Monday, July 2, 2012

Sale update

Judge Velazquez signed the order proposed by Christ Hospital, incorporating all the Attorney General's recommended conditions, but without requiring a health care monitor, expanded community participation, or recovery of charitable assets from subsequent sales.

We are, of course, happy that Christ Hospital will continue to operate, and will do so with some significant protections that were not part of the initial proposals.

Save Christ Hospital is disappointed that neither the state nor the court imposed stronger conditions to protect the public interest. We are concerned about how the hospital will consolidate services and access to care for area residents. When the new owners sell hospital assets, the windfall profits will fund their next acquisition instead of furthering the charitable mission of community health care.

Friday, June 29, 2012

No decision today

Thanks to the Honorable Judge Velazquez for hearing our case. He did not give a summary ruling or sign the Hospital's draft order. His decision will likely be announced Monday. Our attorney, Renee Steinhagen of New Jersey Appleseed, presented a strong case and represented us well.

See Terrence McDonald's article on the hearing in The Jersey Journal: "Jersey City community group seeks conditions on Christ Hospital sale".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sale to be finalized this Friday?

Christ Hospital petitioned the Superior Court to finalize its sale to the Hudson Holdco corporations, seeking an expedited judgment. In response, Save Christ Hospital has asked the Court to impose additional conditions on the sale, especially:
  • Expanded public participation in restructuring the Hospital and County Hospital service consolidation
  • Increased monitoring of charity care and health care performance
  • Recovery of proceeds from subsequent asset sales for charitable purposes
See Save Christ Hospital's and NJ Appleseed's Letter to the Court.

The hearing is scheduled for this Friday 6/29 1:30pm at the Brennan Court House, 583 Newark Ave, 2nd floor (Judge Hector Velazquez). All are welcome to attend.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Urgent - sale to be finalized

BREAKING NEWS - Expedited approval to be heard Friday 6/29.

The deal is done? The Attorney General completed its review, the attorneys went straight to court, and the court wants to finalize the sale within a week, and with only two business days notice to respond.

Read documents for this proceding:
Show Cause order
Attorney General's CHAPA report (18 MB)
Christ Hospital's Attorney Certification
Christ Hospital's Brief (9 MB)

What do you think? Is this a good deal for Jersey City? Are the conditions of the sale truly in the public interest?

Stay tuned for further details.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Public Hearing Thu 5/24 - CHAPA

Flyer for May 23 & 24 Hearings.

Public Notice of Hearing

Assistant Attorney General Susan K. Fischer, on behalf of the Attorney General and Acting Deputy Commissioner William Conroy, on behalf of the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services will conduct a joint Public Hearing on the proposed acquisition of Christ Hospital by Hudson Hospital Opco, LLC and Hudson Hospital Propco, LLC in accordance with the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act (“CHAPA”), N.J.S.A. 26:2H-7.10, et seq.

The Public Hearing will be held on:
May 24, 2012
Culinary Conference Center at
Hudson County Community College
Scott Ring Room, 2nd Floor
161 Newkirk Street at Sip Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07306
Phone: 201.360.5300
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
(or close of testimony, whichever is later)

Members of the public are invited to file written comments and exhibits or appear at the hearing and speak.

Members of the public wanting to submit written comments or other materials may provide them to representatives of the Department of Law and Public Safety or the Department of Health and Senior Services at the hearing, or may send them anytime before the time of the hearing or until the close of the record on May 31, 2012 by mail or electronic mail to:

Dept. of Law & Public Safety Division of Law
P.O. Box 106
Trenton, NJ 08625-0106
Attention: DAG Jay A. Ganzman

Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance
P.O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Attention: Devon Graf, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance

For more information, please contact Jay A. Ganzman, Deputy Attorney General at (609) 292-8564.

