Hoboken St. Pat’s Parade to move to Wednesday
HOBOKEN – Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced Tuesday that Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will move to a Wednesday next year.
The parade on Saturday served as a focal point for young people to come into the city and drink at house parties and at the bars, which opened at 9 a.m.
There were two reported rape allegations this past weekend. One from Saturday is under investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and in a second incident the victim reportedly did not wish to pursue charges.
“I want to assure the public that my administration is in the process of conducting a complete review of this year’s event and will be making recommendations to the City Council as to how to move forward next year,” Zimmer said.
For more, see this weekend’s edition of The Hoboken Reporter . - Ray Smith
Jersey City Medical Center eyes partnership
JERSEY CITY -- Jersey City Medical Center, owned by LibertyHealth System, is looking to forge a partnership. “Liberty Health/Jersey City Medical continues to evaluate and explore various strategic and financial partnerships,” said Mark Rabson, corporate director of public affairs, Liberty Health, on Monday, after NJBIZ newspaper broke the story.
“We are in the very early process of exploration,” he said. “The desired outcome would be to locate a strategic partner that shares our culture and mission of enhancing life and thereby enhance the services we provide.”
He told the Jersey City Reporter, “LibertyHealth continues to grow and offer new services. The Board of Trustees and the hospital administration are evaluating all possible avenues that would allow us to expand these programs. We will keep the community informed as we explore the different options.”
The move comes after two other hospitals in the county -- Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus (formerly owned by LibertyHealth) and Bayonne Medical Center -- were sold to for-profit companies who will be looking to make them profitable while still keep them as hospitals. The city of Hoboken is in the process of selling Hoboken University Medical Center to a private company as well.
While these companies often find ways to save urban hospitals from financial disaster, they also sometimes negotiate hard with insurance companies for better rates on services, which sometimes causes a cancelation of the contract with those insurers and becomes confusing for patients.
Hoboken Tasting and Art and Memorabilia Auction on March 24
The Hoboken Tasting and Eighth Annual Art and Memorabilia Auction takes place March 24 at 6:30 p.m. Try samplings from some of the finest restaurants in Hoboken, enjoy some delicious beverages, and bid on works of art and memorabilia. Memorabilia includes sports, movies and many other collectibles. The event is a fundraiser for college scholarships for Hoboken High School seniors.
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Auctioneer starts at 7 p.m. Date: March 24. Location: Elks Club 1005 Washington St.
Meadowlands Hospital and insurance co. part ways
SECAUCUS – Subscribers of Empire Blue CrossBlue Shield recently received letters alerting them that the health insurance carrier’s contract with Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center ended on Feb. 28, the same day the letter was dated.
Due to New Jersey state law, however, “The terms of the contract remain in effect and you and your eligible dependents can continue to receive care at Meadowlands on an in-network basis until July 1, 2011,” the letter states.
Last year, the nonprofit LibertyHealth System sold Meadowlands Hospital to MHA, LLC, a for-profit entity which took control of the facility in December. While local officials have praised the new ownership for its openness to the community and for negotiating labor contracts last summer with the nurses’ union, patients who rely on Meadowlands worried whether the sale would affect their care.
When a hospital moves from nonprofit ownership to for-profit, it’s not unusual for either the hospital or some insurance carriers to cut ties.
If MHA isn’t able to negotiate “reasonable managed care contracts” with local insurers, as it apparently believes it wasn’t with Empire, the company has already informed the state Department of Health and Senior Services that patients of that insurer using Meadowlands Hospital will have to use it as an out of network facility – which can add thousands of dollars to hospitalization costs.
A similar situation unfolded at Bayonne Medical Center after it, too, switched from being a nonprofit facility to a for-profit. Bayonne Medical dropped its contracts with some insurance carriers, forcing the companies to pay full price for hospital services, rather than the discounted rates a contract would provide.
The result patients being told by their insurers that they would have to cover the costs of their treatment.
“Contract negotiations with our participating providers are a standard part of what we do every day to bring you access to a broad network of providers,” the BlueCross letter continues. “The reason Empire negotiates provider contracts is simple – to provide you with a broad network of providers who have agreed to accept negotiated rates and other important contract terms (such as terms that prohibit the provider from balance billing).”
Empire Blue CrossBlue Shield continues to have contracts with Jersey City Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, also in Newark.
Even if you’re not a Ranger fan, donate blood
SECAUCUS – The American Red Cross encourages New York Ranger fans to show their team spirit by donating blood on Saturday, March 12, 2011 from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. All blood donors will receive a collectable Rangers 85th Anniversary bobblehead figurine! And as if more incentives were needed, donors will also have the chance to meet several Rangers alumni who will be on site and eight randomly selected donors will receive an authentic autographed Rangers 85th Anniversary jersey.
The blood drive will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Exhibition Center, a New York area hotel located at Two Harmon Plaza in Secaucus.
People who are at least 17, weigh 110 lbs. or more, and who are in good health may be eligible to donate. Please bring a photo ID. Fans who meet these requirements are asked to kindly make an appointment in advance by contacting the American Red Cross at redcrossblood.org/Rangers or by calling 1-800-26-BLOOD.
CASA seeks community volunteers
HUDSON COUNTY – Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? Hudson County CASA is currently recruiting volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact-finders for the judges, and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.
Information sessions regarding the program and the role of its volunteers will be held on Tuesday, March 8 from 6 pm. To 7 p.m. in Room No. 400 of the Hudson County Administration Building at 595 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care. Most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect.
For further information, please call (201) 795-9855, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
NJMC presents ‘Schoolhouse Rock Live Too!’ show
NORTH JERSEY – New Jersey Theatre Alliance Family Week at the Theater and The Stages Festival presents “Schoolhouse Rock Live Too!” for ages 5 through 10 on Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Parks Plaza, Lyndhurst.
“Schoolhouse Rock Live Too!” draws its inspiration from the Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning cartoon series, popular in the 1970s. Audiences of all ages will fall in love with Nina, the owner of a fading diner, and her wacky friends. The show is an energetic, colorful, fast-paced musical with zany, loveable characters, that just happens to be educational. Free admission.
For more information, call (201) 460-8300 or go online at www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.