Consistent excellence is the quality that distinguishes our nation’s best medical centers, but it is a standard not easily achieved. It takes uncommon perseverance, combined with extraordinary skill and creativity, to deliver exceptional healthcare year in and year out. At Hackensack University Medical Center, we insist on consistent excellence because it is what the citizens of northern New Jersey deserve.
The recognition we received in 2015 from the nation’s most respected healthcare evaluators highlights the sustained quality of the healthcare we offer:
But consistent excellence is not enough. At HackensackUMC, we are always looking for new areas in which to excel. This year, we added our 24th Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Care program. No other hospital in the country has Gold Seals in so many specialties.
In addition, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses awarded HackensackUMC’s Coronary Care Unit and Medical Intensive Care Unit its prestigious Silver Beacon Award for Excellence. HackensackUMC joins only 14 other units in New Jersey to achieve Beacon designation, an indicator for patients and their families of superior care, high satisfaction levels and exceptional clinical outcomes.
Cancer care is just one area among many in which our persistent efforts to provide ever- more-effective and accessible care have made a tremendous difference for our patients. In 2015, it opened a new 9,600-square-foot outpatient facility at the HackensackUMC Palisades’ new outpatient pavilion in North Bergen. Thanks to this new facility, residents of Hudson County will be able to consult with disease-specific cancer specialists, gain access to top diagnostic and treatment technologies and have the opportunity to enroll in more than 200 clinical trials.
JTCC also celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) program. Since 1990, BMT has grown tremendously in sophistication and applicability. It is now used to treat a wide range of blood cancers, bone marrow failure and other immune system and genetic diseases. JTCC has enlarged its bone marrow program accordingly. It now has one of the largest transplant programs in the world, with more than 400 transplants performed annually—the highest number in the Tri-State area.
At JTCC, we are conducting research that sets the stage for the next generation of therapy. In the last year alone, JTCC researchers announced discoveries with the potential to improve treatment of lymphoma, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Research at JTCC was energized in 2013 when it signed an oncology affiliation agreement with the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center, to foster robust collaboration among clinicians and researchers from both institutions. This year, we announced an ambitious joint cancer research agenda that will enable us to take on some of the most significant challenges in cancer care. The agenda includes:
The pace of medical innovation proceeds at an unprecedented rate. Conditions that required major surgery a decade ago can be treated on an outpatient basis today, thanks to advances in fields like imaging, miniaturization, robotics and drug discovery.
HackensackUMC is committed to ensuring its patients have access to the latest therapies and medical devices as soon as they receive FDA approval and in some cases earlier, thanks to our participation in clinical trials. We were the first or among the first to introduce a number of procedures this year:
HackensackUMC physicians also secured several major research grants this year to improve clinical care. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress, made a $2.8 million grant to team led by Dr. Yukiko Kimura, chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kimura’s team will use the funding to study treatment strategies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which affects as many as 300,000 children in the United States.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health provided a $3.3 million grant to a team lead by Dr. Abdulla Al-Kahn, section chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Al-Kahn and his colleagues plan to use the grant to develop a four-year program that will test ultrasound techniques in the first trimester of pregnancy in an effort to better diagnose placenta accreta, an increasingly common, life-threatening complication.
Delivering consistent excellence while keeping pace with medical progress demands physician leaders who stand ready to embrace new technologies and treatments and to support team members as they reeducate themselves and reconfigure their practice to accommodate the latest advances. This year, HackensackUMC was fortunate in attracting a number of eminent physicians who embody this spirit. They include:
The challenges of delivering outstanding healthcare have never been higher, but as the events of 2015 show, we have built a strong foundation from which to meet them.
Financially we have never been stronger. This year Standard & Poor’s Rating Services upgraded its outlook on HackensackUMC from stable to positive and affirmed its A- long- term rating. We possess a collegial and collaborative corporate culture. Beckers Hospital Review once again named us to its list of 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare. And we have earned the loyalty and support of our neighboring communities. In 2015, 1,856 volunteers contributed 268,207 hours of their time to supporting our mission.
Put all these factors together, and you have a medical center ready to make its mark, not just in New Jersey, or in the Tri-State area, but in the nation.
It takes uncommon perseverance, combined with extraordinary skill and creativity, to deliver exceptional healthcare year in and year out.