Making Sense of the Dollars & Cents
In an economic downturn, the expansion of
Completing the expansion in the face of the current downturn promotes confidence in the local economy, said John J. Gantner, executive vice president of Finance and Partner Company Operations for Meridian Health.
“This is a magnificent investment for this area, and one we hope it also helps turn the local economy,” Gantner said.
The expansion already helped to create jobs during its construction phase. As many as 525 local contractors and workers were employed each year on the project since ground was broken in 2006. And by 2011, another 264 full-time jobs are projected to be added to the 3,000 employees currently working at
“It will be a good cross section of well-diversified full-time employee opportunities,” Gantner said. “Along with nurses and pharmacists, you’ll have jobs in security, environmental service, and food service. It will represent not only more jobs but career opportunities for local residents.”
The initial planning for the expansion began almost seven years ago, long before the economy began its downturn, Gantner noted. “This is a long-term investment providing added health care services for an area that continues to grow,” he said. “The economy is a temporary situation. We plan on being very, very careful with our operating costs until the economy is on a more secure footing.”
“Needless to say,
While other hospitals have experienced a decrease in demand for their services, this has not been the trend at
Part of the growth reflects the continuing population expansion in the Monmouth and Ocean county area, but that is not the only reason.
The expansion is designed to support continued growth. The project added 136 new beds for a 563 total bed capacity. An additional 36-bed floor and another 12-bed intensive care unit are “shells” ready-to-go units that need only furnishings and equipment to be operational when the need arises. The hospital can also add floors to either of its two new buildings if the demand for beds continues to increase.
As the next step in its growth,
“Residents looking for higher end medical services tended to go to north
The Monmouth and Ocean county area deserve the services an expanded