Hoboken University Medical Center, New Jersey’s Oldest Hospital, May Close; Christie Pledges Help
HOBOKEN, NJ (WCBS 880) - For old timers, Hoboken University Medical Center will forever be St. Mary’s Hospital. Soon, it may be nothing at all. But Gov. Chris Christie wants to stop that from happening.
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Founded in 1863 by Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, the hospital was pressed into service during the Civil War caring for soldiers and again during World War I.
It’s the oldest hospital in New Jersey and the only one in Hoboken.
In more recent times, the hospital has been hemorrhaging red ink.
The city took over its debts in 2007.
To appease creditors and to pave the way for a sale, the mayor wanted to bond for $5 million.
Following heated debate, the measure fell short by one vote.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer says the hospital could close by the end of October.
About 1,200 jobs are at stake.
In a development Thursday afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie has pledged state help to keep the hospital open.
“It is completely unacceptable that the city council placed local politics ahead of the 1300 employees at the Hoboken University Medical Center and the people in the community who rely on the critical services provided by this hospital,” said Christie in a statement. “This Administration is not going to allow political bickering to put this hospital in jeopardy and potentially have a negative and irresponsible impact on the city’s finances, which is why the state will contribute the $5 million, if needed, to ensure the Hoboken University Medical Center deal closes and the hospital stays open. With the availability of this funding, it is now up to the unions to ensure the hospital stays open, people continue to have access to emergency services, 1,300 jobs are saved, and municipal default is averted.”
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