Hackensack Meridian opens N.J.’s 1st post-COVID treatment facility

By Eric Strauss
Hackensack | Jul 17, 2020 at 11:27 am

Hackensack Meridian Health has opened the first facility in New Jersey dedicated to helping patients who have recovered from COVID-19, it announced this week.

HMH said in a news release that its COVID Recovery Center will provide medical support to the hundreds of thousands of patients who are continuing on their path to health after surviving the illness.

The pandemic has resulted in more than 176,000 positive tests for the coronavirus in New Jersey, one of the highest totals nationwide, and neighboring states have likewise been hard-hit. Side effects of a COVID infection can require lung, heart and behavioral health care post-recovery, HMH said.

Bob Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“Hackensack Meridian Health has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19, treating New Jersey’s first COVID-19 patient and publishing research that is helping inform how COVID-19 patients are treated across the country,” CEO Bob Garrett said in a prepared statement. “Our commitment to treating COVID-19 patients doesn’t stop when people leave our hospitals. Our health care providers are here for these patients throughout their recovery and beyond.”

HMH said recovered COVID-19 patients can call 833-565-0405 for a telescreening with a center physician. Based on the screening results, a physician will create a customized care plan and connect the patient with any specialists needed.

The center does not have one central physical location, but will utilize physician practices throughout the entire system for patient convenience, a spokesperson said.

“While our understanding of COVID-19 is evolving, it is clear many COVID-19 patients need additional care after they’ve become ‘COVID-free,’” Dr. James Clarke, senior vice president, primary care & specialty care, said in a statement. “From heart and lung complications to anxiety and other behavioral side effects, our network of primary care physicians and specialists are available to help recovered COVID patients navigate their health care journey after COVID-19.”

The announcement continued a banner week for HMH, which also announced a record $25 million gift to its cancer center, as well as the new independent status of its medical school.

For more information on the center, click here.

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Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | @acerimrat