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Overlook Medical Center Applauds NJ DOT Decision to Grant Helipad Application

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 Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, N.J., is an integrated health care delivery system powered by a workforce of over 16,000 team members and 4,796 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities. The system is comprised of over 400 sites of care, including six hospitals: Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Newton Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital.

It also includes Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network representing 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ. This network includes more than 900 physicians and providers within the Atlantic Medical Group, as well as members of the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners which work to enhance patient care delivery.

Atlantic Health System also supports communities through Atlantic Rehabilitation and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health. Atlantic Health System is a founding member of AllSpire Health Partners, a consortium of five leading health care organizations from the New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania region.