New Jersey Department of Health still needs to issue final approval to actually admit patients
JOSEPH P. SMITH @JPSMITH_DJ
VINELAND – Emergency hospital care here came full circle on Wednesday with the opening of the Rose and Graziano
Rossi Senior Emergency Department, a $6 million addition to Inspira Medical Center Vineland that fits into a national trend in health care for the elderly.
Inspira officials cut a ribbon to officially introduce to the public the 7,000-square-foot unit. The New Jersey Department of Health still needs to issue a final approval to actually admit patients, but that is expected shortly.
Dr. Matthew Warner, chairman of the emergency department for Inspira hospitals in Vineland, Bridgeton, and Elmer, told guests the new unit is just the second in New Jersey and the only one in South Jersey and the Delaware Valley. It is the second specialty emergency unit at the hospital, which also has one for children.
The Rossi Senior Emergency Department is a $6 million addition to Inspira Medical Center Vineland.
“Caring for seniors can be often quite different from caring for other age groups,” Warner said. “A trip to the ER, we know, can be quite stressful. We’ve created an environment with the senior in mind.”
The department is named for the parents of Vineland resident and businessman Ron Rossi, who also is vice chairman of the network’s board. He and his wife, Bonny, were a major donor to the project.
“My parents lived their lives of service to the community, to their church, and especially to their customers at ShopRite,” Rossi said. “The cornerstone of their 50-plus years of commitment to their customers was ensuring everyone was treated with respect, courtesy, and kindness.
“As a board member, I would like to thank the thousands of employees of Inspira who dedicate themselves to achieving the message of service each and every day,” he added. “I would also like you to consider a gift of support to Inspira’s commitment to enhancing access to high-quality health care and improving the health of all the communities they serve. No gift is too small or too large. But every gift counts for achieving the Inspira commitment.”
Construction started last November on the unit. Its design differences from other emergency units include noise reduction features, safety features such as non-slip floors and railings, greater space to accommodate family and friends, and even color patterns.
The concept that drove the investment is that people 65 and older have different medical needs and, in addition, require different handling than younger patients. Seniors also are about 15 percent of the roughly 80,000 emergency patients this hospital treats every year.
Warner and other Inspira officials compared the senior department to the pediatric emergency unit that opened here in October 2012.
“We sort of reaped that benefit first from our PED (Pediatric Emergency Department),” Warner said. “That was the model. We took the kids out of the general population, to a special confined area, and it was a much better environment for them.”
Rossi said he had another reason for his donation. “It was a case of commitment to Inspira and our community,” said Rossi.
Rossi said modern facilities also are key to attracting physicians.
“Now, there’s other things that you also need to attract doctors — good school systems, good working conditions, and all of that,” Rossi said. “But you have to have a facility. It’s not all about the money.”
Betty Sheridan, Chief Operating Officer for Inspira, said Dr. Scott Wagner brought the idea for the unit to the administration. Wagner was the emergency department chairman for the Vineland, Bridgeton, and Elmer hospital until last week when he became Chief Medical Officer of Inspira Medical Center Woodbury.
Warner said the unit’s design incorporates suggestions from area seniors.
“Scott Wagner, myself, some nurses, we met with a small group of seniors and let them let us have it,” Warner said. “‘What did you experience? What do you recommend?’ And they had some great recommendations, like, ‘Don’t speak to my family. Speak to me. I can answer my questions.’ Or, ‘I’m cold. Just having someone to give me a blanket is necessary.’ ‘Having my family around me is important.’”
Jessica Kowal, chief development officer for Inspira, said Rossi was joined by several community members in helping to pay for the Senior Department.
“I think the message that we want to share with our community is philanthropy is critical to our future expansion and growth,” she said. “And we’re deeply appreciative to all our community members who have chosen to make a philanthropic investment in Inspira Health Network.”
Joseph P. Smith; (856) 563-5252; firstname.lastname@example.org