OLD BRIDGE, NJ - The Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, New Jersey recently broke ground on its new Emergency Department that will add additional ambulance bays, newly designed pediatric rooms and new on-site technology that will deliver more accurate diagnostics and treatment. The project is a $39 million investment and the new department is expected to be open between 18 and 24 months. In attendance at the ground breaking event included Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and State Senator Sam Thompson.

Robert Garret, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Hospital, kicked off the ceremony near the construction site of the new department. Garret says that the emergency department is the most important part of what happens at any hospital, calling it the ‘base of the community’s health.’ Citing the growing population in Old Bridge and Middlesex County, Garret said that it was time that they begin to invest in their emergency department in order to better care for the community.

 “At Hackensack Meridian Health, our focus is to provide the best healthcare experience possible and today we see Raritan Bay Bay Medical Center  is doing just that by creating an accessible brand new emergency facility.” Garret said in a press release.

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 Thomas Shanahan is the Chief Hospital Executive at the Raritan Bay Medical Center. Shanahan says that the purpose of this new department is to provide the latest and most updated care to their patients. Shanahan is also working on a brand new retail pharmacy on campus within the next eight months and expanding endoscopy services at the hospital within the next nine to twelve months.

The new department will be 24,000 square feet, which is more than double of its current footprint. It will feature a brand new lobby and will connect all three wings of the hospital making transportation of patients, staff and supplies easier. There will be a dedicated room for pediatric patients, a crisis area for behavioral health issues as well as a 24-hour cafeteria for visitors. According to Shanahan, the new department will be able to increase its annual patient visits of 25,000 to 40,000.

“It is our responsibility that we take very seriously to serve our neighbors, friends or families in our growing communities. We are committed to delivering the highest quality of care to every person who comes through our door. We are here to serve.” Shanahan said “The expansion of the Emergency Department will allow us unprecedented access to optimizing patient outcomes.”

Garret thanks everyone in the community, along with the several foundations that have invested in this new building, for their contributions to the new department, calling the new wing a good will to the community and to the people of Old Bridge.

“The real winners of this new department will be, as it should be, the patients and those who look towards us for the best health care” Garret said “the winners will be our neighbors and the thousands of lives we will save. We look forward to coming back here in about 18 months to actually dedicate this new facility.”