Public Hearing Wed 5/23 - Certificate of Need

Public Hearing Notice for the Certificate of Need Application

The State Health Planning Board (the Board) will be holding a public hearing concerning the certificate of need application submitted to the Department of Health and Senior Services for the Transfer of Ownership of Christ Hospital located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Copies of the application are available for review at the Jersey City Public Library, the New Jersey State Library, and at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Board invites the public to comment on the application. All those wishing to make oral comments to the Board are invited to attend the public hearing on this application on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Comments will be limited to three minutes per person, although written comments may also be submitted at the same time. The Board will take comments from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The hearing will be held at the Culinary Institute of Hudson Community College, 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, NJ 07306.

Comments may also be submitted in writing after the hearing. People wishing to submit comments are urged to make their comments concise. Comments must be received by the State Health Planning Board no later than Friday, May 30, 2012 at the following address:

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Market & Warren Streets
P.O. Box 360
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0360

The Board intends to review the application at an upcoming meeting. Notice will be published as to the meeting date during which the application will be reviewed.

For further information, you may call the Department at 609.292.7874.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Archived News 2011

Owner of two Hudson hospitals makes offer to buy a third, immediately followed by Christ Hospital officials reject purchase offer (both articles from The Jersey Journal, 12/27/11). Further details (Hudson Reporter, 12/27/11)

California Hospital Chain Eyed for Possibly Bilking Medicare for Millions (PBS NewsHour, air date 12/19/11). See also the Jersey Journal's report.

To sell or not to sell (Hudson Reporter, 12/18/11)

Nurses union files charges with National Labor Relations Board over Christ Hospital layoffs (Hudson Reporter, 12/18/11)

Prime hospital bills for malnutrition, but patient says she wasn’t treated (California Watch, 12/16/11)

State: Christ Hospital sale will not be approved this year (The Jersey Journal, 12/15/11)

CEO of Christ Hospital defends deal (The Jersey Journal, 12/15/11)

Christ Hospital CEO Defends Decision to Sell Hospital at Packed Community Meeting (Jersey City Independent, 12/15/11) and follow up letter from community leader Joel Torres (Christ Hospital Sale Not in Jersey City’s Best Interest)

Potential buyer plans to sell Christ Hospital in Jersey City to an Alabama-based real estate investment trust (The Jersey Journal, 12/14/11)

Prime Healthcare reportedly subject of FBI probe (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/13/11)

Christ Hospital in Jersey City announces 50 jobs will be cut as protesters rally against impending sale (The Jersey Journal, 12/6/11)

Lawsuits taint Christ Hospital buyer (The Jersey Journal Letters, 12/3/11)

OpEd from Christ Hospital CEO Peter Kelly (The Jersey Journal, 11/29/11)

Prime Healthcare hospital reports simultaneous cases of heart failure, blood infection (California Watch, 11/28/11)

Troubled Jersey City Hospital Hopes for $35 Million Transfusion (NJ Spotlight, 11/21/11)

Pending sale of Christ Hospital draws supporters and opponents (The Jersey Journal, 11/21/11)

CEO says hospital's survival dependent on sale to California company (The Jersey Journal, 11/20/11)

NJ Citizen Action launches petition drive to help save Christ Hospital - Press Release (11/17/11)

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos asks for full review (11/9/11)

Jersey City Council Opposes Expedited Sale (Becker's Hospital Review, 10/31/11). See the Council Resolution.

"Sale of Christ Hospital would be bad for the county" (The Jersey Journal, 10/28/11)

City Council members quiz Christ Hospital CEO (The Jersey Journal, 10/26/11)

Buyer requested expedited approval (Hudson Reporter, 10/16/11)

Christ Hospital's possible new owner embroiled in controversies (The Jersey Journal, 7/29/11)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Christ Hospital to be sold to Hudson Holdco

In Federal Court today in Newark, Judge Morris Stern awarded Christ Hospital to Hudson Hospital Holdco, as the buyer with the "highest and best" offer, which was approved by the Christ Hospital Board yesterday.

While there is much we might still wish for, Save Christ Hospital can be proud of what we accomplished. As a result of our efforts, this sale is on significantly better terms than offered by Prime, or by either bidder initially.

