February 9, 2007

New Jersey’s Children’s Hospitals Form Council

TRENTON, N.J., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A full-day strategic planning session of the newly formed Council of Children's Hospitals was held on January 31, 2007 with a robust attendance of 26 individuals representing the state's 10 designated Children's Hospitals, and other institutions providing pediatric services. Sponsored by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals (NJCTH), the planning session was moderated by Glenna M. Crooks, PhD, former Deputy Assistant for Health during the Reagan administration and founder and president of Strategic Health Policy International, Inc. Daniel A. Notterman, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at UMDNJ -- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Physician-in-Chief of Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, agreed to act as Chairman of the executive committee.

The objective of the meeting was to help identify and coordinate the key advocacy issues facing the states children's hospitals. These hospitals have widely-varying seasonal occupancies, are financially constrained by New Jersey's low Medicaid rates, and lose many patients to New York and Pennsylvania. An estimated $40-60M is spent by families seeking out-of-state- care.

"Too many NJ families are unnecessarily referred out-of-state for specialized pediatric care. We need to do a better job of informing the public of what excellent services are offered by New Jersey's children's hospitals," said Dr. Daniel Notterman.

According to Dr. Richard Goldstein, President/CEO of the newly-formed Council, "The state intends to study and eventually produce a State Health Care Resource Allocation Plan that will promote the rational use of physical, clinical, and specialty resources. The initial focus will be on acute care hospitals; however the needs of the state's children's hospitals should also be addressed."

The strategic planning session concluded with a strong framework of committees which would focus on: the strategic integration of existing clinical services between hospitals; graduate medical education (GME) including the number of pediatric residents and fellowships; the quality of care being provided in New Jersey's children's hospitals including the lack of nationwide quality indicators; and funding issues related to children's hospitals, specifically with regard to Medicaid and Medicare. It was determined through the efforts of these committees, an immediate data collection effort would be undertaken to establish an assessment of the Council's assets, services, and utilization, and to conduct a state-wide needs analysis for pediatric services. Ultimately the goal of the Council will be to develop a plan to integrate programs, maximize resources, and advocating a healthcare platform for children in New Jersey.

Christopher Olivia, M.D., CEO of Cooper University Hospital and Chairman of the Board of NJCTH said, "All of the children's hospitals in New Jersey are part and parcel of a teaching hospital and it is completely consistent with our mission to advocate on their behalf. We believe the staff depth and experience within NJCTH will quickly translate into success on the issues that most deeply affect them."

The New Jersey Council of Children's Hospitals: Goryeb Children's Hospital of Atlantic Health System, Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center/Meridian Health, Children's Specialized Hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital at Cooper University Hospital, The University Institute for Children's Health at UMDNJ- University Hospital, Children's Hospital and Regional Perinatal Center at Monmouth Medical Center, The Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, The Children's Hospital at St. Peter's University Medical Center, and Weisman Children's Rehabilitation Hospital.

New Jersey Council of Children's Hospitals

CONTACT: J. Richard Goldstein, M.D. of The New Jersey Council ofChildren's Hospitals, Cell: +1-732.859.6370

Web site: http://www.njcth.org/