SOMERS POINT — Now that the presents are unwrapped and put away, what many of us are wishing for as we enter the New Year is good health. But good health isn’t something that just happens to us as we passively live our lives. It’s something we must work toward and invest in, whether it’s by scaling back on unhealthy habits, managing a chronic illness, or finally scheduling that important procedure we’ve been putting off. As your community hospital, Shore Medical Center is here to help make it easier for you to achieve good health in the New Year — and every year after.
And just like you, a hospital like Shore Medical Center must tend to its health as well. In a climate where hospitals are merging or being bought out completely, Shore remains an independent, community hospital, one that continues to reinvest in the facilities, equipment, technology and people who care for you. It is our duty to reinvest in this way. These investments aren’t always flashy or newsworthy, but rest assured they are constantly happening here at your community hospital.
In 2019 alone, Shore spent more than $3.2 million in new technology, equipment, renovations and facility upgrades. Here are just some of the improvements we have made:
• Completely renovated three main ICU nursing stations, two satellite nursing stations, providing nurses with higher counters for ease of writing, new cabinets, fresh paint and lighting.
• Replaced 25 hospital beds at a cost of $10,000 per bed.
• Replaced the small arm-swing television sets with 42” wall-mounted flat screen TVs in all patient rooms.
• Replaced 150 communication boards in patient rooms, giving the patient, family and staff a more detailed picture of the patient’s status.
• Replaced two elevators to improve safety for patients, visitors and staff.
• Replaced the flooring, blinds, recessed lighting and signage, and painted several areas throughout the hospital.
• Improved surveillance and security measures taken to keep everyone within the hospital and throughout our campus safe.
• With the help of donor support, we replaced ten fetal monitors on our maternity floor.
• $500,000 in contributions directly to the city of Somers Point and services that support the city.
• More than $90 million annually in salary and benefits for our employees, with increases in these costs coming in 2020.
It’s been almost a decade since Shore’s $125-million major expansion and addition of the new Surgical Pavilion. In that time, we evolved from a small community hospital into a full-fledged medical center. We are proud to have done it all independently, while at the same time forging affiliations with world class health institutions such as Penn Medicine. Through Shore Physicians Group and a clinically integrated network, Shore Quality Partners, we’ve brought new service lines, 90 primary care physicians and specialists into our region, all of whom are aligned with our vision of providing high quality, patient-centered care.
Just like your financial advisor may recommend that you have two to six months of living expenses saved for emergencies, hospitals need to plan for the unforeseen. One of the secrets to our success is our focus on paying down our debt at a low interest rate. We are able to maintain that low interest rate because of our financial responsibility. We also must be able to care for those who need us, even if they don’t have insurance or other means to pay for their care. In 2018, we absorbed more than $10.2 million in costs to help those in need, and 2019 is trending even higher.
With more than 100,000 patient visits each year, we are proud to provide our community with the highest level of quality and safe care. And, we are proud to play a vital role in the local economy by employing more than 1,500 South Jerseyans and supporting hundreds of businesses through the purchase of materials, supplies, services and more.
To continue all of this, we need to be ahead of the financial curve during the stable times so we are prepared for an uncertain future, as it relates to health insurance, employment levels, national disasters like Hurricane Sandy and more. Shore has been your community hospital for more than 75 years, and we look forward to being here for generations to come.