The sale now includes a lengthy commitment to operate as an acute care hospital, retention of 100% of nurses and 90% of all staff, and assumption of accrued paid time off.

Holdco also committed to reach agreements with all Medicaid HMOs, helping ensure coverage for many low-income patients.

Now we must consider how to build-in safeguards to ensure these commitments are met, and get additional health care and asset protections through the state review process.

Following the outcome of today's hearing, Hudson Holdco principals reached out to us and offered to work together. Save Christ Hospital wishes them well, and will seek continued involvement to see that community needs are represented in hospital services.

Thanks for your support and hard work which had a huge impact on this process.

See the Save Christ Hospital Press Release on the sale of Christ Hospital to Hudson Holdco, 3/27/12.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A brief editorial

In all likelihood, today sees the determination of the new owner of Christ Hospital. Throughout the past few months, our community coalition has sought to educate ourselves and others. We have listened to one another, and found ready agreement among ordinary citizens, grassroots organizations, and elected leaders. We are all agreed that we wish to see a long-term future for Christ Hospital, its redevelopment as a hospital, and good jobs for its current workforce.

The reality of the legal process is, though, that aside from certain constraints set by the bankruptcy court, whichever bidder shows up with the biggest pile of money will likely prevail.

Save Christ Hospital hopes that buyer will be responsive to community concerns, and that their proposal will in fact address the Principles for Christ Hospital's Future that we outlined and which so many of our elected officials endorsed. We would rather move forward quickly with a redevelopment plan that speaks meaningfully to these concerns. But we must also be prepared to engage with the new buyer and our state officials to ensure that the CHAPA process protects community interests.

We wish the new buyer well, and commit to standing with our partners, especially those who work at Christ Hospital, to keep Christ Hospital focused on its historic mission of health care to all residents of our community, and to save Christ Hospital for future generations.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank You, Hudson County!

Thank you to the 100+ community members who came out tonight to hear very interesting presentations from Jersey City Medical Center and Bayonne/Hoboken Medical Centers. Both organizations deserve credit for engaging with the community and sharing their vision of health care in Hudson County and at Christ Hospital.

Special thanks to our elected officials who came out to express their support: Sen. Brian Stack, Asm. Jason O'Donnell, Deputy Mayor Kabili Tayari, Councilwomen Viola Richardson and Nidia Lopez, and Freeholder Anthony Romano.

Also expressing their support: Asm. Ruben Ramos, Councilmen Steven Fulop, Rolando Lavarro, and David Donnelly, and the entire Board of Chosen Freeholders, who tonight passed a resolution endorsing Save Christ Hospital's Principles for Christ Hospital's Future.

Stay tuned for updates, as much will be happening over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Principles for Christ Hospital's Future

Through listening to feedback from our community meeting and in our neighborhood groups, Save Christ Hospital has developed a Statement of Principles which we believe represent the future for Christ Hospital and our community.

It is not enough to have vague promises that Christ Hospital will remain a hospital. Our community needs a strong, sustainable, revitalized Christ Hospital that preserves and even enhances the hospital's basic mission.

We have invited many elected officials to stand with our community groups and individual residents of our neighborhoods to endorse these principles. We are pleased to announce that Senator Brian Stack and Jersey City Councilman Steven Fulop have been the first to respond and support these goals. We are hopeful that many others will join in and stand as a unified community in advocating for Christ Hospital's future.


As one of the anchor institutions of its neighborhood, the reorganization and sale of Christ Hospital will affect our community for generations to come.

As community members, leaders, and organizations, we seek a strong and sustainable Christ Hospital that is consistent with its historic charitable mission. We want any sale or reorganization plan to be focused on the delivery of accessible health care based on community need, to produce quality health outcomes, and to be a vital part of our regional economy.

We endorse the following principles for any sale or reorganization plan.
  1. It should be an open, public process, with meaningful community participation in both the reorganization planning and implementation.
  2. It should include binding commitments of service and staffing levels, and specific job commitments for current hospital employees.
  3. It should remain a health care facility in perpetuity, and have a lengthy commitment to maintain an acute care hospital.
Additionally, future planning for this region’s hospitals should be responsive to the health care needs in the community. We call for a community needs assessment as a complement to the 2011 Hospital Services Assessment.

