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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Hospitals are required to host public meetings at least once a year where their Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and at least a quarter of their board members, including the Chairman, face the public.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick will host its annual meeting on Wednesday, November 6 at 6pm in the auditorium located at 150 Somerset Street.
A state law requires all “general hospitals” to host the meetings and give at least one month’s notice to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH).
At the meeting the hospital is expected “to provide the community served by the hospital with information about the operation of the hospital, and to provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and raise issues of concern,” according to the NJDOH website.
Though the hospital’s website encourages potential attendees “to reserve a seat, please call 732-937-8593,” this is not necessary to attend.
“The meetings are open to members of the public,” says the NJDOH. “Each general hospital that is part of a health care system must conduct its own annual meeting.”
RWJUH is part of RWJBarnabas Health Systems, a system of eleven different acute care hospitals around the state that has been growing fast and taking over parts of the public sector including portions of the county government and Rutgers University.
Because the RWJUH Board consists of 23 members, at least six of them will be required “to be present at the meeting and available to respond to questions from members of the public.”
The current Board Chairman is Jack Morris, the powerful real estate developer from this area. His companies include Edgewood Properties and M&M Properties, and his projects include Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Hotel.
Among those members are Dr. Robert Barchi, the controversial and soon-to-be-former President of Rutgers University, and Chris Paladino, President of the notorious New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO).
Teaming with RWJUH, the Barchi-Paladino duo is attempting to purchase and demolish a public school owned the city’s Board of Education to make way for a proposed $750 million facility for their already-existing Cancer Institute.
The complete list of board members, according to RWJBarnabas’ website:
- Mr. Jack Morris, Chair
- Dr. Dory B. Altmann
- Dr. Robert L. Barchi
- Ms. Linda Bloomfield
- Mr. Arthur J. Cifelli
- Ms. Dina Karmazin Elkins
- Mr. John J. Gantner, President & CEO
- Mr. J. Michael Gower
- Mr. John Hoffman (Esq.), Treasurer
- Mr. Paul D. Hubert
- Dr. Robert L. Johnson
- Dr. Steven K. Libutti
- Ms. Jo-Ann Mendles
- Ms. Johanna Mercier
- Mr. Lester J. Owens
- Mr. Christopher J. Paladino
- Mr. John A. Papa
- Dr. Susan Reinhard
- Dr. James C. Salwitz
- Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. (Rev.), Secretary
- Mr. Paul V. Stahlin, Vice Chair
- Dr. Brian L. Strom
- Mr. Robert T. Zito
“The hospital representatives [CEO, Chairman, and 25% of the board] must be physically present at the meeting and may not appear by remote access,” state’s the government website.
Though the RWJBarnabas Health System is the largest in the state, they will only be hosting one public meeting in Middlesex County this year.
The other hospital meetings scheduled in 2019 include St. Peter’s Hospital here in New Brunswick, which held its meeting on September 26, and three facilities run by RWJ’s biggest competitor: Hackensack Meridian.
Hackensack Meridian’s JFK Hospital in Edison already held its public meeting in October, but both its Old Bridge and Perth Amboy facilities will have their public meetings on December 12.
New Jersey law requires hospitals hold the meetings within 60 days of their submission of annual audited financial statements to the state government.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.