Dworak could become N.J.’s 1st female hospital owner

Current East Orange General CEO is part of group attempting to buy hospital

Paige Dworak could become the first female owner-CEO of a hospital in New Jersey if the office of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli signs off on a deal that would allow a group led by Dworak to acquire East Orange General Hospital.

EOH Acquisition Group, a for-profit operating company, is comprised of three owners:

  • Ben Klein, an Englewood resident and owner of more than three dozen behavioral health and substance abuse treatment centers across the U.S.;
  • Troy Schell, an attorney; and
  • Dworak, the CEO of East Orange General Hospital.

The new ownership group said it will be able to financially stabilize the hospital and allow it to continue its mission to provide high-quality care to the residents of East Orange and the surrounding communities.

The group promises to further invest in the hospital — committing capital funds to retain new staff, invest in new technology and expand services to better meet the community’s needs.

Dworak, who has served as CEO of the 201-bed, acute-care Essex County hospital since 2017, will have a 20% ownership stake in the new organization.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Dworak has more than two decades’ experience in the health care industry.

“This is a great day for the residents of Essex County,” Dworak said. “We are so excited about the future of this historic hospital and its impact on the community.

“The change in ownership will help accelerate the transformation of this vital community asset, ensuring the hospital continues to deliver the quality care the patients and the community have come to rely on for over a century.”

The potential new owners have pledged to maintain and strengthen all existing services, while deepening its focus on behavioral health.

Specifically, the new owners will help expand outpatient mental health services on the hospital’s campus, offering new, state-of-the-art therapies to patients. More importantly, the new owners plan on integrating mental health services and primary care, removing the silos that typically exist between these two service lines.

The new owners will oversee the completion of critical initiatives currently underway and embark on new projects at the hospital that will help stabilize and grow hospital admissions while improving the overall delivery of services. These programs include:

  • Completion of the opening of the county’s first inpatient Substance Abuse Disorder (Detox) Unit;
  • Creation of a new 100-plus-bed residential substance abuse disorder treatment center, which will provide a much-needed service to the county, create new jobs and drive new admissions;
  • Creation of East Orange General Hospital’s first-ever Medical Group focused on the expansion of primary care, family medicine and multispecialty services;
  • Addition of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a technology used to treat and cure depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues.

“There has been much skepticism over this hospital in recent years, but I am here to say that we stand ready to build a better, stronger community hospital in the months and years ahead,” Dworak said. “We are excited to bring ownership back to New Jersey — to people who are truly vested and care.

“I am invested in this community, and I am honored to continue to serve the residents of Essex County as an owner of this historic institution.”