You may endorse your own copy of these principles and bring it to our community meeting Thursday, March 8.

Thank you for your support for the health of our community.

Sen. Brian Stack (2/29)
Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham (3/12)
Asm. Ruben Ramos (2/29)
Asm. Jason O'Donnell (3/2)
Councilwoman Viola Richardson (3/5)
Councilman Rolando Lavarro (3/8)
Councilman Steven Fulop (2/27)
Councilwoman Nidia Lopez (3/7)
Freeholder Bill O'Dea (3/1)
The entire Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders (3/8)


Following our successful meeting in December, the withdrawal of Prime Healthcare's bid, and the hospital's bankruptcy filing, Save Christ Hospital will be holding another community meeting. We will update you about the sale of Christ Hospital and the bankruptcy process, and demonstrate the strong community support for Christ Hospital's future. Elected officials will be asked to endorse our principles for the future of Christ Hospital.

Thursday 3/8 7pm
Second Reformed Church

940 Summit Ave at Zabriskie St
Flyer & Handbill

Invited guests:
Sen. Brian Stack (confirmed)
Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham
Mayor Jerramiah Healy
Assembly Members Connors, Ramos, Mainor, O’Donnell
Jersey City Council Members

See map:

View Larger Map

Parking is available at the Municipal lot, 1 block east on Central Ave at Griffith St.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Include the Community


Jersey City, NJ, February 7, 2012 - The community coalition to Save Christ Hospital held a press conference today on the sidewalk outside the hospital. The group outlined goals for the hospital's reorganization, and called upon the hospital's Board of Trustees to make community participation a significant part of Christ Hospital's future.

Save Christ Hospital mobilized community groups and neighborhood residents, and focused attention on the deal to sell Christ Hospital to Prime Healthcare Services, a California for-profit company under investigation. That deal proved to be a bad deal for patients, the community, and hospital staff, and it collapsed under the scrutiny of state government and community leaders.

After having pursued this deal without giving consideration to other options, Christ Hospital's Board of Trustees has chosen to reorganize through the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy is a big step. But it does not change the major issues facing the hospital and the community it serves.

Save Christ Hospital and the community which supports and depends on the hospital continues to call for:
+ Meaningful community participation in planning the hospital's future;
+ An open bidding process; and
+ Sale conditions which protect health care outcomes and community assets.

The Christ Hospital Board President, Rev. Geoff Curtiss, and CEO Peter Kelly have previously committed to meet with Save Christ Hospital, but have not scheduled that meeting. Following the press conference, Save Christ Hospital community members will deliver a letter to Board again seeking to work cooperatively with the Board in its reorganization plans.

Principal decision-making still rests in the Board‟s hands. Save Christ Hospital will work with the Board, state regulators, our elected officials, and potential buyers to achieve an outcome that is truly in the public interest.


Paul Bellan-Boyer, Save Christ Hospital:
“It is time for the serious work of evaluating, envisioning, and rebuilding Christ Hospital for the future. One of the major problems with the questionable Prime deal was the failure to deal openly with the community and with other potential buyers. It became apparent that the single-minded pursuit of Prime prevented the timely emergence of other, potentially better, offers. While Mr. Kelly continues to try and spin away from the deal he championed, the community voice has been consistent in calling for an open process with substantive public participation.”

Jim Carroll, Ward D Civic Association:
“This community loves Christ Hospital and wants to support its future. But we can't do that if we're locked out. Community participation built Christ Hospital, and it can help rebuild Christ Hospital.”

