Long Branch to develop new centers for city’s health and police departments on Monmouth Medical Center’s Long Branch Campus
A press conference was held today, April 9, at Monmouth Medical Center to announce that Long Branch will develop new centers for the city’s health and police departments on land donated to the city by MMC.
Mayor John Pallone, Bill Arnold, President, RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region and President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, along with Congressman Frank Pallone, Eric Carney, President and CEO of MMC, Council people Dr. Mary Jane Celli, Bill Dangler, Mario Vieira and Dr. Anita Voogt, and Business Administrator George Jackson teamed up to announce that eventually the departments will move to a building on land adjacent to the hospital.
The land is said to include the parking lot across the street, and land near, but not including, Ronald McDonald House and the garden apartments next door.
“The City will not incur costs to purchase the land for the new centers as Monmouth Medical Center has offered to donate property for the projects,” said Mayor Pallone. He said that the city will explore the potential to renovate and repurpose current structures for additional cost savings. “There is an opportunity now to tap federal and state COVID-19 relief funds for the improvement of these critical Long Branch services,” he said.
“The growing need for space became apparent when we quickly had to find locations for our testing and vaccination programs,” Pallone said. “We have outgrown our space in the city, and this is crucial to the success of our police operations.” He said that the plan is to establish a new police headquarters and municipal court a the Monmouth Medical Center campus. “We will work to create a new Health Monitoring and Telecommunications Training Center,” Pallone said.
Mayor Pallone spoke about how the pandemic highlighted the digital divide in Long Branch and that many residents lack access or training to use a computer. “This training center will allow us to bridge this digital divide for telehealth or telework purposes,” he said.
Bill Arnold said he was pleased to work with the city at this pivotal time. “The pandemic has revealed the importance of access to crucial online services, such as telemedicine appointments and vaccine registration,” Arnold said. He said that the new level of collaboration with the city will provide unique opportunities to jointly develop much-needed post-pandemic community health programs for Long Branch and the surrounding communities.
Council President Vieira said that the city and MMC share a proud tradition of providing outstanding healthcare services to the community. “We are committed to meeting these needs as the delivery of healthcare evolves,” Vieira said.
Congressman Frank Pallone stressed that Long Branch has serveral new potential federal funding streams it may be able to utilize to renovate buildings donated by MMC. He will also seek federal dollars for hospital expansion and improvements of MMC in Long Branch and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, which are both part of his congressional district.