(Note: This article originally appeared in the Hudson Reporter. To read the complete article, click here.)
Until Jan. 1 of this year, Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus struggled to survive. Despite an improving financial climate for hospitals overall, the hospital — under two previous owners — appeared unable to find the right formula for success.
Then, it was purchased by real-estate developer Yan Moshe, owner of Excel Surgery Center in Hackensack, who had experience in the medical field in New York and elsewhere in the state. Moshe promised to maintain the 200-bed hospital and improve its level of service.
“The new owner is extremely supportive, and experienced in medicine in New York City as well as New Jersey,” said Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, who took over as the hospital’s chief executive officer in June, replacing Felicia Karsos, who will oversee nursing. “He’s very smart and dedicated to building this hospital.”
Kifaieh comes out of the CarePoint system, which rescued and restored three hospitals in Hudson County several years ago. He hopes to bring similar success in restoring Hudson Regional to full health.
“Our focus is to become a leading community hospital,” Kifaieh said.
Poised on the edge of the Meadowlands, the hospital has the potential to draw from several areas. “We’re in a perfect location, right off the highway, and have a lot of access,” he said. “We want the community to trust us.”
As part of the agreement in purchasing the hospital, Moshe is committed to maintaining the hospital as an acute care facility and is expected to invest at least $3 million in upgrades within the first five years.
Under this vision, the hospital would modernize the exterior and interior of the building itself, as well as seek innovative ways to upgrade its services and increase its technology. “The old owners were focused on surgery,” Kifaieh said.
While the hospital will retain surgical services, its focus will be family care and more community-oriented healthcare programs.
Among its plans, the hospital is seeking to create an integrated program of ob-gyn and pediatric services. The hospital has purchased Mazor Robotics Renaissance Surgical Guidance system for its spine surgery program. HR would be the only hospital in Hudson County to have the Mazor system, which would cut complications associated with more traditional surgery in half.
The hospital also established a community advisory board to work along with community leaders, including the mayor of Secaucus, to educate residents on health and provide free services.
Some specialty surgeries will include bariatric surgery and Maternal-Fetal Medicine for women with complications during pregnancy.
The hospital also opened a new radiology lab on April 1 in conjunction with its limb saving program.
“We are also looking to become a stroke-accredited medical facility,” Kifaieh said.
The hospital is also expanding its network of insurance providers as an in-network facility for Aetna, Horizon Blue Cross and Shield commercial plans, and Horizon NJ Health. It is currently seeking other providers.
The hospital is aggressively seeking to bring in many new local physicians and has recently brought back as many as 40 physicians.