Jeanne Otersen, Director, Health Professionals and Allied Employees:
“Christ Hospital CEO Peter Kelly failed to allow other bids, wasting time and now bringing our hospital to bankruptcy. Christ Hospital focused on pursuing this poorly-developed deal with Prime Healthcare System – demanding fast-track review and secrecy – while other bids might have been better and therefore successful.
    “However, Christ Hospital has now declared bankruptcy. Though we would not have chosen this path for the hospital, bankruptcy court can provide protection for our hospital and its services during the next period of time, and also provide the structure and oversight that was clearly missing at the Christ Hospital management offices. Christ Hospital Board members also have an opportunity to get it right this time – to choose a bidder and financing that puts patients and community first.”

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director, NJ Citizen Action:
“There has been an outpouring of support from citizens of Jersey City for Christ Hospital. New Jersey Citizen Action went door to door in this community to ask for support in saving Christ Hospital. The response was stunning; over 5000 people signed petition cards supporting our principals of a open and transparent process with community input for the future of Christ Hospital. The people of Jersey City still need to know that this hospital, its services, and its health care providers will always be here to serve this community.”

Renee Steinhagen, Executive Director, NJ Appleseed Public Interest Law Center:
“A review of documents filed with the State revealed that the Board did not properly vet the record of Prime's operations in California, and did not consider the impact that the sale would have on Hudson County. Had the Prime sale gone through, Hudson County residents would have been faced with yet another hospital that is primarily concerned with maximizing profits. Even in bankruptcy, Christ Hospital's Board should consider whether a sale is in the best interest of Jersey City‟s residents. If the Board fails to do that, it remains the obligation of New Jersey‟s Attorney General and Commissioner of Health to refuse to approve the 'new' sale.”

Joel Torres, Neighborhood resident:
“I was born in Christ Hospital twenty-eight years ago and have lived in Jersey City my whole life. For 140 years, Christ Hospital has opened its doors to help people in need, and has been especially important to under-served populations. We ask the hospital‟s Board to keep the doors open to the community in the reorganization process.”

Paulette Eberle, Vice-President, Next Step:
“It's essential that there is an open and transparent process with continued community input for any possible sale to insure that this hospital remains the integral part of the community that is has always been.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Press conference Tuesday 2/7 2pm

Following today's bankruptcy filing by Christ Hospital, Save Christ Hospital will hold a press conference to present ideas for the reorganization process. Community participation built Christ Hospital, and it can help rebuild Christ Hospital. Come and learn some of the facts about the bankruptcy and how you can help assure quality health care in our community.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 – 2pm

WHERE: Sidewalk outside Christ Hospital, 176 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306

WHO: Save Christ Hospital, NJ Citizen Action, Health Professionals & Allied Employees

WHAT: Community members deliver call to Christ Hospital Board to work with, not exclude, the community in its reorganization plans

See our full Media Advisory for more details.

Bankruptcy filed

We have heard that Christ Hospital has filed for bankruptcy late this afternoon. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

HPAE on bankruptcy authorization

From Ann Twomey, president of Health Professionals and Allied Employees, re: Christ Hospital Board authorization of bankruptcy.

"While we hope that bankruptcy can be avoided - and could have been if the Board of Christ Hospital had allowed for an open and transparent bidding process - the bankruptcy court can provide a structure for a proper sale or reorganization that protects our community hospital. We hope that the Board of Trustees at Christ Hospital will work quickly to seek out financing and a buyer that meets the standards to preserve hospital services and staffing that have been set out by the community coalition."

Breaking news - Hospital authorizes bankruptcy


February 2, 2012

As a result of Prime Healthcare's withdrawal from the purchase asset agreement with Christ Hospital, a full hospital board meeting took place on Wednesday, February 1st.

At this meeting the Board of Trustees of Christ Hospital unanimously approved authorizing the filing Chapter 11 reorganization — if necessary — in order to maintain financial stability and to preserve its commitment to its patients.

A reorganization would ensure that Christ Hospital continues to serve the community as an acute care facility here in Hudson County.

