The excitement is building in Newark’s South Ward as the historic $150 million expansion project known as Newark Strong is transforming Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBI) and its neighborhood. The project represents a major investment in the medical center’s close relationship with its community.
The new main entrance on Lyons Avenue will feature a 17,000-squarefoot glass-enclosed lobby. “Our main entrance used to appear fortress-like,” says Darrell K. Terry, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer of NBI and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “The new lobby is light-filled and welcoming, letting the community know that we’re here for them.” The space will include lounge chairs, bench seating and planter boxes, as well as a meeting room for community organizations.
The glass installation for the entire project is being performed by Josloff Glass, a woman-owned business in the South Ward. “We’re committed to making sure this project truly benefits the community we serve,” Terry says. The hospital will invest 30 percent of the project’s construction costs in Newark-based businesses, as well as in other minority-, female- and veteran-owned businesses. On the Lyons Avenue side of the medical center, five pocket parks with seating and shrubbery, along with tree plantings, are being created. “We want the area to be less industrial and more community-oriented,” Terry explains. “This project is part of the greening of Newark.”
Inside, expansion and upgrading plans are moving forward. They include: A 4,000-square-foot Emergency Department (ED) expansion, with 10 new private exam rooms with sliding glass doors, a new waiting room and a new fast-track intake area. A new ED entrance will have a canopy and signage that can easily be seen from multiple perspectives. The Pediatrics ED will have a separate entrance and waiting area, along with new treatment rooms. The new Emergency Services Pavilion will be named for the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, which has committed $5 million toward the project.
A 24-bed Geriatric Unit with private rooms featuring nuanced design. This design includes beds that reduce the risk of pressure injuries, cushioned slip-resistant flooring, handrails in hallways and fold-down jump seats for quick seating if needed. Common areas have vibrant colors to make wayfinding easier.
A new state-of-the-art Critical Care Unit, with 13 right-sized private rooms to accommodate equipment, support staff and visitors. Each room will have a built-in desk and television and high-end pullout sleeper sofa so a loved one can spend the night. A centralized nursing station will provide a clear line of sight to patients at all times.
Other highlights include the 34-bed Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Mother-Baby Unit with private, newly renovated rooms, and new hybrid Operating Rooms to provide care for the most complex cardiac cases.