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April 30, 2014, Summit, NJ – Today, Overlook Medical Center, New Jersey’s leading provider of neurosciences care, announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT) has granted approval for the hospital’s application to construct a helipad. The new helipad’s purpose is to shorten transportation-related delays for stroke patients in need of urgent, highly specialized treatment where time to care is a critical factor in survival and future quality of life.
Overlook Medical Center currently delivers innovative, life-saving treatment to stroke and aneurysm patients. The proposed helipad is intended for hospital-to-hospital transport of those requiring advanced emergency neurological and life-saving care. The addition of the helipad is not expected to impact the number of patients who need to be transferred to Overlook, but it can impact the clinical outcome for those patients who get to Overlook faster. Overlook estimates that the helipad will likely receive fewer than ten flights per month.
“Based on the NJ DOT decision, we clearly presented a solid case for the critical need of a helipad at our facility,” said Alan Lieber, president of Overlook Medical Center. “I’ve often said that our hospital has assembled a team of the best and brightest neurosciences practitioners in the nation. Today, I’m thankful that more patients in our region who are in critical, time-sensitive situations will be able to have faster access to our remarkable neurosciences team.”
State regulations require that applications for aeronautical facilities such as Overlook Medical Center’s helistop must include the input of the local land use authority as one of the initial steps in the process. The application to the Board of Adjustment was the initial step in the process. The regulations state that the Commissioner of Transportation makes the final decision after taking into consideration all the facts, including the Board of Adjustment’s decision.
“Moving forward, we want to continue the conversations we’ve been having with local community leaders,” continued Lieber. “We always seek opportunities to work in partnership with our neighbors in the Summit community and with the surrounding area as a whole. We are committed to keeping the lines of communication open, as well as to fostering a positive working partnership with the local community not just today, but in the years ahead.”
Overlook is not a trauma center, and this will not change with the addition of the helipad. The state regulates the number and location of trauma centers to ensure appropriate coverage. Fortunately, the Summit region is already well-served by a trauma center at Morristown Medical Center.
Since the hospital first identified its need for a helipad and approached the City of Summit more than five years ago, the focus has always been on serving the needs of a wider community. In addition to serving the residents of Summit, Overlook Medical Center will be able to provide critical neuroscience services to a greater region, aimed at improving access for those outside the city limits.
About Overlook Medical Center
Overlook Medical Center, located in Summit, NJ, is part of Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. Accredited by The Joint Commission, the hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Regional Hospital” for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Pulmonology, and Urology. Overlook Medical Center is verified as a Level IV Epilepsy Center.
Atlantic Neuroscience Institute treats more stroke and aneurysm patients than any other hospital in northern New Jersey and is a recipient of the Get With the Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award, placing its stroke program in the top five percent in the country by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.