Kimball Medical Center to Merge With Monmouth Medical Center; All Newborn Deliveries to be Redirected

mmc tlsBarnabas 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]

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  1. You can change the name but if the care’s the same, what is the difference? I’d rather they kept it Kimball than pretend their Monmouth.

  2. Renaming is unnecessary and a waste of money (new letter head, etc) and although I am not Jewish myself, I am sensitive to the needs of the community and know that Kimball understands the faiths’ traditions and restrictions when it comes to childbirth and has been serving them well for decades. I really don’t see why all delivers need to be redirected.

  3. People go to Jersey Shore and Monmouth because Kimball’s maternity care has been deemed subpar by many. I don’t see how a publicity stunt is going to change this.

  4. I for one will transfer to Ocean in Brick rather than Shlep out each time to Monmouth. Rather than repair the location that could service an area where the young population is growing they have chosen to make it more difficult for those in this area.

  5. They had to know this was coming. Kimball has real problems with uninsured illegal immigrants and Medicaid patients. The hospital will continue to lose money for every Medicaid and uninsured pt they treat. Merging with MMC only prolongs the inevitable. We had the same issue at the hospital I worked at in Middlesex Co. I lost my job as well.

  6. While it is common knowledge of this inevitable reassignment, never did St Barnabas discuss with its loyal employees. Also the inevitable loss of jobs is still not addressed in this media propaganda. More than 100 jobs will be lost. Where do these folks find a way to feed their families? Oh right. NOT St Barnabas’ concern. For all my former colleagues and friends, best of luck in moving forward.

  7. This will be much more than a name change and new letterhead. The leadership at MMC is the best, and I full expect that the rebranding will include a change in quality that is long needed in the community. And to that, I say thank G-d!

  8. Exactly…. They sure don’t mention all the job loss!! Kmc has served the community as well as local PTS over the years… 16 percent of Lakewood babies I think their numbers are off to justify closing maternity !! Thanks for giving back Barnabas to all your employees with a slap in the face !! Kmc was not just a hospital it was a family! Growing healthcare … I don’t think so … What happened to patient care and safety .. All about $ that’s how healthcare is changing .

  9. Its good news that they merged because Kimbal was getting ready to close their doors for good. They couldnt sustain themselves. The focus should not be on the maternity ward being redirected but rather on the fact that we will still have a hospital in our growing town. It might not be a top hospital but it is a hospital regardless which is very much needed in Lakewood.

  10. In meetings held yesterday and today KMC employees were told there will be 165 layoffs to begin within the next 3-4 weeks. How much did Barnabas pay you to omit that from this article? The Mother Infant Pavillion is exceptional. Most of the community have been led to believe they need a NICU when in fact, not all of them do. In the unfortunate event that they did the team of physicians and nurses are overly qualified to stabilize the newborn and transfer it to one. I pray for the safety of all mom’s to be within the community and elsewhere that the ER personnel and local ambulance companies become experts in delivering babies.

  11. You will still have a hospital in your growing town? The building is only going to have 48 beds. The rest is rented space to long term care.. Hardly a hospital.. No one will realize what a wonderful gem they had until it’s gone and then all they will do is complain that they have to travel far when KMC was right in their backyard.

  12. Merger equals more $$$$$$ for their bottom line. Less competition for their business. Raise prices. Now the CEO and all the officers will get huge salary increases. Think not? Just wait.

  13. The Hospital is closing its maternity floor because the growing community that could have supported them made a decision not to and that is the bottom line. If the lakewood community had truly supported the hospital it wouldn’t be in finanicial trouble. So the employees can thank the wonderful people of Lakewood for the lost of their jobs.

  14. Shlepping out to Monmouth for birth isn’t ideal at all, health-wise and emotionally. Renovating would be much better than relocating. I’ve already caught two babies in my car from clients who didn’t make it to their out of Lakewood hospitals. I don’t know what, if anything, can be done but if anyone has ideas please try to fix this.
    Alternatively, mothers may choose to join the growing number of women that give birth at home, partially for this reason.

  15. The difference between Monmouth and Kimball are miles apart. We had a baby at each, so I know firsthand.

    While monmouth nurses are professional, courteous and concerned about their patients and never seem to lose patience, Kimball is the exact opposite.

  16. Kimball Medical Center is a great hospital with an exceptional ER. The service there is the best around. Would go there with no hesitation for the prompt service and the best care. The hospital cares for all patients as family.

