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HackensackUMC Mountainside Family Residence Program Addresses Primary Care Physician Shortage in Suburban Essex

Credits: HackensackUMC Mountainside
Credits: HackensackUMC Mountainside

Montclair, NJ - The Mountainside Family Practice Group, a teaching affiliate of HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital, announces the grand re-opening of its newly-renovated Verona site located at 799 Bloomfield Avenue.

Serving the suburban Essex County community, the practice has been a trusted “community doctor’s office” for more than 35 years providing quality, comprehensive and continuing care for individuals and their families across all ages, with an emphasis on disease prevention and general health promotion.

The Mountainside Family Practice Group includes board-certified physicians and resident physicians in family medicine through the HackensackUMC Mountainside Family Medicine Residency Program. “Although it has been proven that primary care physician relationships promote wellness and improve quality of life, there has also been a documented shortage of such practitioners locally and nationally,” said John Fromhold, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of HackensackUMC Mountainside. “Far fewer physicians are practicing primary care medicine today than were fifty years ago, but the actual need for them is only increasing,” he adds.

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HackensackUMC Mountainside is responding to the needs of the community by providing daily onsite care by highly-qualified residents working closely with experienced practitioners and medical faculty under the leadership of Dr. Faistl, while also training at HackensackUMC Mountainside in Montclair. 

The professional staff also includes registered and licensed nurses, certified medical assistants, dieticians, social workers and psychologists, and a physician is on call 24/7 to provide care and treatment in case of emergency. Patients are connected with a family physician who becomes their personal healthcare provider, part of a team of physicians who work closely together to coordinate their care.

“HackensackUMC Mountainside recognizes the importance of primary care and is leading the charge by building the new Family Medicine Residency structure,” notes Dr. Kenneth Faistl,director of the HackensackUMC Mountainside Family Residence Program, and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “We are the only family medicine residency in the Hackensack University Health Network, leveraging the tertiary capabilities of our partnership, as well as an alliance with Rutgers Medical School. We have created an office of the future to train family physicians for the future. The program directly responds to the shortage of primary care physicians in northern New Jersey, graduating approximately 6 family practice providers per year,” he adds.

Researchers have concluded that the country’s population growth, further exacerbated by the aging of the population, and fueled by the expansion of health care coverage (under passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) has driven the demand for primary care. According to a 2010 study by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, there is a projected shortfall of approximately 2,800 physicians, including 1,800 fewer primary-care providers than would be needed. Reconciliation of the problem has pointed to three key areas - policy, funding and education – that need to be addressed to better manage the supply of physicians. One aspect of education that will need attention is the training programs and residencies, particularly in family practice, as well as efforts to support in-state retention of those physicians when their training is completed. This is an important consideration since many doctors choose to practice in the area where they had their residency.

HackensackUMC Mountainside, part of the Hackensack University Health Network, provides patients immediate access to innovative and effective treatment alternatives at specialized centers within the hospital that focus on imaging, women’s health, cancer care, surgery, obesity, stroke and chronic kidney disease. The 365-bed community hospital also serves as a learning center via its nursing school and residency programs. HackensackUMC Mountainside is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the NJ State Department of Health and Senior Services and is one of only a few community hospitals licensed by the State to perform emergency cardiac angioplasty. To learn more about HackensackUMC Mountainside

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