Summit’s Overlook Medical Center unveils new pediatric facility – Union News Daily

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SUMMIT, NJ – The Hersh Children’s Center, Overlook Medical Center’s newest facility, was unveiled to the public on Thursday, December 9 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

According to a press release, the newly built, state-of-the-art facility will centralize the hospital’s pediatric emergency, inpatient and specialty services in one family-friendly space. Also recently opened on Overlook are a new parking garage for employees and the new entrance to the Bouras Emergency Department. Hospital construction officials also implemented another innovation, redesigned ventilation systems, giving the facility the ability to use outdoor air for full circulation through the Hersh Children’s Center and the Bouras Emergency Department.

Overlook Medical Center President Stephanie Schwartz said these are the first of many renovations for the facility.

“The project is a pediatric children’s center. … It’s kid-oriented, family-oriented, and it’s in a beautiful space. The doctors, nurses and technicians who care for the kids can all do that in one location,” Schwartz said on Friday, Dec. 10.

“Our spaces aren’t that old, but healthcare is changing so fast that we’re going to renovate the spaces to support new technology and new ways of caring for patients.”

According to the press release, the new, nearly 12,000-square-foot center unites the Meri and Sol Barer Inpatient Pediatric Center, formerly housed on the sixth floor of Overlook, and the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department to provide more coordinated care for patients ages 6 and older. newborn to 21. Fully equipped to handle the range of pediatric conditions, with streamlined care to relieve stress for the family, the new inpatient unit includes parent sleeping accommodation, family lounges and a well-lit play area.

“The plan has been in development for several years and healthcare construction is highly regulated, so we had to get a series of approvals from the city of Summit and others,” Clelia Biamonti, executive director of the Overlook Foundation at Overlook Medical Center, said on Friday, December 10. “We had already received our approvals to proceed with the Hersh Children’s Center, as well as building an employee parking deck so that all of our team members who wanted to park on campus could park there. So those projects were underway, and Since we are allowed to continue building during an emergency like COVID, we’ve slowed down a bit, but we kept going and made it work to our advantage in terms of timing.”

Biamonti said there was a pause between the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to get feedback from their team. This allowed them to inspect the space and make it even safer and more efficient for team members. A major change was the advanced air filtration system, which provides both positive and negative pressure throughout the center at the touch of a button. This makes it a self-contained unit, something much desired during the pandemic.

“The other thing that would have been really helpful for us is to really have a space where we can isolate kids and their families away from the adult population, so that concept was already in the works. Another concept that was also under development was to combine pediatric emergency care with inpatient care in a single unit, where staff is trained to address urgent needs as well as ongoing and chronic needs. It gave them the opportunity to retrain to acquire new skills because you always want your employees to engage, learn and develop so that they could do that, and it allows us to be more flexible with staffing. We never knew there would be a shortage of health workers, but now that we have one, we can redeploy resources in new and different ways. We are truly blessed that the lessons learned could be digested. The Overlook Foundation absolutely, 100 percent supported this and took the opportunity and did the additional fundraising to meet this need.

According to the release, the new center will include nine patient rooms, including two isolation rooms and Liam’s Rooms for patients with severe chronic conditions or life-limiting illnesses; eight emergency departments, staffed by pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric subspecialists and pediatric nurses; one flexible room for patients in the emergency room or inpatients; in-room accommodation for parents to spend the night with their children; and numerous structural and design elements to improve safety, comfort and security for patients and families. The Hersh Children’s Center has access to 100 pediatric specialists, who provide expertise both at Overlook and across the Atlantic Health System.

A $2.5 million pledge from the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation funded the relocation of the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department, as well as additional adult emergency rooms. According to Biamonti, the entire purpose of the Overlook Foundation, a separate non-profit organization, is to support innovation at the Overlook Medical Center and provide funding for its planned renovations.

“Our biggest contributor is Atlantic Health System, so we’re rebuilding Overlook together, and we’re about 50/50 partners in this endeavor. We’re the community investment in improving healthcare at Overlook Medical Center and in all the communities we serve.” serve so gratefully. It is really only possible through the generosity of our donors,” said Biamonti.
Schwartz said she hopes to open the new center by the end of the year, if regulators allow it.

“Before we cut our ribbon, we took people through the facility before we could see patients, because once we see patients, it’s hard to get the public through the room,” she said. “So we’re hoping around December 26, right after the Christmas break, that we’ll be able to see patients in that room. …

“This is a very innovative approach to pediatric care by allowing both the emergency room and the clinical unit to be housed together. … There are only a few in the state of New Jersey,” Schwartz continued. “It will provide really excellent clinical care that is focused on the patient and family and will be a better support for younger patients who do need care. An emergency room can be scary for a child or a family, so this will allow them provide that targeted care.”

dr. Walter Rosenfeld, president of Pediatrics at Overlook Medical Center and medical director of Children’s Health for Atlantic Health System, praised the close relationship between Atlantic Health System hospitals.

“The new Hersh Children’s Center in Overlook fits in beautifully with Atlantic Health System’s plan to deliver the right care in the right place in an organized manner with the highest quality of care to patients across the region,” Rosenfeld said on Friday, December. 10. “We couldn’t possibly make that work if we didn’t connect all of our centers together and to our most important area, which is Goryeb Children’s Hospital (at Morristown Medical Center), where we have the highest community care and volume. Overlook is one of our busiest pediatric centers and we have invested a lot of resources over the years to provide that community with truly excellent pediatric, primary and specialty care.

“Part of our plan to regionalize child care is to have a wonderful center like the Hersh Children’s Center,” he continued. “That is a center that can treat children with a very wide spectrum of problems, and we have designed it that way. We have the staff and physical facilities to support that. But if a child needs even more care, we rely on the rest of our system.”

Photos courtesy of Overlook Medical Center

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