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March  17

Docs To Perform CPR On Mountainside?

There is a movement afoot within Mountainside Hospital to wrestle itself away from corporate ownership. Atlantic Health System (AHS) has had the facility up on the public sales block for months, as one physician told us, “but they haven’t considered giving it back to the community.” So last week, the medical staff voted on a plan to explore the feasibilty of taking the hospital private -- and raising capital to buy Mountainside from AHS. To do so they had to resuscitate Mountainside Association, a membership based group that met annually to elect a Board of Trustees. The physician group drafted this resolution:

“The Medical Staff of Mountainside Hospital advocates that the Mountainside Hospital and its Foundation explore the possibilities of an independent state, whose charter shall be lodged with a newly established Community Association and be governed by an independent Board of Trustees elected by members of the Association.”

Mountainside Association will be a liaison with the community to respond to its clinical and educational needs. “It’s the first step, and there’s a long road ahead of them,” one informed source told us. “They’ll need to rally a lot of support, get a business plan, legal representation, etc.  to revert to an independent facility, which is in the best interests of the of the hospital and the community. The new association welcomes community membership and participation."

AHS’s spokesperson for Mountainside, Laurel Sohigian, sent Baristanet this response:

"Atlantic Health System is exploring options that will continue Mountainside Hospital as an acute care facility serving its local communities. As that process unfolds, we are speaking to a number of different entities interested in acquiring the hospital."

The Montclair Times also reported on the this story.

March 17, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink


That's not a easy road to take but I wish them luck. Mountainside may not be at it's best right now but it would be a shame to lose our local hospital and the emergency room.

Posted by: State Street Pete | Mar 17, 2006 3:30:31 PM

God luck docs -- the last things anyone wants is to this thing go belly-up and have all that land being fought over by a bunch of McMansion Developers.

Posted by: Spelling Bee Fan | Mar 17, 2006 4:13:31 PM

Please keep it going for the community. I'd hate to see all those thousands of McMansions on that site!

Posted by: PAZ (AMiL) | Mar 17, 2006 4:43:48 PM

Two years ago I had succesful hernia surgery at Mountainside Hospital. I'd hate to drive by a bunch of McMansions a few years from now and say "I left my herinias at that house on Bay Avenue."

Posted by: Phillip Byrd | Mar 17, 2006 5:21:02 PM

If there are any truly caring DEEP POCKETED members/pillars of our community reading this, then now is the time to step forward. Here is your chance for REAL legacy. Please think about it.

Posted by: barista reader | Mar 18, 2006 9:21:01 AM

Surprisingly little interest in this thread. For most of you in Baristaville, Mountainside is by far the closest hospital. It used to have an excellent reputation. It is a teaching hospital with Residency training programs in Internal Medicine, Family Practice and Dental. Many of the doctors that you all go to in the local area trained there. Medical students from UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School rotate at Mountainside in many specialties. There is also the School of Nursing which is filled in it's day and evening programs and turns out excellently trained Registered Nurses who are in high demand.
I have been on the Medical Staff for a long time, through changes for the better and changes that have not been for the better. Atlantic Health Systems couldn't make money here in Montclair. Members of the community and the doctors and employees should see this as an opportunity to change and improve our hospital and keep it open serving our community.
The hospital will need some deep pockets to reorganize, but even more so it needs the support of the general community.
This hasn't happened yet, but if AHS gets tired enough of us and doesn't have a viable offer on the hospital, they could always petition the state to allow them to close the hospital. By then, trying to develop community support will be too late.

Posted by: drDonna | Mar 19, 2006 11:08:34 AM

It's a shame that this topic and your comments are largely going unnoticed, Doctor Donna. Thank you for the update. Please keep posting.

Posted by: bored to death | Mar 19, 2006 11:17:45 AM

bored to death,
please post an opinion that is worthy of a response...you're clogging up the board with drek

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 19, 2006 11:25:38 AM

Iceman, your comment should apply to you also. Do you have an opinion on the topic?

Posted by: drDonna | Mar 19, 2006 11:39:07 AM

I believe in holistic medicine

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 19, 2006 11:42:28 AM

Dr. Donna, I sent an e-mail to the MSH Foundation yesterday asking who to contact for info on how to get involved. If you have any, please post or e-mail to me. Thanks!

Posted by: Kevin | Mar 19, 2006 11:45:45 AM

You can contact the Mountainside Hospital Association,Inc., which is the newly formed corporation of physicians, employees and concerned citizens.
It's president is Mr. Richard Harries
Telephone: (973)228-3541
Fax: (973) 403-1608

Don't know about email.

Posted by: drDonna | Mar 20, 2006 4:58:13 PM

Right, cause we all know docs make great businesspeople...seeing as how they have given up control of their profession to HMO's.

Posted by: Stan | Mar 20, 2006 5:50:04 PM

Thanks Dr D.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Mar 20, 2006 6:20:06 PM

Interesting take on that, Stan. The Association is working on getting a professional business plan for Mountainside.
I see the HMO issue differently.
Employers got their employees to join HMOs in vast numbers. If doctors wanted to have any patients, they had to become HMO providers.
The insurers had an excellent business plan. They had patients, they had doctors, now raise the premiums and lower the payment to doctors (and hospitals) and make a lot of money for the shareholders.
Most recently many doctors locally have a new plan. Drop out of the HMOs, see fewer patients, do less paperwork and end up with the same amount of money.
So Stan, where do you stand in this, do you have HMO insurance and you are looking for a doctor who will accept it or are you now paying out of pocket to see the doctor of your choice. Or maybe you are uninsured and I pray that you don't ever get sick.

Posted by: drDonna | Mar 20, 2006 10:19:20 PM

Thank you for the info drDonna.I will contact the Assoc.

Posted by: Kevin | Mar 22, 2006 9:00:45 AM

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