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S&P, Moody's Give Atlantic Health System Highest Health System Rating in NJ

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MORRISTOWN, NJ - Atlantic Health System, a leading health care delivery system in New Jersey, is once again the highest-rated New Jersey based system rated by credit agencies Moody’s and S&P.

Moody’s raised its rating for the health care organization from A1 to Aa3, the highest rating among all health care systems in New Jersey, with an outlook of “stable.” The rating upgrade reflects Atlantic Health System’s continued stability of operating performance and financial growth of the balance sheet, as well as its favorable market position and the “wide array” of services it provides.

S&P affirmed its “AA-“ rating for Atlantic Health System due to its strong presence in the region and increased system diversity among its six hospitals and a network of community-based physicians throughout northern and central New Jersey. Along with only one other organization, this is the highest rating given to health systems in NJ by S&P. Atlantic Health System’s outlook with S&P remained stable.

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The ratings actions by both agencies put the system in a favorable position to leverage its credit strength and allows the system to issue or refinance its debt at more favorable interest rates. Atlantic Health System may pay less on interest on its bonds and allow the organization to invest more of its money in patient care initiatives, including technology, skilled staff and infrastructure.

“These ratings further demonstrate the value of developing our connections to the communities we serve through wise growth, investment in innovation and continuously improving care, said Kevin Lenahan, senior vice president and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Atlantic Health System. “The rating upgrade puts us on even better footing to fulfill the health care needs of our communities.”

Moody’s also highlighted Atlantic Health System’s ability to reach agreements in many of its host communities on fair-share community contributions in response to municipalities’ review of the tax-exempt status of hospitals and other facilities.

“A key credit strength of the system speaks to management's ability to navigate recent state and local budget challenges quickly and proactively,” Moody’s said in its rating.

S&P highlighted “AHS’ focus is on continued development of population health infrastructure and strategies to drive growth to the organization.” This includes increased integration between owned and independent hospitals, Atlantic Medical Group, community based physicians, and payers.

The credit agencies noted the following among the reasons for Atlantic Health System’s enviable ratings and outlook:

  • -- Atlantic Health System is a large multi-site organization with more than $2.5 billion in revenue and 100,000 total admissions (including observation stays and admissions)
  • -- The strong presence of the system in the region, including the growth of the system. The agencies noted the acquisition of Hackettstown Medical Center in April 2016, as well as Atlantic Health System’s participation in the Mid Jersey Health Alliance with Hunterdon Healthcare System, which coordinates care and offers expanded clinical services in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Warren counties
  • -- The rapid growth and increased integration of Atlantic Medical Group, which now includes more than 900 community-based physicians and other providers
  • -- Continued growth in operating margins, cash measures and debt leverage measures

S&P noted Atlantic Health System’s significant additions of several key leadership roles covering patient experience, integrated care delivery, and innovations and technology following the addition of President and CEO Brian Gragnolati in 2015. The agency also highlighted Gragnolati recently being named chair-elect designate of the American Hospital Association. He will assume the board chairmanship in 2019.

Among other successes reported to the credit agencies has been the performance of the two accountable care organizations (ACOs) affiliated with Atlantic Health System – Atlantic ACO and Optimus Healthcare Partners. Both ACOs produced shared savings for Medicare.

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SOMA

Of Dull Elections, Pool Waivers and Vandalism

After a historic Township Committee election in 2017 that brought us the first openly gay member of the TC, and then a split vote for mayor in which Vic DeLuca retained his post in a last-minute surprise, 2018 could prove to be the dullest campaign in years.

That’s because incumbents Nancy Adams and Greg Lembrich are running unopposed in the upcoming Democratic primary, and no one is ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Man Arrested for Package Thefts

April 20, 2018

April 5 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:15 p.m. officers responded to the Extra Supermarket on Irvington Ave on a reported shoplifter. Jean Legerme, age 21 of Newark was detained by security for attempting to leave the store without paying for several items. He was arrested, taken into custody and later released after being charged on a summons.

April 5 - Shoplifting; At ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Theft and Burglary Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of April 19

Theft - An East Orange resident reported that on Tuesday, April 17, at approximately 9:20 a.m., actor(s) unknown stole some tools from a construction site on Valley Street. The stolen tools, valued at over $500.00 were a Makita brand drill set and electrical saw.

Burglary to Auto - An Irvington resident reported that on Thursday, April ...

41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance Held on Sunday

April 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The 41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance was held on Sunday, April 15. The march assembled in Spiotta Park on Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood, and was called to order with the blowing of the shofar.

Local elected officials who attended included Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Maplewood Township Committee member Dean Dafis, and ...

Water Main Break on Baker Street in Maplewood Wednesday Morning

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Shortly after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Maplewood police reported receiving a call from a commuter on his way to work who noticed a small geyser of water in front of 34 Baker St., next to the driveway to the Maplewood Country Club. 

According to Maplewood police, they requested assistance from New Jersey American Water to shut off the water, but as of 7:10 a.m., ...

Upcoming Events

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Fri, April 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

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Fri, April 20, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Spring Book Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Education Giving Back Other

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Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Millburn Library Annual Book Sale

Essex County Announces Partnership with Nine Local Charitable Organizations

April 20, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Essex County will participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ...

Kiburi Tucker Sentenced to 38 Months in Federal Prison

NEWARK, NJ - Kiburi Tucker, a longtime friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the business partner of a Newark woman who admitted to tax evasion last year, was sentenced today to more than three years in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion, federal authorities announced. 

Kiburi D. Tucker, 43, of Newark, pleaded guilty in November before Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares after ...

Endangered Bog Turtle Plods Through Senate Towards Official Designation as State Reptile

April 20, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - The endangered bog turtle is one step closer to being designated New Jersey's official state reptile, following State Senate approval of legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and inspired by students from Princeton.

Riverside Elementary School Students Kyle Grzmala and Hayah Mian, and their teacher Mark Eastburn, joined ...

Atlantic Health Among Six Regional Health Systems Forming Clinical Research Consortium

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Seeking to bring clinical trials and innovations in medicine even closer to home, Atlantic Health System, parent company of Summit's Overlook Medical Center, is now part of a group of six regional health systems that are founding members of a nonprofit clinical research consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research (PIER Consortium) ...

New Jersey-Area Diaper Bank Selected as Recipient of National Funds For Change Grant

April 20, 2018

Moms Helping Moms Foundation, the community-based not-for-profit organization that distributes diapers to babies living in low-wage families in the New Jersey area, has been selected as one of 23 national recipients of a 2018 Funds for Change grant awarded by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN).

“NDBN’s Funds for Change grants help diaper banks reach more families by investing ...

Two South Orange Residents to Be Honored by Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills

South Orange residents Charles Oransky and Fredric Smith will be honored by Temple B'nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, at a gala celebration commemorating the synagogue’s 170th anniversary, May 10. The evening's theme, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, pays tribute to the temple's past presidents, the Interfaith Hospitality Network’s founding organizers and the ...

South Mountain YMCA Honors Eighth Grader Who Organized Massive Food and Clothes Drive

A trip to Manhattan with the South Mountain YMCA shaped Daniel Goldsmith’s life. “As we headed toward Bryant Park, I saw a homeless man lying under some scaffolding, and I remember he had a sign saying `Please give me money … I am starving.’ ”

The experience moved Goldsmith to action: For his Eagle Scout project, the South Orange Middle School eighth grader ...