For AtlantiCare, topping-off ceremony for $38.3M Medical Arts Pavilion is more than construction milestone (SLIDESHOW)

System CEO Herndon sees 3-story, 69,700-square-foot building as further tie to community AtlantiCare serves

Topping-off ceremonies that celebrate the final beam placement of a new facility are common. AtlantiCare, however, used its ceremony to mark more than just the completion of the steel structure that will be the bones of its $38.3 million, three-story pavilion in Atlantic City.

For AtlantiCare CEO Lori Herndon, the 69,700-square-foot AtlantiCare Medical Arts Pavilion that is scheduled to open next fall is more evidence of the health system’s commitment to the city.

The facility is located at 7 S. Ohio Ave., on the same block in which the health care system established its roots as Atlantic City Hospital in 1898. Herndon said the building will celebrate AtlantiCare’s history of serving — and being an integral member of — the community for 123 years, while reinforcing its commitment to providing the vision, leadership and innovation that set the standard for health care excellence.

“This is a long time coming, because we really knew that we needed to make a deeper investment in Atlantic City, and here it is,” she said. “I look at this as the next great chapter of AtlantiCare in Atlantic City.”

Herndon said she made sure the timing of the event showed the all-in commitment the system has.

The beam signing began just after sunrise, so two shifts of AtlantiCare staff could “make their mark” by signing the beam before it was hoisted into place. Shortly thereafter, Herndon and a small group of AtlantiCare staff, providers and community leaders participated in a short ceremony that shared the vision of the communitywide impact the new facility will have.

The facility, located directly across from the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus, is expected to increase access to:

  • The maternal/fetal medicine program for high-risk patients;
  • Family planning services;
  • The Federally Qualified Health Center;
  • A perinatal clinic (that AtlantiCare intends to build).

It also will feature an urgent care center and a dialysis unit.

The facility will include an auditorium for medical education for up to 150 people, medical education classrooms and offices, and simulation labs to help students develop and maintain clinical skills.

Expanding AtlantiCare’s medical education program will provide opportunities for its graduate medical residents and medical students, aimed at addressing the growing need for physicians in New Jersey and the anticipated nationwide shortage of physicians.