The people of Hudson County should know Christ Hospital will continue to fulfill its mission as a community healthcare provider. Christ Hospital has been a central part of Hudson County for nearly 140 years. Although the hospital faces significant financial challenges moving forward, its doors remain open to care for its patients.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Breaking news - Prime withdraws offer

Prime Healthcare pulls out (The Jersey Journal, 2/1/12); Breaking: Prime Healthcare withdraws its bid (Hudson Reporter, 2/1/12); and Controversial Jersey City Hospital Sale Scuttled (WNYC, 2/1/12)

WNYC's Fred Mogul quotes Christ Hospital CEO saying that Christ Hospital has only "days worth of cash on hand," and that the Board is meeting this afternoon to consider their options.

Both Prime and the hospital attributed the deal's collapse to "highly vocal opposition from the community." In fact, the deal collapsed when the community stood up to ask for public scrutiny of the dubious proposal.

The Attorney General's office made it apparent that the state review would bring to light many questionable details. It is a shame that so much time and effort has been wasted on such a shoddy plan. Any deal will be better if the community has a meaningful voice in the process. And that should be the next step.

See our Press Release. "Prime Healthcare’s withdrawal of its offer to buy Christ Hospital is an opportunity to get a better deal for the hospital and the people of Hudson County."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breaking news - JCMC makes offer for Christ Hosp

Jersey Journal: Jersey City Medical Center offers to buy nearby Christ Hospital for $104 million.

From the article:
The JCMC, which is partnering with Community Healthcare Associates in the bid, would keep Christ Hospital as a non-profit acute care facility for at least 30 years and maintain the existing unions, according to a statement released this morning.

"In a letter of intent that was delivered to Christ Hospital President and CEO Peter Kelly, we set forth our vision for the future of the facility and its critical role in providing healthcare services for Hudson County,'' JCMC President and CEO Joseph Scott writes in the statement. "The proposal lays out four tenets: to continue operating Christ as a non-profit acute care community hospital for a period of not less than 30 years; to preserve and create jobs while maintaining the existing unions; to continue to build a positive working relationship with the medical staff; and to expand Christ’s role as a healthcare leader and educator in Jersey City, Hudson County and New Jersey.''


The LibertyHealth offer also includes bridge financing to ensure that Christ Hospital does not need to enter bankruptcy in order to reorganize.

This offer opens up the possibilities quite a bit. Save Christ Hospital has arranged meetings with both Bayonne/Hoboken Holdco and LibertyHealth to better understand their bids and advocate for Christ Hospital's historic mission of quality healthcare accessible to the whole community.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Save Christ Hospital forms Community Oversight Board

Jersey City, NJ, January 24, 2012 - Christ Hospital’s plan to abandon its charitable mission and sell the hospital to a for-profit corporation calls for substantial community involvement and oversight. Save Christ Hospital has drawn together 14 community organizations and formed a community board to represent ordinary residents of Hudson County in the plans to sell this important community asset.

139 years ago, the Episcopal Church founded Christ Hospital to serve the critical medical needs of the north Hudson community. The City of Jersey City, Hudson County, and the State of New Jersey have invested in that mission, providing direct financial support and forgiving taxes on the hospital’s real estate and business operations. As a not-for-profit institution, Christ Hospital’s duty has been to put its patients and its community first, and reinvest any surplus into its mission.

Save Christ Hospital calls for:
  1. An open, transparent review process with substantial and meaningful public participation;
  2. A community needs assessment to determine essential services that must be provided;
  3. A formal bid process that state government, local government, and the public can see prior to any sale; and
  4. That any sale fully meet the CHAPA standard of no negative impact on the public interest, and that the state impose strong conditions to ensure:
  5. - continued access to all existing healthcare services for at least 10 years,
    - quality health care and health care outcomes,
    - access to services for the uninsured,
    - protection of existing staffing levels and workplace rights for employees, and
    - the use and governance of this important non-profit community asset based on community need.
Save Christ Hospital will work with Governor Christie, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to safeguard the public interest as required by the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act (CHAPA), and with the Hospital and potential buyers to help preserve the hospital’s and its historic mission of quality healthcare accessible to the whole community.

See the Hudson Reporter article, "Jersey City neighborhood associations form 'community oversight board' to monitor Christ Hospital sale."