Steve Sweeney, the state Senate president and the biggest champion for South Jersey, was elated. The groundbreaking of AtlantiCare’s $38.3 million Medical Arts Pavilion marks another positive step for Atlantic City.
“The AtlantiCare Medical Arts Pavilion will meet a tremendous community need for health care services and help to improve the well-being of Atlantic City residents,” Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said. “It will also spur economic growth, bring more services to the community and make Atlantic City that much more attractive for potential business owners, homebuyers and visitors.”
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver shared Sweeney’s excitement.
“I am elated to be here,” she said. “Since the beginning of the (Gov. Phil) Murphy administration, we’ve been having conversations with (AtlantiCare CEO) Lori (Herndon) and leadership in the hospital to conceptualize the construction of this building and facility.”
It’s the type of facility people have envisioned for years, Oliver said.
“I can remember back 25 years ago, people saying that the future economy of this country will be around health care,” she said. “And here we are: Health care is one of the biggest economic drivers in the United States and definitely in New Jersey.”
The three-story, 69,700-square-foot building will significantly expand AtlantiCare’s resources for increasing access to care and addressing health care disparities. AtlantiCare also will expand medical education opportunities for medical students and residents to proactively address the current state and anticipated national shortage of primary care providers.
AtlantiCare officials said they hope to have the shell of the building completed by the end of the first quarter in 2022. By fall, the building should be finished — clearing the way for a ribbon-cutting by the end of the year.
Herndon said the pavilion will be a modern, patient-centered facility.
“This new building will give us the space we need to expand the care and services we provide to our community,” she said.
Services in the facility will include:
- Expansion of AtlantiCare’s high-risk Maternal/Fetal Medicine Program;
- Expansion of family planning services;
- A new Family Medicine Residency Program;
- Dialysis Center space for AtlantiCare’s joint venture with Fresenius Kidney Care;
- Medical education classrooms;
- Patient care simulation rooms for medical education;
- An auditorium with capacity for 150 individuals;
- Additional AtlantiCare programs and services.
These services will help the AtlantiCare combat two significant challenges in health care:
- Closing the gap of health care disparities in underserved populations: The new facility will house a significant suite of services for women, children and families — providing services that are critical to preventing maternal and fetal deaths and supporting health and well-being of families.
- Addressing the anticipated doctor shortage: There is expected to be a shortage of primary care providers in New Jersey and a national shortage of physicians. AtlantiCare’s Medical Arts Pavilion will offer expandedopportunities for graduate medical residents and undergraduate medical students.
The facility got a boost from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which gave AtlantiCare the land and has pledged $15 million toward the project.
Located at 7 S. Ohio Ave., the facility will be directly across the street from AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Atlantic City campus.
“The location is special because Ohio Avenue is where we opened as Atlantic City’s first hospital in 1898, in a converted house,” Herndon said.
Known as Atlantic City Hospital, it grew into the regional health care system AtlantiCare, whose more than 6,000 staff and providers care for the community in more than 100 locations in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Ocean counties.
The project team includes:
- Project management: the Carlin Collaborative, Philadelphia;
- Architect: Francis Cauffman Architects, Philadelphia;
- Construction manager: P. Agnes Builders, Philadelphia;
- Interior design: DCC Design Group, Wilmington;
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer: PWI Engineering, Cherry Hill;
- Structural engineer: O’Donnell & Naccarato Structural Engineers, Philadelphia;
- Civil engineer: Arthur W. Ponzio Co. & Associates Inc., Atlantic City.