Health & Wellness

Press Releases

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

Elizabeth Cops Seek ‘Armed and Dangerous’ Man

November 21, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ —  Elizabeth police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating an "armed and dangerous" man wanted on multiple arrest warrants. According to officials, all of the warrants are for violent crimes.

Police have identified the man as William Valentin, 42. Valentin is of Puerto Rican descent with a muscular build, hazel eyes and black hair.

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting Nov. 14

November 16, 2017

COUNSELING DEPARTMENT REPORT

Maureen Mazzarese, Director of Counseling in the Westfield Public Schools, prepared a report summarizing the department’s missions, goals and practices in supporting our K-12 students and their families.  Here are some highlights which briefly summarize the comprehensive report:
 

At every grade level, counselors are working with students ...

Upcoming Events

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Tue, November 21, 7:00 PM

Municipal Building, Westfield

Westfield Town Council Meeting

Community Calendar Government

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Wed, November 22, 5:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Wellness Wednesday at Westfield Area YMCA

Wed, November 22, 11:00 AM

Kehler Stadium, Westfield

Parade and Pep Rally

Sports

Students Collecting Food for Hungry at WHS Thanksgiving Football Game

November 21, 2017

Students Change Hunger provides the platform for students to combat hunger throughout New Jersey.  Several Westfield High School students are collecting food to be distributed to those in need through the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. If you’d like to help, please bring a non-perishable food to the Westfield High School Thanksgiving Day football game.  Students will be at the ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Cars Stolen from Driveways & More

November 15, 2017

November 9, 2017 11:34 p.m.

Officers Natale and Johnson arrested Ralph Cortese Jr., age 47, of Blairstown, NJ, on the strength of an active Paterson Municipal Court warrant in the amount of $750 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released on recognizance.

 

November 8, 2017 5:38 p.m.

Officer Jackus and R. Johnson arrested ...

Garwood Family Center YMCA After School Students Enjoy Fall Leaves

The Garwood Family Center YMCA provides full-day and half-day early learning programs for 2½ year olds - preschoolers as well asbefore and after school experiences for Garwood students in grades K-5.  Activities include sports, recreation, arts & crafts, homework time and much more!  A healthy snack is provided and the Healthy U program is incorporated into the ...

No NJ Estate Tax!

Did you know that the New Jersey estate tax has been repealed?

The regulation was passed in the transportation bill in late 2016. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the estate tax repeal goes into effect, so there will no longer be New Jersey estate tax. For deaths as of Jan. 1, 2017, the NJ estate tax exemption increased from $675,000 to $2 million. That means an individual ...

23 Winter Concerts in Westfield Public Schools; Special Senior Citizen Event Dec. 20

A total of 23 winter concerts will take place in the Westfield Public Schools this season. The first one begins with Edison Intermediate School’s band concert on Dec. 5 and will conclude with the Westfield High School Chorale of Love Songs on Feb. 10. The entire schedule is posted on the district’s website www.westfieldnjk12.org and appears ...

Black Cat Missing in Westfield

UPDATE: Found.

ORIGINAL POST: Black cat went missing on Grove Street near Central Avenue Sunday. He was not wearing a collar. 

If you see him please call 908-962-8677

Great Places to Take Holiday Photos in the Westfield Area

’Tis the season to cajole your family to wear matching outfits, bribe the kiddos with candy canes and chocolates, and somehow balance reindeer antler onto your pet’s head. What to do for your holiday photos this year? Why not take advantage of all of the great outdoor backdrops in our quaint towns and parks? Local businesses and townships also have some photo ops scheduled that will ...

Recovering from Addiction

November 16, 2017

You don’t recover from an addiction by just quitting.  You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use.  If you do not create a new life for yourself, then all the factors that led you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again.  AA teaches that you must change people, places and things.

You don’t have to change everything in your ...

The First Holiday Season Without Your Person — Making a Plan, Checking it Twice

If you are facing your first holiday after an important person in your life has died, it’s not too early to come up with a plan. Watching others who are feeling thankful and are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad can be very painful. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one.   

The first step in coping ...

AtlantiCast: Episode 007

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll see how Atlantic Health System is driving innovation and finding new ways to solve tomorrow’s health care challenges, find out how a near tragedy on the tennis courts was averted thanks to some world-class training and technology at Chilton Medical Center and meet the 70 cancer doctors you need to know about – plus much ...

5 Ways for Small Business Owners to Separate Business and Personal Finances

I suspect most business owners that provide for their families would argue that nearly all business matters are personal! Unfortunately, too many times I have seen clients, intentionally or not, commingle their personal objectives with their business. This can quickly lead to decision making that has calamitous results for both your personal and business planning.

Here are five issues I hear ...

Celebrating the Holidays After a Divorce – How Separated Couples Choose to Share Time With Their Children Can Make a Big Difference

With the holidays approaching, people are busy making travel arrangements and shopping lists, digging out old recipes and getting their homes ready for what is arguably one of the most family oriented times of the year. However for couples with children who are ending their marriage or relationship these times come with an added layer of concern as to how they will share time with their children ...

Hub City Native, Longtime Boxer, Facing Off for Global Title in Atlantic City This Weekend

November 17, 2017

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — New Brunswick native and legendary boxer Jorge “King” Diaz has certainly had his ups and downs over the years, and in some ways, he’s epitomized the rags to riches story.

Diaz was born in New Brunswick and throughout his youth, moved around to Puerto Rico, Franklin Township and North Brunswick, before finally settling down in Somerset some years ...