East Orange Mayor Ted Green proudly rattles off the ways in which the city’s hospital has been a part of his life — from his first visit to his first job as a teenager.
And, while he has fond memories of what he always has known to be East Orange General Hospital, he has high hopes for what the facility will become.
On Wednesday morning, the hospital officially announced its rebranding. Moving forward, it will be called CareWell Health Medical Center.
Under the guidance of co-owner and CEO Paige Dworak, it will continue to serve the community as Essex County’s only independent, acute care community hospital.
“This is a proud moment for our historic institution,” Dworak said. “CareWell Health Medical Center is a true community hospital serving Essex County, a place where every patient is family.
“Our new name and brand represent our commitment to transforming this vital community asset, signaling a fresh start for this organization. Generations of children, parents, friends and loved ones have turned to us for help, hope, and healing — and we look forward to continuing to serve Essex County for decades to come.”
Green said he is looking forward to it.
“This hospital has always been a part of my life, dating as far back as my first visit as a teenage patient, and shortly after becoming my first youth employment,” he said.
“For many residents and visitors, East Orange General Hospital has always been a household name. And, while bittersweet, I recognize that change is evident, and the newly named CareWell Health Medical Center will welcome new health initiatives that will help move the East Orange community forward.
“I am looking forward to continuing working with new hospital ownership as they expand their services that will benefit all members of our community.”
He’s not the only one.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, a longtime resident of the city, said she is excited about the future of the facility.
“East Orange General Hospital has been an anchor institution in the community, providing exemplary care to area residents for the 40-plus years that I have called East Orange my home,” she said. “I am so excited for their new chapter.
“The name may have changed, but under the leadership and ownership of Ms. Paige Dworak, CareWell Health Medical Center will continue to serve area residents with dignity and compassion, while better tailoring and expanding services and programs to meet the changing needs of the community.”
Dworak said CareWell Health will bill itself as Essex County’s only boutique community hospital. The medical center’s financial priorities will be focused on growth — specifically, investments in new programs and services, expanding its primary care services and surgical services to support its core mission as an acute care facility, she said.
In addition, CareWell Health is deepening its focus on behavioral health.
“At CareWell Health, we understand that our patients are coming to us during moments of great need, and we believe our patients deserve the highest-quality care and best experience possible,” Dworak said.
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Dworak said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored a value and reliability in CareWell Health services that Essex County communities have counted on since 1903. The medical center has never closed its doors during the pandemic and, in fact, expanded services, becoming a go-to site for testing, education and counseling, and providing telemedicine to safely reach patients where they were.
“We take pride in being a small, devoted community hospital where everyone is welcome,” Dworak said. “Whether you walk right in seeking care, take the bus here to our front door or arrive needing help in a hurry, you can always be sure you are important to us and will never be treated like just another number.”
In October, the group of Dworak; Ben Klein, an Englewood resident and owner of more than three dozen behavioral health facilities; and Troy Schell, an attorney, announced they were purchasing the hospital as EOH Acquisition Group.
The new leadership team said it intends to expand services and invest in the best people and technology, ensuring the facility continues its mission to provide high-quality care to the residents of East Orange and the surrounding greater Newark communities.
Over the next several weeks and months, the medical center is expected to transition to the new brand identity, applying it to the hospital website, social media platforms, ID badges, stationary, signage and more, CareWell Health officials said.