Holmdel, NJ ― On Thursday, October 17th,  Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) executives, government officials, physicians, members of the Holmdel PD, Fire and EMS, Bayshore staff, volunteers, HMH and Bayshore foundation members and many members of the community gathered to witness the official ground-breaking of the new Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, to be built at Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore.  The 32,000- square-foot project will restructure the design of the hospital’s campus while greatly increasing its capacity to treat patients with emergent needs.

“Hackensack Meridian Health’s mission is to transform health care,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Today, Bayshore Medical Center is living this mission by creating a new emergency care facility. This new center will help us continue to provide cutting-edge care that’s also convenient and offers a great patient experience. Bayshore Medical Center is a true community treasure – a center for excellence and compassionate care.”

The event was held outside with two connecting spacious areas under tenting. Guests enjoyed food and drinks during the social hour and then everyone went into the room with chairs and a speaker panel set-up. Guests listened to various speakers including HMH CEO, Robert Garrett. 

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The Emergency Care Center named by Mary Ellen Harris, Golden Dome Foundation founder and current president, in honor of her late husband, Dr. Robert H. Harris, thanks to a generous gift made by the foundation.

The pledge, is the largest in Bayshore Medical Center’s history and offers exclusive naming rights to the Golden Dome Foundation, a Middletown, NJ-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2015 by Mary Ellen Harris and the late Dr. Robert H. Harris to support charitable causes. “My husband, Robert, loved our community and Bayshore Medical Center,” says Mary Ellen Harris. “Supporting this important initiative will not only benefit our neighbors and the clinicians at the medical center, but will enhance care for patients, while leaving a lasting legacy in his honor.”

The weekend before the groundbreaking, the Bayshore Foundation celebrated their 4th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration to continue to raise funds for the Bayshore Emergency Care Center. Countless hours over the last four years have been dedicated to the cause by numerous community volunteers and HMH Foundation and Bayshore Foundation members. Many were in attendance to witness the groundbreaking, seeing their years of dedicated fundraising begin to come to fruition.

This all-new facility will provide space necessary for the medical staff to address the needs of the community in a comfortable and private environment. It will contain 35 private patient bays, swing space with capacity for pediatric care and new imaging equipment dedicated to Emergency Care Center patients.

“Bayshore Medical Center has been caring for this community for more than 40 years and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional medical care,” said Frank Citara, chief hospital executive, Bayshore Medical Center. “As we have grown over the years, the capabilities of our facility have been stretched and the time to expand has come. Today, we are here to break ground on a brand new, state-of-the-art Emergency Care Center that will truly usher in a new era for our hospital.”

In addition to enhancements to the patient care areas, the facility will feature an enlarged ambulance arrival area which can accommodate up to six ambulances at once and a new walk-in arrival with dedicated parking for Emergency Care Center patients. Many of Holmdel's First Aid Sqad members were onsite to witness the groundbreaking. 

“Bayshore Medical Center is fortunate to be the beneficiary of such a generous gift,” said Serena DiMaso, New Jersey Assemblywoman and chair of the Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees. “It took a great deal of collaboration and numerous partnerships to get to this point and we are grateful to the many people, organizations and generous benefactors who are helping to make this dream a reality. It will have a huge impact on health care for our community and I am thrilled to be part of such a monumental moment in Bayshore Medical Center’s history.”

Located on the Garden State Parkway side of the campus, the facility is expected to treat up to 55,000 people annually for a variety of medical issues, both minor and life-threatening. It will offer decreased wait times and increased efficiency so that patients with emergent needs have access to the most advanced emergency care available – right in their own backyard.

Construction began this month and is expected to last 26 months. The first phases will see improvements made to the hospital’s rear parking lot and last approximately three months.  Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in January of 2020, with the new emergency center opening its doors in late 2021.

Upon completion of the new emergency care area, the hospital will immediately begin renovations to the hospital’s new main entrance located on north side of the campus. The new main entrance will feature an enlarged lobby and seating area, creating a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere for visitors.  

“We’re really reinventing Bayshore Medical Center with this project,” said Citara. “We will finally have a facility as good as the people working within it. All of our team members are looking forward to these improvements, but the people who are really going to benefit are our patients. And that’s what it’s all about.”

For more information, visit www.bayshorehospital.org.