Hoboken Health Center reopens 20 months after Hurricane Sandy

The Hoboken Health Center reopened this morning after the building was damaged 20 months earlier during Hurricane Sandy.

Public officials and invited guests attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the grand re-opening and renovation of the Grand Street health center.

“It’s awesome they’re back,” said Linda Groomes, who works in the daycare on the building’s ground level.

Groomes said her 11 grandchildren who live in Hoboken, most of whom are 16 years old or younger, have received care at the health center.

The daycare she works at is on the first floor of the building — located at 124 Grand St. — and when the children get sick, their parents can bring them upstairs as walk-ins.

“That way they don’t have to go so far,” Groomes said. “Some parents don’t have the money to take the bus.”

While the center was closed, Hoboken residents received care in Jersey City, Union City and North Bergen in the interim, nursing coordinator Samantha Kolar said.

Open again, the health center will resume practicing internal medicine, pediatrics and gynecology, Kolar added.

It also offers nutritional and psychological counseling, and a children’s consultation service, President and Chief Executive Officer Joan Quigley said.

“There’s a growing need we’ve identified here in Hudson County,” Quigley added.
Although the center itself was not damaged during Sandy, the ground level of the building suffered extensive damage and only recently was made fully accessible again.

“The west end of Hoboken was under water,” said Linda Habermann, a member on the board of directors of the North Hudson Community Action Program.

“It was decimated down here,” she added. “There was a huge need” for the center to return.

Chief Financial Officer Michael Shababb told The Jersey Journal that the $10,000 worth of restorations to the second floor were mostly cosmetic and cleaning.

The Hoboken Health Center will continue to provide the “quality service we always have,” Quigley said before speaking of the center’s “get in, see the doctor and get out” mentality.

“We hand-picked our staff (who) embodies a mission we have here: to provide the best care,” added Carmen Mallamaci, chief medical officer.

The center originally opened as a small practice in February 2005, and has since grown into a health center with satellites.

Among the local dignitaries to attend the re-opening were Kearny Mayor Al Santos and Harrison Mayor James Fife.

“Santos and Fife have been very supportive of the center,” Quigley said, adding that a satellite of the North Hudson Community Action Corp. should be installed in Harrison by the end of the year, and a dental suite will be added in 2015.

“We’re working toward getting that done soon,” Fife said.

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Quigley opened the floor to questions.

One doctor addressed the concern of parking.

With street cleaning two days a week, designated residential parking spots and two-hour parking, she said, staff members at the Hoboken Health Center will not be able to park nearby during their shifts.

Quigley promised to speak with Mayor Dawn Zimmer about parking, but the situation is still unclear for employees. – Full Story on NJ.COM

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