Mayor Jimmy Davis, along with a few other elected officials, joined Bayonne Medical Center workers in coming out in support of the BMC Hospital LLC deal in the midst of a stand off with Hudson Regional Hospital.
Bayonne Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vijayant Singh, who would maintain his post if BMC Hospital takes over the Peninsula City hospital, reminded the dozens in attendance the amount of COVID-19 testing and treatment his staff provided during the pandemic.
“The fact is that we’ve made sacrifices, both professionally and personally. The flag is at a half staff, it will remain at a half staff for a substantial amount of time to mourn all the lives lost – along with all the staff members who have taken ill or have moved on,” he said.
The press conference, hosted on the lawn of the BMC, saw a handful of other medical professionals vocalize their support for the BMC Hospital deal – which was announced on June 2nd, just minutes before HRH said they’d come to terms on a related $220 million real estate purchase.
The property, which is occupied by the BMC and Hoboken University Medical Center, respectively, is owned by Avery Eisenreich, who is also the head of the Alaris Health nursing home chain.
With the two sides now embroiled in litigation and anxiously awaiting a decision from the New Jersey Department of Health on their respective hospital applications, Davis said that from his vantage point, the choice couldn’t be any clearer.
“Here we stand today with the Bayonne Hospital group looking to buy our community hospital and become part of our community – and to keep our hospital open. And I’m here to tell everyone down at the department of health that we stand behind them 100 percent.”
While the NJ DOH has declined to weigh in on the Hudson County health care scuffle, citing the pending lawsuit, even after both sides went on the attack about their opposition’s perceived shortcomings, Davis questioned the legitimacy of the HRH offer repeatedly.
“I haven’t seen that deal, I don’t know if that deal actually exists. All is know is that [BMC] Hospital LLC is the only deal that the [New Jersey] Department of Health has right now. I’ve met with them, I’ve talked with them, and I’m confident in them taking over Bayonne hospital,” he said during the question and answer session with the media.
“It’s an 11th hour deal: that’s all it was. Where it came from, what it is, what the parameters are: I don’t know. What I do know is that the Bayonne Hospital LLC negotiated, wrote a deal, did a deal, and that deal is sitting on the department of health’s table right now … and we’re behind it 100 percent.”
Additionally, Singh assured residents that a BMC Hospital sale would not disrupt service at the facility, whether or not eminent domain proceedings would need to continue or not.
“Bayonne Hospital LLC has expressed its willingness to either take over the sublease of this hospital and they are fully in support of the eminent domain process so that the hospital operations aren’t effected.”
Following the press conference, HRH spokesman Ron Simoncini blistered CarePoint Health, the current owner of the BMC, for trying keep their leadership in place after losing tens of millions of dollars last year.
“It shouldn’t be providing any comfort to the community that BMC is saying we are keeping the same people in place to operate the hospital. These are the same people who get negative reviews and who lost $30 million last year,” he told HCV.
“Where is the community’s security in CarePoint handpicking a successor who can’t get a license and whose nominating a failed management staff to pursue its business plan when it has zero experience running an acute care facility?”
Other dignitaries in attendance included Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), Council President Sharon Nadrowski, and Councilman-at-Large Juan Perez.