Hackensack Meridian Health Marks One Year of Treating COVID-19 Patients, Serving Communities and Honoring Lives Lost

·6 min read

Hackensack Meridian Health Marks One Year of Treating COVID-19 Patients, Serving Communities and Honoring Lives Lost

PR Newswire

EDISON, N.J., March 4, 2021

NJ's largest health network recognizes front-line heroes and looks forward to continuing vaccinations, accelerating research to end this pandemic.

EDISON, N.J., March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive health network, remembered those lost to COVID-19 and honored heroic front-line teams today as the network marked the one-year anniversary of treating the state's first COVID-19 patient.

Hackensack Meridian Health
Hackensack Meridian Health

"COVID-19 has upended our world and we have shown that we are Jersey strong and resilient,'' said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. "We remember all those who fought valiantly against this disease and honor our front-line heroes and innovative spirit that are helping us beat this pandemic.''

Throughout the network, a moment of silence was held at each hospital today to remember all those lost to COVID-19, within the network, the state and the nation. Blue spotlights illuminated each of the network's 17 hospitals to honor the physicians, nurses, clinical support teams and all those who continue to put patients first in this global crisis. The spotlights will continue for a month.

Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals treated more than 23,000 patients, more than any other network in the state and 80 percent recovered. More than 133,000 people were tested for the virus in network hospitals.

Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to have contributed breakthroughs to help the nation work to defeating this pandemic. Network accomplishments:

  • Developed the first rapid commercial COVID-19 test, reducing the wait time for results from days to hours.

  • Developed a convalescent plasma treatment utilizing antibodies from people with high concentrations of antibodies – "superdonors'' – to treat hospitalized patients.

  • Participated in national clinical trials to develop COVID-19 vaccines, including the Moderna and J&J trials.

  • Opened a COVID-19 Recovery Center, dedicated to assisting COVID-19 patients after recovering from the infection.

  • Launched a mega site at former Meadowlands Racetrack in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health, State Police and National Guard, which is vaccinating 4,000 patients daily.

  • To date, the entire network has vaccinated more than 170,000 people.

  • Developed Keeping America Safe: Hackensack Meridian Health's Assist Program which helps business owners and schools create a safe environment.

"We believe that innovations, including our COVID-19 PCR test and our high-titer convalescent plasma program, helped to make a positive difference," said Daniel Varga, M.D., chief physician executive of Hackensack Meridian Health. "Given the uncertainty we face going forward, regarding vaccine durability along with any role virus variants might play, we must remain vigilant, monitoring local conditions and scientific findings, while providing equitable care and education for the people in the communities we serve."

Hackensack Meridian Health began administering COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, starting with frontline team members. The network is delivering a total 5,000 to 6,000 vaccines daily at hospitals and other sites throughout New Jersey, including the mega site in Bergen County.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine students volunteer in the vaccination effort. Some contributed to a task force of real-time online medical research. Others took part in planning with underserved school districts in New Jersey as part of the Support Our Schools program.

The network has also developed and implemented Keeping America Safe: Hackensack Meridian Health's Assist Program, helping business owners and schools to navigate the pandemic and create a safe environment for employees and customers by sharing best practices with companies regarding safety measures, cleanliness, education, and testing.

New Jersey has lost more than 20,000 people to COVID-19. More than one-half million people in the United States have lost their lives to the virus.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children's hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network's notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker's Healthcare's "150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019" list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.


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SOURCE Hackensack Meridian Health