Saint Peter’s to dedicate newly expanded, modernized adult emergency department

November 12, 2014


- The Rev. Monsignor William Benwell to preside at official blessing -

 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Saint Peter’s University Hospital will hold a dedication and blessing of its newly expanded and modernized adult emergency department during ceremonies presided over by The Rev. Monsignor William Benwell, JCL, vicar general of the Diocese of Metuchen, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, inside of the new facility at 254 Easton Ave.

The final phase of the project – the addition of an observation unit – will be completed in 2015.

Saint Peter’s will also unveil a donors’ recognition wall during the upcoming ceremonies. Several clinical areas within the emergency department will be named in honor of those patrons who gave $1 million toward the project. Those areas include: the Robert and Joan Campbell Adult Emergency Department; the Sharon and John H. Hajjar, MD, Sovereign Medical Services Fast Track Department, and the Dorothy B. Hersh Foundation Pediatric Emergency Department.

When finished, the Saint Peter’s University Hospital emergency department will have grown in size from its former 18,000 square feet to approximately 29,000 square feet. The new emergency department will be large enough to easily treat 70,000 to 75,000 patients a year.

“This means that the new, larger ED will be big enough to meet the needs of the hospital – and its surrounding community – for many years to come,” said Ronald C. Rak, JD, president and CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

The nearly three-year-long project has included the construction of one of the largest pediatric emergency departments in New Jersey – opened in 2013 - special treatment bays for women’s health, acute-care and rapid-treatment patients, a redesigned entranceway for ambulances, and the use of geriatrics-friendly materials and design, as well as numerous other enhancements.

Work thus far has been completed in five separate stages, including:

Phase 1
Saint Peter’s built a new and expanded pediatrics emergency department as well as a new front entrance for the emergency department. The new front entrance encompasses a redesigned visitors’ area, a new area for walk-in patients, and a new and larger entranceway for ambulances that also increased ambulance parking.

Phase 2
This portion of the project was devoted to the completion of pediatric and adult “fast-track” rooms. Phase 2 also created additional treatment beds.

Phases 3, 4 and 5
Each of these stages expanded and enhanced the main ED. Key improvements were:
- Additional treatment space was added in each phase of operations.
- The renovations created three treatment “pods” focused on separate treatment areas: acute care; women’s health, and rapid-treat patients. The acute-care bay was designed to treat emergency situations such as heart attack and stroke. The women’s health pod responds to conditions such as early pregnancy complications and OB/GYN emergencies. The rapid-treatment section provides accelerated services such as IV fluids and brief imaging, enabling patients to return home quickly and safely.

The ED now holds 56 beds - the vast majority of those four-wall private rooms. A small number of others – so-called “curtained rooms” – are in the fast-track area.

What are some of the special features and advantages of the new ED?
- The entire emergency department – from equipment to flooring – is brand-new.
- The emergency department is “geriatrics friendly,” meaning it features softer lighting, softer colors, less noise, more comfortable mattresses, and easier to use beds, and the entire layout and design offer greater accessibility for older patients.
- The floor plan enhances the process of more rapid and efficient patient care.
- The pediatric emergency department, one of the largest in New Jersey, features 14 beds plus minor care.
- The pediatric emergency department houses a full-time child life specialist to answer any emotional concerns of a child and family members during a visit. The child life specialist helps the child and family cope with illness, treatments and procedures by using therapeutic and diversionary interventions, medical and procedural play, and offers coping techniques. If a child is admitted to the hospital, the child life specialist aids that transition.

Photo Caption: The rapid-response team is seen heading toward the Fast Track treatment area in the new adult emergency department at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; and Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp., which oversees the system’s outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services Inc.; the Margaret McLaughlin McCarrick Care Center Inc., a residential skilled nursing facility in Somerset, and Saint Peter’s Adult Day Center in Monroe. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, please visit or call 732-745-8600.

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