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Expanding Children’s and Emergency Services

March 5, 2021

Design for the Children's Center at Overlook Medical Center.

Big things are in store for Overlook’s smallest patients. 

Construction is underway on the Hersh Children’s Center, linking the Meri and Sol Barer Inpatient Pediatric Center (currently housed on Overlook’s sixth floor) to the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department for better coordinated care of patients, ages 0-21. The new 12,000- square-foot center – slated for completion in mid- 2021 – will co-locate and centralize all pediatric services in one new, state-of-the-art facility for expert, efficient and compassionate care for children and their families. 

“Consolidating emergency and inpatient pediatric services will dramatically reduce the time between an emergency room visit and admission to an inpatient room for children requiring hospitalization. It will improve continuity of care by having one clinical team dedicated to patients from point of entry through their inpatient stay. And it will translate into a more comfortable, convenient experience for patients and parents in a space that is exclusively for kids,” says Pamela F. Love, MD, MHS, FAAP, director, Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department, who provided input in designing the center’s floor plan. 

The Hersh Children’s Center will include the following: 

  • Nine inpatient rooms, including an isolation room and Liam’s Room for patients with serious chronic conditions or life-limiting illnesses. 
  • Eight emergency department rooms staffed by fellowship-trained pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric subspecialists and pediatric nurses. ·
  • One flexible room for emergency department patients or inpatients and families. · 
  • An “imaginarium” play area with large windows, skylights and a garden outside the entrance. 
  • Family lounges, comfortable waiting areas and patient consultation rooms. 
  • In-room accommodations for parents to stay the night with their children. 
  • A security desk near the combined emergency and pediatric entrance for added safety. 

The Hersh Children’s Center is funded, in part, by a $2 million grant from the Dorothy B. Hersh Foundation. Established in 1979 to fulfill the wishes of the late Dorothy B. Hersh, the Hersh Foundation provides grants for capital expenditures benefiting the needs of hundreds of thousands of children throughout the state of New Jersey. 

“The children’s center is a project near and dear to our hearts,” comments Harriet L. Donnelly, Hersh Foundation administrator. “We are thrilled to partner with Overlook on a project that will raise the standard of pediatric emergency and inpatient care in northern New Jersey.” 

Bouras Emergency Services 

With visits to the Emergency Department topping 70,000 annually, Overlook is embarking on a major expansion of its emergency care services. 

A $2.5 million pledge from the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation will help make that expansion a reality in mid- 2021 by funding additional patient rooms in the Emergency Department as well as relocating the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Department to the Hersh Children’s Center adjacent to the current Emergency Department. 

The gift – the largest of several provided to Overlook by the Bouras Foundation over the past 25 years – includes a challenge that requires Overlook Foundation to raise another $2.5 million for the project, starting in January 2021. 

“Were he still alive, Mr. Bouras would be pleased to be helping people in the community to recover as quickly as possible,” says William Crane, president and trustee of the Bouras Foundation. “He loved Overlook and the people of this area. He’d also like challenging other community organizations, businesses, and philanthropists to step up and join him with their support.” 

For more information, contact Clelia Biamonti, PhD, Executive Director for the Overlook Foundation at 908-522-2170.

Constructing a new emergency department during a pandemic is no easy feat, but we've taken great care to keep it functioning and safe. We’ve made major investments in top-of-the-line HVAC and air filtration systems, state-of-the art patient and exam rooms, and other features to maximize patient safety and comfort.”

– Martin Manfredo, Project Manager