Health care

The New Jersey Health Foundation recently demonstrated its commitment to families throughout Union County and the surrounding region by investing $1 million in a project to modernize and improve the Frank and Mimi Walsh Maternity Center at Overlook Medical Center.

The New Jersey Health Foundation, which works to reduce health care disparities and improve access to quality health care for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark and Greater MetroWest NJ Jewish community, chose the Overlook Maternity Project because that it is focused on addressing broad maternal health issues as well as addressing disparities in care for underserved populations.

“The modernization of the Frank and Mimi Walsh Birthing Center coincides with the New Jersey Health Foundation’s long-standing work to improve the quality of maternal health care in our region,” said Michael Schmidt, executive director and CEO of the New Jersey Health Foundation. Jersey. “It is our belief that every family should receive high-quality, compassionate care at birth, and this project will allow Overlook to provide that level of care for generations to come.”

The project, which reconfigures the maternity ward, triples the number of private offices, expands the flow of patient-centered care and creates new resources for families, is part of a multi-phase plan to expand and modernize Overlook Medical Center. This plan is supported by the Overlook Foundation’s ambitious “Overlook Ahead” capital campaign. Construction on this project began this year and is expected to take about two years.

Overlooking the postpartum room for patients

“OverLook Ahead provides an opportunity for members of our community to contribute to making Overlook a place where patients and families can find the best care for generations to come,” said Clelia Biamonti, executive director of the Overlook Foundation. “The Birth Center is a great example of how we are building to meet the current and future needs of our communities.”

To Emre Kajaalp, MD, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Stacey Ann Mehchiz, MPA, BSN, RN, director of Women’s and Children’s Services, who both joined Overlook this year to lead the birthing center , the center’s reconfiguration makes it possible to more fully meet the changing needs of families in maternity care who turn to the Overlook.

“Overlook is increasingly becoming a place of care for new and growing families. This requires not only growth and modernization, but adaptation of our services to more effectively provide maternity care to these families and their children,” said Dr. Kayaalp.

While the national birth rate has been declining, Overlook has seen births rise over the past two years. In fact, during the initial peak of the pandemic, the Overlook saw an influx of patients from outside the usual area, including New York.

Overlook gave birth to 2,325 babies in 2020 and 2,560 babies in 2021. Overlook plans to deliver 2,625 babies in 2022.

“As our patient volume has increased, so has the number of families of diverse backgrounds and underserved populations,” Mechchiz said. “With the reconfiguration of our physical space and the provision of care, we can really help these families gain access to high-quality care and ultimately better outcomes from the very beginning of their children’s lives.”

Overlook is uniquely situated near some of the most diverse and historically underserved communities in New Jersey. In 2021, more than half of Overlook’s births were of a race/ethnicity other than white, and many faced health care disparities.

The project parallels statewide efforts to improve maternal and infant health among New Jersey women and children, and to address the racial health disparities that underlie the state’s public health crisis. According to the Nurture NJ Strategic Plan, New Jersey has the fourth highest maternal mortality rate in the United States, and black women in New Jersey are seven times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

The Maternity Project will build a safe, high-quality and equitable continuum of care for all pregnant and postpartum women, particularly the growing high-risk patient population at Overlook. This includes:

  • Reconfiguration of the maternity center layout to create a seamless flow between the labor and postpartum units and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Repair of all delivery rooms
  • Creation of 37 completely private postpartum rooms
  • Creation of a new triage and evaluation area with four compartments
  • Creation of a dual high-risk antenatal and postnatal area with four separate rooms and critical diagnostic tools

The project also includes initiatives beyond physical construction such as:

  • Optimizing antenatal and postnatal care with a targeted approach to reduce risk for vulnerable populations
  • We continue to offer the virtual postpartum visits implemented during the initial wave of COVID-19
  • Optimizing the work of Overlook’s HealthStart clinic (a health service for vulnerable women and their children)
  • Using the New Jersey Perinatal Quality Collaborative for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM)

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

Related articles:

Source link

Previous articleCandy manufacturers are fighting against plastic waste
Next articleStates struggle with pushback after wave of policing reforms – Trentonian