A leader then
In 1946, Hunterdon was the only county in the state of New Jersey without a hospital. Rose Angell, who was the county’s welfare director, decided that this was unacceptable, and with the help of Louise Leicester, a public relations specialist, she approached the Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture with a plea to build our county a hospital. Residents of Hunterdon County banded together to raise the funds to create their own community hospital. In 1953, Hunterdon Medical Center opened its doors and drew national attention for focusing on wellness and primary care.
The founders of Hunterdon Medical Center believed that a quality hospital should be a teaching hospital and that physicians who participate in ongoing medical education maintain their knowledge of advances in medicine and rise to the challenges set by inquisitive students. Hunterdon Medical Center’s Family Practice Residency Program is one of the oldest and most respected in the nation. The residency program is consistently successful in attracting the best and brightest medical students from the finest medical schools worldwide. Each year, a large percentage of Hunterdon Medical Center graduates choose to remain in the hospital’s service area. This has resulted in the continuous renewal of the medical philosophy of the importance of primary care and sustained the unique synergy between the hospital and its specialists.
A leader now
Hunterdon Healthcare exists to prevent disease, illness, and injury; to seek cures; relieve pain; give comfort and inspire a healthy way of living. The 178-bed teaching hospital provides a full range of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic inpatient and outpatient hospital and community health services.
2020 was an unprecedented year. The COVID-19 pandemic was the primary focus and continues to be in 2021. In 2020, Hunterdon Medical Center admitted 8,031 patients, had over 26,570 Emergency Department visits, and over 590,000 outpatient visits. 500 individuals were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and over 50,000 tests were performed in both the inpatient and the outpatient setting.
The entire workforce reacted quickly to prepare for COVID-19 patients. To ensure a sufficient number of patient rooms would be available, the maintenance department completely renovated two floors of the hospital within one week to increase bed capacity by 93 percent from 178 to 366 rooms. In an effort to optimize the safety of our patients and staff, the air ventilation system was upgraded, which allowed us to convert 140 patient rooms into negative pressure rooms, which are rooms that re-route infected air away from other patients and hospital staff. These are just a few examples of hundreds of initiatives that were taken across the health system for our community.
A leader tomorrow
Hunterdon Healthcare will continue to keep pace and offer the newest trends in medicine to the community. Building a healthier community is not an innovative program – it is changing the behaviors of people. Hunterdon Healthcare will continue to give our community the tools needed to make healthier choices to improve their well-being.
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