Newswise — HACKENSACK, NJ – Effective May 31, 2020, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center reactivated its transplant list and resumed performing kidney and pancreas transplant procedures. In March 2020, Hackensack University Medical Center voluntarily inactivated its transplant list and put a hold on performing transplant surgeries due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, Hackensack University Medical Center’s organ transplant physicians continued to provide care to transplant candidates and previous organ recipients through telehealth virtual visits. Hackensack University Medical Center made the decision to reactivate its transplant list and resume offering transplant procedures now that enhanced patient safety measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been successfully implemented across all Hackensack Meridian Health facilities.
“With heightened safety precautions now in place to protect patients who need surgery or who are immunocompromised as a result of an organ transplant, we are pleased to be able to reactivate our waiting lists and resume kidney and pancreas transplant surgeries,” said Michael J. Goldstein, M.D., FACS, director of Abdominal Organ Transplant, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, and Pediatric Abdominal Transplantation at Hackensack University Medical Center’s Division of Organ Transplantation. “Reactivating our waiting lists will provide patients throughout the greater New Jersey area who have urgent transplant needs with an opportunity to obtain the treatment they require at our facility.”
Hackensack University Medical Center’s transplant center is among the fastest-growing in the nation. One of only a few certified kidney and pancreas transplant programs in New Jersey, Hackensack University Medical Center delivers some of the best kidney transplant outcomes and has the shortest average deceased donor kidney wait times when compared to most other transplant centers in the region.
“The health and safety of our patients is our top priority, and we are committed to doing everything we can to prevent COVID-19 transmission in our facilities,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “All patients — including those who require organ transplantation — can rest assured that they will receive the highest-quality care in an environment that prioritizes and optimizes patient safety.”
Hackensack Meridian Health has enhanced its processes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety of its patients, team members, and physicians while remaining committed to providing high-quality and compassionate care. Specific network-wide actions include:
- Carrying out a safe and efficient triage process for non-COVID-19 patients in the Emergency Department.
- Creation of separate areas within hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients.
- Providing specially designated entrances for certain procedures and services.
- Monitoring the temperature of all patients, visitors, team members and physicians who enter its hospitals.
- Rigorously cleaning and sanitizing its hospitals, including the use of ultraviolet (UV) light cleaning and fogging. Additionally, the network has engaged a nationally recognized, third-party organization to oversee these significant efforts, including the environmental testing of air, water and surfaces to detect any presence of the virus.
- Testing all patients staying at its hospitals.
- Providing masks to patients, visitors, team members and physicians and requiring them to wear the masks while inside the hospital.
- Ensuring our team members and physicians have the appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Practicing social distancing throughout the hospital.
- Restricting visitation, consistent with directives from the state of New Jersey.
“The goal of Hackensack University Medical Center’s transplant program is to get patients off the transplant waiting list as soon as possible so they can get back to living a healthy life,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Resuming transplant surgeries and reactivating our waiting lists will allow us to continue meeting the organ transplantation needs of patients throughout the greater New Jersey area — efficiently, effectively, and safely."
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 26 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 35,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its second class of 96 students in 2019 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.