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."