Hudson County electeds, medical professionals, and community leaders praised CarePoint Health at a hearing at Christ Hospital on Tuesday over their conversion to nonprofit status.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The public hearing was conducted by the State Health Planning Board about 15 months after CarePoint announced plans to become a nonprofit organization run by their current CEO, Dr. Achintya Moulick.
“The outpouring of support for CarePoint’s transition to a non-profit at this meeting is proof of the strong feeling in the community that our three safety net hospitals must be given approval by the Department of Health to complete this process and continue serving the needs of Hudson County,” Moulick said in a statement.
“CarePoint provides a critical level of care to underserved populations and leads the state in ease of access to charitable and affordable care … The transition to nonprofit control opens up a wide array of funding and grant opportunities to support Hudson County’s underserved patients moving forward that are also not otherwise available under for profit status.”
Speakers at the meeting who testified in favor of the application included Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Jersey City Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano, Yousef Saleh, and Joyce Watterman, Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle, County Commissioner Anthony Romano (D-5), Bayonne Council President Gary La Pelusa, Bayonne 2nd Ward Councilwoman Jacqueline Weimmer, Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority Chair Toni Tomarazzo, President and CEO of United Way Hudson County Daniel Altilio, and Pastor Jose Lopez, among many others.
Letters of support were also sent in from Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight (D-31), Jersey City Council President Joyce Watterman, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, and Ward D Councilman Yousef J. Saleh.
“Christ Hospital has been a cornerstone in our community for decades in serving some of the most vulnerable residents here in Jersey City,” noted Fulop.
“CarePoint’s application to become a nonprofit is critical for the long term growth of Christ Hospital and the other hospitals in the system, making them more viable, stronger, more competitive, more in line with the other hospitals in the region and a better overall option to serve the Jersey City community.”
The political support shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that several electeds came out in favor of the nonprofit transition back in May.
“Healthcare should not be about dollars and cents, it should be about common sense and Bayonne needs a full service hospital — anything short of that is unacceptable,” added Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis.
“If CarePoint, the entity that operates Bayonne Medical Center, is allowed to change its status from profit to nonprofit we have a chance to get back to a Bayonne-centric, community based hospital. Residents of Bayonne will be invited to serve on the hospital board and we will have a voice in the hospital’s operations”
Following the public hearing, the State Health Planning Board will vote on a recommendation regarding the CarePoint applications for certificates of need, with the final determination made by the the DOH commissioner.