Jersey Shore University Medical Center has broken ground on a $265 million, 10-story building that will house its cancer center, imaging technologies and academic programs.
The building, to be called Hope Tower, (an acronym for Healing Outpatient Experience), is designed in part to help the hospital compete with cancer centers both at the Shore and in New York.
A decade in the planning, Hope Tower will be built on five acres on the east side of the hospital that was previously occupied by a 50-unit apartment building (the hospital financed the tenants’ relocation). It is expected to be completed by early 2018.
When it is done, it will include a 58,000-square-foot cancer center that will bring together all of its doctors, nurses and social workers, currently spread throughout different buildings, under one roof.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center is owned by Wall-based Meridian Health. John Lloyd, president of Meridian Health, says, “The most important thing is, it’s not about facilities, it’s about bringing better care to the communities we serve.”
For example, Sandra Doyle Ferullo, 48, of Farmingdale, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2013. “There’s some sort of weird peer pressure that goes on that says you have to go into Manhattan to get the best treatment,” she says.
She turned away those suggestions to stay closer to home — choosing Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where doctors and nurses put her on a course of treatment that has saved her life, she said.
The expansion will include:
- A 10-story medical office building.
- Imaging technologies.
- Medical education programs.
- An amphitheater and simulation laboratory.
- A nine-level parking garage with more than 1,500 parking spaces.
Hospitals in the wake of the Affordable Healthcare Act face pressure from both private insurers and Medicare to deliver better care less expensively. It has prompted many of them to change their focus and invest in projects that treat patients in a day and send them home. In addition, the Jersey Shore University Medical Center hospital faces competition for cancer care from renowned hospitals: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is opening an outpatient center in Middletown; and MD Anderson Cancer Center partnered with Cooper University Health Care in southern New Jersey.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Ms. Ferullo told the crowd athat she forsees Hope Tower as “giv(ing) patients and their families a confident choice to stay in this community. People like us, we need you to be here!”