It is with great sadness and conflicted emotion that I write this letter regarding the recent decision by Bon Secours Health System to file as a last resort a Certificate of Need to close acute care services at St. Mary Hospital.
The Sisters of Bon Secours have been committed since 1824 to bringing compassionate health care to those in need, especially the poor and underserved.
Today, health care, especially in New Jersey, presents incredible challenges. In fact, a report by the New Jersey Hospital Association released this week showed that 40 percent of the state’s 114 hospitals are operating in the red.
St. Mary Hospital is among those financially challenged hospitals and was operating at a deficit before Bon Secours Health System assumed ownership in January 2000. Over the past six years we have subsidized operations at St. Mary at a cost of $118 million.
Sadly, the current level of financial commitment needed to sustain St. Mary Hospital – between $2 million and $3 million a month – is beyond what Bon Secours Health System can afford. Cuts in government funding, changes in reimbursement for services, patient migration to other areas, and the growing number of uninsured have only intensified an already precarious financial situation.
It is people who make a good hospital great, and I want to express at this difficult time my gratitude to the over nine hundred St. Mary Hospital employees I’ve come to know and appreciate over the years. They are compassionate, talented, and committed professionals who have provided top-quality care and served the community well and deserve our support.
It usually takes a year for the State to review a Certificate of Need. St. Mary Hospital will remain open until another provider is found or until the State makes a decision. Should the State approve the Certificate of Need there will be an orderly transition and ample public notice.
For our employees, and for the community we serve, it is the fervent prayer of all our Sisters that we can still find a viable buyer that would allow St. Mary Hospital to continue serving the people of Hudson County.
Sr. Rose Marie Jasinski, CBS
Senior Vice President, Sponsorship
President, Bon Secours New Jersey Health System