Saturday, April 22, 2017
ON Monday I wrote concerning the draft Muhlenberg Redevelopment Plan: “I have seen no mention of an inpatient facility of any size in the proposal; no mention of a for profit entity being contacted; since there is no place for non-profits in today’s world.”----
“There is merit in that the plan may restore accessible physician’s services to Plainfield. But no quality local group services will be possible without inpatient availability.”
What struck me was the continued references to “Dwelling Units” or “Housing” and an ill-defined building for health care usage.
It refers to the City Master Plan; quote: “This Plan represents the City’s effort to restore the Muhlenberg site to productive use and to prevent it from falling into disrepair and becoming an eyesore. The Plan permits a mix of medical uses, including hospitals, and non-medical uses such as general offices and dwelling units that are designed to anchor the surrounding land use pattern and enhance the overall quality of life of Plainfield residents”
The Draft also infers that the Historical part of the Hospital will be destroyed after memorialization and such reference placed in the City Library. Except for the old entrance building which contained 2nd generation ORs on the 2nd floor and intern quarters on the 3rd floor; none of the structures have any potential use. The earlier OR wing had been converted to laboratories with the morgue in the basement.
I cannot visualize any of the recent hospital buildings with the exception of the wing containing the ER and OR being structural sound for conversion.
It would be ideal if a small acute care hospital could be included since that is the most pressing need for this community of over 50K and a surrounding area of more than 100K.
That would also be a focus for outpatient medical offices including specialists as well as generalists.
The realities of the situation are that there is in today’s medical climate no incentive for physicians to be in a medical mall without hospital access or affiliation. No hospital is a possibility without the interest of a for profit organization. Unfortunately there is no economic incentive for any affiliated hospital physician group to locate in Plainfield.
• Active political intervention in Trenton is needed to accomplish the above. The plan states “The City has made significant efforts since 2009 to bring a full-service hospital back to the site. These efforts have not been successful” I am not aware of such efforts in fact that when the hospital was first closed I was informed that potential “replacers” were never given a hearing.
• On page 32 the Draft states “The former JFK Muhlenberg hospital has been part of the fabric of the Plainfield community for over a century. The restoration of a similar use to the property will protect the character of the existing community”
• We should be assured that that is the prime objective for redevelopment.