Friday, May 2, 2014
Planners Approve New Satellite Emergency Department
The Planning Board still expects to hear how several stipulations will be carried out before final approval, but meanwhile internal renovations can begin at Kenyon House. The SED will occupy the first floor and a dialysis center will remain on the second floor.
The new 12,000-square foot SED will have eight patient beds and three ambulatory stations in addition to X-ray and CT scan equipment and various labs. A new garage will house two ambulances. New LED signage will direct traffic to the relocated SED. There will also be a trauma triage room, a negative pressure room to isolate patients with airborne diseases and a behavioral health room. A natural gas line will be installed to power an emergency generator.
Among public comments Thursday, Dr. Harold Yood said curtains to separate patient beds would not offer sufficient privacy. He also said to be called an emergency room, the facility should have the capability of treating coronary and stroke victims with anti-coagulants.
Activist Dottie Gutenkauf had many comments and questions, including what if a SED patient wanted to be transferred to a hospital other than JFK Medical Center. Frank Tsemberlis, JFK's vice president for corporate facilities, said the patient would first have to have a physician at the other hospital in order to be admitted. The patient would then have to get their own ambulance to go to the hospital.
Resident Nancy Piwowar told the hospital representatives at Thursday's meetings that people are telling her they are not being treated right at JFK Medical Center.
"The feeling in the community is that they don't want us there," she said.
Speakers also said people didn't know about special services at the SED and requested signs at the new location listing them.
When Muhlenberg closed in 2008, the SED was to remain for only five years, but stayed open. Tsemberlis said of the Planning Board approval Thursday, "We think it's great," and said he was pleased that the new SED will continue to provide health care to Plainfield and surrounding communities.
Many residents who attended the Planning Board meeting also went to three community forums on what people want to see on the Muhlenberg campus. They emphatically do not want a 600-apartment complex as envisioned by JFK Health System. Their views were collected as part of a city-sponsored study by Heyer, Gruel & Associates, who expect to issue a final report this summer.