Passaic Hatzolah Member: Hospital’s Bankruptcy Could Be Opportunity

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st-mary-hosptialVisitors and patients who trickled out of St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic on Monday were shocked that the hospital was bankrupt and worried it might close. “It would be a crime for this place to shut down,” said Anthony Ozga, a Wallington resident whose brother was being treated at St. Mary’s. While officials reassured the community that the hospital would remain open, Ozga feared that patients would face longer ambulance trips to get to the hospitals in Paterson and Hackensack if St. Mary’s failed to turn itself around.“A person could die,” said, Ozga, who has been coming to St. Mary’s since 1964.

Waiting in his minivan outside the hospital to pick up a friend, Lodi resident Kevin Johnson said he thought outside intervention was needed to save the hospital.

“The government should save it,” Johnson said. “They need help. People in the community, they need a hospital.”

Anthony Joseph, who has lived across the street from St. Mary’s for more than 20 years, said the hospital’s bankruptcy was a “serious concern.” It was also personal, he said: his sister-in-law is employed by the hospital as a nurse’s assistant.

Woodland Park resident Sanjay Desai, who was visiting his mother at St. Mary’s this afternoon, said he had followed the hospital’s administrative and financial situation over the years.

“There’s not enough staff,” he said. “There’s only one elevator. It’s 25 years old…It’s like a dinosaur.”

Passaic City Historian Mark Auerbach said in a phone interview that Passaic desperately needs quality health care. He questioned how the number of hospitals in the city had dwindled so quickly.

“At one time we had three major hospitals here. In less than a decade we have next to nothing,” Auerbach said. “I don’t like it when things get taken away in front of us.”

David Kaplan, the founder of Hatzolah EMS of North Jersey, an Orthodox Jewish ambulance service, said he brings a large proportion of his patients to St. Mary’s. He said the bankruptcy filing could be an opportunity for Passaic.

“I hope they can find a good buyer who can turn a profit and turn it into a great hospital,” Kaplan said. “It’s good to have a local hospital right there that you can depend on.”

Visitors and patients who trickled out of St. Mary’s Hospital today were shocked that the hospital was bankrupt and worried it might close.

“It would be a crime for this place to shut down,” said Anthony Ozga, a Wallington resident whose brother was being treated at St. Mary’s.

While officials reassured the community that the hospital would remain open, Ozga feared that patients would face longer ambulance trips to get to the hospitals in Paterson and Hackensack if St. Mary’s failed to turn itself around.

“A person could die,” said, Ozga, who has been coming to St. Mary’s since 1964.

Waiting in his minivan outside the hospital to pick up a friend, Lodi resident Kevin Johnson said he thought outside intervention was needed to save the hospital.

“The government should save it,” Johnson said. “They need help. People in the community, they need a hospital.”

Anthony Joseph, who has lived across the street from St. Mary’s for more than 20 years, said the hospital’s bankruptcy was a “serious concern.” It was also personal, he said: his sister-in-law is employed by the hospital as a nurse’s assistant.

Woodland Park resident Sanjay Desai, who was visiting his mother at St. Mary’s this afternoon, said he had followed the hospital’s administrative and financial situation over the years.

“There’s not enough staff,” he said. “There’s only one elevator. It’s 25 years old…It’s like a dinosaur.”

Passaic City Historian Mark Auerbach said in a phone interview today that Passaic desperately needs quality health care. He questioned how the number of hospitals in the city had dwindled so quickly.

“At one time we had three major hospitals here. In less than a decade we have next to nothing,” Auerbach said. “I don’t like it when things get taken away in front of us.”

David Kaplan, the founder of Hatzolah EMS of North Jersey, an Orthodox Jewish ambulance service, said he brings a large proportion of his patients to St. Mary’s. He said the bankruptcy filing could be an opportunity for Passaic.

“I hope they can find a good buyer who can turn a profit and turn it into a great hospital,” Kaplan said. “It’s good to have a local hospital right there that you can depend on.”

{NorthJersey.com/Matzav.com Newscenter}

5 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of trying to blast Dovid Kaplan you guys should agree with his comments. If St’ Marys closes down you have no choice but to drive at least 15 minutes to Hackensack St’Joes or U.M.D.N.J. in newark. Can you imagine how much worse those hospitals that are allready jammed will look. We as the community of Passaic and Clifton as well as Rutherford, Nutley, East Rutherford, Garfield have to fight arm and leg to make sure this hospital stays open. Even if you dont like this Hospital many people do, so we have to keep it open.

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