TRENTON – The Senate today approved a bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny Jr., to help save the financially troubled St. Mary Hospital in Hoboken by having it taken over by a new city hospital authority.
“St. Mary’s is vital to the people of Hoboken, but it also serves families in Union City, West New York, Weehawken and North Bergen,” said Senator Kenny, D-Hudson. “If we can transfer ownership and infuse the hospital with a new management team, St. Mary’s stands a very good chance of thriving again as a full service facility.”
Senator Kenny’s bill, S-2022, passed 37-0 and now goes to the Assembly.
“We are working to save St. Mary’s because Hoboken needs a hospital, especially one that currently serves a clientele that is nearly 60 percent Latino and two-thirds poor and either Medicaid eligible or without insurance,” Senator Kenny said.
Senator Kenny said, further, that the 328-bed hospital has nearly 1,000 employees and is the only hospital in Hudson County that operates a psychiatric unit for at-risk children.
In addition, the hospital is considered a vital first-responder facility as it was after the 9/11 terrorist attacks where more than 10,000 people were decontaminated and another 2,200 received triage services at the PATH/Ferry terminal.
The Kenny bill would create an 11-member hospital authority board and would authorize the City of Hoboken to assume ownership of St. Mary which was founded in 1863 and is the oldest continuing service hospital in New Jersey.
“The goal is to turn the hospital around within two or three years and have it thriving in to the future,” said Senator Kenny. “With this plan, there is hope and the City of Hoboken is pulling together to make it work.”