  17. Kimball Medical Center, formerly Paul Kimball Hospital has a long standing history in Lakewood, and I am sorry to see the name change. Named after it’s founder, Dr. Paul Kimball, originally a small community hospital, (I believe it was a 35 bed hospital) it was the closest hospital treating victims of the Hindenberg explosion. Obviously health care has changed, but we should remember our roots and honor Dr. Kimball’s vision and memory. Keep the Kimball name!

  18. Just curious; before KMC sent Dr. Feinberg away, was only 16% of Lakewood babies being delivered in KMC? Or was it more like 60%? If they would only fix up the Hospital like Dr. Feinberg wanted, they would have well over 50% being delivered in KMC! Why do so many people have to shlep so far ?

  19. I b”h had 6 babies in Kimball.I have the nicest things to say about the place. The midwives,nurses were A1. Would love for them to stay open

  20. I do believe that the long term plan is to change Kimball’s image so that they can eventually reopen the maternity ward. It does seem absurd for the fastest growing town in the US to be without a maternity ward. Unfortunately, as many choose to have their babies elsewhere, based on unfounded rumors, the census has dwindled drastically placing Barnabas in a quandary of how to maintain a financially drained hospital. The only solution is to change the image so that they may eventually reopen with a clientele who is more trusting and willing to come.

    Although extremely upsetting that so many employees will be losing their jobs, I think it is unfair to blame a community for the failings of an institution’s financial mismanagement.

    I wish all the nurses and ancillary staff the best of luck and may they have much deserved success in all their future endeavors.

  21. LKWD you are so wrong about the nurses at KMC they are truly wonderful and really care about their patients. Sour grapes on your part?

  22. I had my 4 kids in kmc and gelada 4 GREAT experiences!!! Shame ppl always thing the grass is greener therby ruining it for others! I will miss u kmc!!! :(((

  23. The elephant in te room: all the medicaid patiens have drained the finances of kimball. Couple that with uninsured illegal immigrants and kimball is losing so much money very year. Change as necessary.

    And ObamaCare will just make it worse. Hospitals are closing all over the country as a result of ObamaCare, because the reimbursement rates will not be enough to cover the costs.

    I feel sorry for the employees who will lose their jobs, but they voted for this.

  24. You can all stop crying…………………..if the community that this hospital has served well for many, many years – did not turn it’s back on KMC – it would not be in the situation that we have today……………not only for deliveries – for everything…………..IT’S THE TRUTH AND YOU ALL KNOW IT!

  25. Never in the meeting was a specific number of layoffs discussed.Hopefully the outpatient services will improve and hospital can continue to provide great service in under Monmouth’s direction.

  26. As a person involved the lakewood community has tried dozens of Times to communicate with the board and the administration. They always knew better. We tried we needed and wanted it. St Barnabas always did there own thing.Meridian on the other hand always listened.

  27. Had my children at Ocean Medical Center in Brick – its a max 15 minute drive from pretty much anywhere in lakewood, the care is fantastic, and they are always looking to help you!

  28. The whole episode is sad, dedicated, loyal employees losing their job. A town with a large birthdate without a local facility to deliver babies. It’s a loss hopefully for just short term with long term solutions.

  29. Barnabas doesnt care Kimball doesnt care Kimball was a good little hospital at one time Then along came the merge with Community And then Barnabas gobbled up the whole mess DelMauro was bent on closing Kimball If he could have gotten the community to go to Monmouth or Community he would have I was in the meeting when he said Kimball is a family and he was going to bust the family Kimball was once called “The Gem of the St Barnabas System” Barnabas shattered that gem The way you treat your employees You get what you deserve

  30. The main reason people went out of town for births is because their chosen doctors didn’t deliver at Kimball. And the main reason for that is because Kimball didn’t have a Tier 3 NICU. Basically, they could only safely provide care for full term healthy infants. I agree, I’ve had good experiences with clients in Kimball. But the level of care that they were able to provide (based on their facility) was not as high as other hospitals.

  31. Bad decision.

    Nobody will shlep to Monmouth.
    They’ll just go to jersey shore and brick instead.

    I just can’t understand how the town with the highest birthrate in the nation will not have a maternity ward at their local hospital.

    • Plenty of people shlep to Monmouth. About 8 out of 10 births I attend are at Monmouth. I wish people went to Brick more often, it would make my job so much easier.

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