The news of the recent layoffs at Jersey City Medical Center hit all residents of Jersey City hard. No one likes to hear of individuals losing their jobs and their ability to provide for their families. In this case, the layoffs were particularly hard on women and people of color. We are hopeful that those affected can find employment with the other health institutions in Hudson County.
What is even more troubling about the layoffs is that they virtually eliminated the Wealth for Health program that employs individuals who focus their professional lives on public health outreach to poorer communities in Jersey City like the Greenville section of town.
Greenville is my home, and I can tell you that ever since Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) closed Greenville Hospital in 2008, we have been waiting in vain for the promised replacement services to care for our community. The layoffs of these outreach workers adds insult to that injury and leaves Greenville without much needed community health resources.
At the same time as these layoffs were occurring JCMC is moving full speed ahead to build a new Satellite Emergency Department in Bayonne four blacks away from an existing full-service hospital. If JCMC cares so much about the future of community healthcare in this city they should be building new services here in Greenville, not laying off community health workers and building an emergency department that is not needed in Bayonne.
Coalition for Greenville Health Access