The Memorial Hospital of Salem County — Courtesy: Community Healthcare Associates
By Joshua Burd
Community Healthcare Associates has acquired a hospital in Salem County, with plans to invest more than $30 million to reposition, modernize and expand the acute care facility.
An affiliate of the Bloomfield-based developer on Tuesday said it had closed on The Memorial Hospital of Salem County, purchasing the property from Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. Terms were not disclosed, but CHA detailed its plans to transform the complex into what will be called the new Salem Medical Center, which include a substantial renovation of the existing physical plant, the consolidation and growth of various medical programs and upgrades to the hospital’s medical equipment and IT systems.
The firm, which has repositioned several hospitals in the state, is doing so after bolstering its executive management team with veteran hospital administrators Ellsworth Havens and Paul Goldberg. It’s also in talks with Cooper University Health Care, one of southern New Jersey’s top health care organizations, about expanding its services within the Salem facility.
“The opportunity to reposition the historic Memorial Hospital of Salem County represented a bold new chance to grow our business,” said Bill Colgan, CHA’s managing partner. “Our plan to retain and expand the delivery of quality health care services in Salem County has been carefully crafted, presented, reviewed, and updated by key stakeholders, including current medical staff, current hospital leadership, community advocates, and others, all of whom are integral to the hospital’s success.”
CHA also identified long-term goals for Salem Medical Center, starting with reopening the now-closed ambulatory surgery center on the hospital’s campus and to expanding medical services to attract GYN, interventional radiology, urology, endocrinology, vascular and cardiac services, according to a news release. Meantime, its talks with Cooper include making the new Salem Medical Center a teaching hospital via The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
Salem Medical Center will operate under a lease from a for-profit company that will provide tax revenue to the local government, the news release said. Under the terms of an agreement between hospital ownership and the township of Mannington, the transfer of ownership will result in some $3.3 million in property tax revenue over the next 30 years.
CHA has converted several shuttered hospitals to date, including the former Barnert Hospital in Paterson, Greenville Hospital in Jersey City and William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital in Hammonton. Its most recent project calls for transforming the former Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield into a mixed-use medical arts and residential campus.
“Whether in Paterson, Jersey City, Hammonton, or Plainfield, our primary goal is to promote the provision of top-quality health care services for the benefit of the local community,” Colgan said. “We have demonstrated time and time again that we take seriously our commitment to be good neighbors, whether by helping to drive economic stability through job creation, tax growth, and/or future investment.”