for the future and expand outpatient services to better manage the health of the populations served.”
“The merger will result in seamless access to Monmouth Medical Center’s renowned specialty services, particularly in the areas of geriatrics, oncology and neurology. These services will be spread across the region, specifically designed to meet the community’s healthcare needs, and focused on keeping patients healthier.”
“We are taking proactive measures to adapt to the healthcare environment nationally and in Lakewood while ensuring that we share the strengths of our facilities to provide quality care to the communities we serve,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health. “Kimball Medical Center is a vital community asset. Through this initiative, which includes an $11 million investment from Barnabas Health for capital improvements, we will be able to more effectively maximize Kimball’s strengths and combine them with Monmouth Medical Center’s assets for the best possible benefit to our patients.”
Kimball Medical Center’s alignment with Monmouth Medical Center began several years ago when the hospitals collaborated on several strategic partnerships. Over the past two years, Kimball has expanded women’s and pediatric services in partnership with Monmouth Medical Center. The hospital began offering pediatric emergency room services under the direction of the acclaimed Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center and launched the expansion of the nationally renowned Jacqueline M. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center in Howell and on the Kimball campus. Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus will also: ü Transition inpatient care to all private patient rooms and renovate the facility. ü Expand outpatient services with a focus on neurology, oncology and geriatrics. ü Enhance care in the 24/7 Emergency Department by adding a new geriatric emergency medicine unit as well as advanced protocols for emergency medicine. ü Improve care coordination among primary and specialty care physicians.
Currently, only 16 percent of Lakewood babies are delivered annually at Kimball Medical Center, while more than 50 percent of Lakewood babies are delivered at Monmouth Medical Center. Monmouth Medical Center is home to a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, delivers nearly 5,000 babies each year, and has recently renovated and expanded its postpartum unit and newborn nursery.
As a result, beginning May 1, all newborn deliveries will be directed to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, and Community Medical Center in Toms River.
“Our planning process showed that a transformation of the acute care hospital in Lakewood would best serve our patients and the community,” said Michael Mimoso, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kimball Medical Center. “This partnership with Monmouth Medical Center will ensure a higher level of quality care and enable us to be a stronger care provider for our patients, their families and our communities.”
“We are planning a great deal of exciting activity at the Southern Campus in the months and years to come,” said Frank J. Vozos, MD, FACS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Monmouth Medical Center. “We will be working toward improving the facilities and services available at the hospital, and expanding outpatient care to build a coordinated healthcare network for the people of the Lakewood region.”
The merger was approved by the Board of Trustees of Monmouth Medical Center and Kimball Medical Center. Both hospitals will retain their individual licenses with separate medical staffs, and a single Board of Trustees will oversee both campuses. Representatives from Kimball’s board will join Monmouth Medical Center’s board. The merger is expected to be effective in the second quarter in 2014, pending regulatory approvals. [TLS]