Healthcare union calls on state to send in monitoring team to Meadowlands Hospital
The state's largest union of nurses and health care workers on Sept. 13 called on the NJ Department of Health to place a monitoring team at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, they said in a press statement Thursday.
They claimed that the request is meant to make sure the hospital does not violate laws meant to protect patients and caregivers.
A report released today by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, “Meadowlands Hospital and NJ: Failures of Oversight Put Profits Before Patients at a Community Hospital,” details 20 months of operation, inspections, citations and lawsuits since MHA, a for-profit, private company, purchased Meadowlands Hospital from LibertyHealth in December of 2010.
The report describes MHA as an allegedly complicated company structure with four principals, two dozen passive investors, and at least 11 different ‘affiliated’ companies, including a video gaming company, surgery centers, an orphan drug company, a medical marijuana group, and adult day care center.
Last year the state investigated the hospital after ongoing union complaints. The state released a 25-page report listing alleged procedural and policy-related deficiencies. MHMC issued a correction action plan to those address health violations.
MHMC was also under investigation by the state Department of Labor because a draft financial audit revealed that the hospital defaulted on a loan and overdrew a bank account by $1 million in 2011, despite posting a 10 percent profit and paying investors $8.4 million.
“Transparency and oversight are critical in the health care industry and we rely on our state agencies to protect the public health and safety and public funding at all of our hospitals,” said Ann Twomey, president of the 12,000 member HPAE in a statement. HPAE represents the 400 nurses and healthcare workers at Meadowlands Hospital. “It’s time for a team of monitors to go into Meadowlands Hospital to make sure that patients are safe, that public funds are being spent wisely, and that nurses and health care workers are able to work without the atmosphere of intimidation that has been created by these owners.”
Library mini-fair/used book sale coming up
The 15th Annual Friends of the Library Mini-Fair/Used Book Sale kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (The rain date is Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
The event will feature over 50 vendors selling food and goods, table raffles, entertainment for young and old and a Fair Share raffle that last year paid over $1,000 to the first prize winner and substantial sums to the second and third prize winners. Attendees can purchase a bag for $3 at the used book sale and fill it with books. CDs and DVDs will also be on sale.
The entertainment at the mini-fair includes performances by CAST, Dance Power Studio, Secaucus Mixed Martial Arts and the Kerri Smith Academy of Irish Dance.
Baking contest entrants are reminded to have their entries at the library no later than 9 a.m. on Sept. 22 even if the event is moved to Sunday due to bad weather.
Other attractions include: children’s crafts, a magic show, a pie-eating contest, fingerprinting, and face painting. Chess instructor Shawn Moss will again bring his chess boards to the mini-fair for a free tournament where he’ll play against as many as ten competitors at once. Any chess competitor who beats Moss will win a new chess board.
Prizes for the super raffle include two pairs of Giants football tickets and a 32” flat screen TV.
Free parking is available in the Plaza Municipal Parking Lot and the Plaza area. The town’s shuttle bus will also be operating for all residents. For more information, contact (201) 330-2083 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New foundation to host ‘Jerry’s Cup’ golf outing fund-raiser
The Jerry Perricone Foundation, which was established this year to honor the memory of long-time Secaucus town engineer and former executive VP of the PMK, will hold “Jerry’s Cup,” its first annual golf outing at Safari mini-golf/Mcloones Boathouse in West Orange on Sept. 20 from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The foundation was established to provide scholarships to local youth bound for college or trade school. The annual golf outing has been established as the major source of funding for the foundation. The cost per golfer is $175 and includes 18 holes of championship mini-golf, lunch, raw bar, dinner, open bar and prizes. Hole sponsorships and advertising are also available. To register or for more info, contact (201) 320-4098.
Dinosaurs after dark
Starting Sept. 21, the sights and sounds of Field Station: Dinosaurs will take on a new sense of mystery and danger at the parks new “Dinosaurs After Dark” on Friday and Saturday nights. Guests explore darkened trails of the park with just a flashlight and a rope to lead the way. Imaginations will run wild as the path narrows and the tour turns into the shadows. Tickets are $39 each, and $25 for season pass holders at www.fieldstationdinosaurs.com or at the box office at (855) 999-9010. Tickets are $36 each for groups of twenty or more and can be reserved by calling the group sales hotline at (973) 748-4317.