Hackensack University Medical Center announces opening of Helena Theurer Pavilion

January 25, 2023
Newswise — HACKENSACK, NJ – Hackensack University Medical Center’s 530,000-square-foot Helena Theurer Pavilion is now open — and this state-of-the-art, nine-story surgical and intensive care tower is raising the bar on patient care excellence in the New York metropolitan area. The Pavilion features all-private patient rooms and the latest “smart hospital” technology, with every detail optimized to deliver an outstanding patient experience.

“This is one of the largest hospital construction projects in the country and we could not be more proud to advance healthcare for the communities we are privileged to serve,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.. “This new smart hospital expansion is a great example of Hackensack Meridian Health building the health system of the future.’’

The Pavilion includes:

24 operating rooms
72 post-anesthesia care unit beds
50 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds
175 medical/surgical beds, including a Musculoskeletal Institute and intermediate care rooms
6 da Vinci robotic surgical systems, including one single port system
4 orthopedic robots for joint replacement procedures
Specially Equipped Operating Rooms Promote Efficiency and Safety

Six of the Pavilion’s operating rooms are specially designed to accommodate robotic-assisted surgery systems, allowing nationally and internationally recognized surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures that may reduce recovery time and improve outcomes. The six-room robotic surgery “pod” is surrounded by a sub-sterile core, enabling team members to move between operating rooms while remaining inside the sterile environment, decreasing infection risk for patients and enhancing workflow.

Each robotic surgery operating room is equipped with video conferencing technology that gives pathologists a virtual view of the surgical field and the ability to interact with surgeons in real-time — translating to less time under anesthesia for patients, improved efficiency for surgeons and pathologists, and potentially, better overall surgical outcomes. The technology also gives students and colleagues the opportunity to view procedures and interact with surgeons performing pioneering robotic surgical procedures.

The Pavilion also includes New Jersey’s first intraoperative MRI system, which is used during neurosurgical and neuro-interventional procedures to help neurosurgeons accurately remove tumors and treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and more.

Amenities Designed with Patients and Families in Mind

When 48 year old Jessica started to experience severe abdominal pain the Wednesday before New Year’s Eve, she tried her best to ignore it.

“Nobody wants to go to the hospital over a long holiday weekend,” says Jessica. But the pain was so excruciating, Jessica ended up in the emergency department of Hackensack University Medical Center on Friday, where she was diagnosed with gallstones and a bile duct blockage that would require surgery.

“Typically, I would have most likely had to wait in the hospital until Monday to be operated on, not my idea of a fun way to ring in 2023,” says the Lyndhurst resident. But Jessica was one of the first people in New Jersey to benefit from the new Helena Theurer Pavilion.

Jessica’s surgeon was immediately able to schedule her for a robotic surgery that would have her home by New Year’s Eve. “It was amazing, I had the procedure on Saturday morning to remove the blockage and my gallbladder, I rested in my private room in the early afternoon and was discharged and home by 6 p.m.,” she explains.

After surgery, patients, like Jessica, stay in single occupancy rooms equipped with the latest technology, including an in-room tablet at the bedside that allows patients to control the lights, shades, TV and room temperature and a flat-screen TV equipped with patient education modules and family-friendly video chat capabilities.

“It was absolutely beautiful with floor to ceiling windows, gorgeous views, it was really quiet, no overhead paging or noisy equipment, I felt like I was in a hotel rather than a hospital,” says Jessica.

In addition to incorporating features that enhance patient comfort, the facility promotes patient safety and team member efficiency. It includes dedicated CT imaging on the ICU floor, a monitor tablet outside each patient room that provides information for team members, in-room team workstations and patient lift systems.

A Pandemic/Health Emergency-Ready Environment

The Helena Theurer Pavilion includes 12 negative-pressure rooms to reduce the risk of aerosolized disease transmission within the hospital environment. However, the Pavilion also includes another unique feature: The entire Pavilion can be converted to a negative-pressure facility in the event of a future pandemic or public health emergency.

Other pandemic/health emergency-readiness features include “pass-throughs,” which are small ports that allow IV tubing and cords to extend outside the patient’s room without compromising negative-pressure airflow, and nurse server systems, which are secure, two-way drawers that allow nurses to stock supplies from outside the patient room and access supplies inside the room.

These features prevent team member exposure to infectious diseases and reduce PPE usage by limiting the number of times a nurse must enter a patient’s room. During non-pandemic times, they also improve the overall patient experience by reducing disruptions to sleep and conversations with family.

“Our community depends on us, and we want members of the communities we serve to know that we have the technology and expertise to provide the most advanced, compassionate care they need in a comfortable environment, when they need it most,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president, Northern Region, and president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center.

“As a colorectal surgeon, I’ve spent my life working in hospitals,” said Howard Ross, M.D., colorectal surgeon and Chair of Surgery/Surgeon-in-Chief at Hackensack University Medical Center. “The Pavilion is unmatched in terms of design, technology and patient experience — and from the operating rooms to the patient rooms to the family and visitor areas, it’s an environment that promotes leading-edge care, healing and well-being.”

While the unexpected trip to the hospital was not at all how Jessica planned to close 2022, she says she’s thankful she chose Hackensack University Medical Center for her care. “I’ve been in hospitals before, and nothing else compares, the new Pavilion truly is impressive and it is because of its technology that I was able to get back home as quickly as I did.”

Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, was Bergen County’s first hospital founded in 1888. It was also the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center is Nationally Ranked by U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. The hospital is home to the state's only nationally ranked Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery programs, as well as the best Cardiology & Heart Surgery program. It also offers patients nationally ranked Orthopedic care and one of the state’s premier Cancer Centers (John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center). Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as High-Performing in conditions such as Acute Kidney Failure, Heart Attack (AMI), Heart Failure, Pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes and Stroke. As well as High Performing in procedures like Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG), Colon Cancer Surgery, Lung Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery, Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement. This award-winning care is provided on a campus that is home to facilities such as the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, the children’s nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States. Hackensack University Medical Center is also home to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and is listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Our comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 175 medical/surgical beds including a 50 room Musculoskeletal Institute.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. The network has 18 hospitals and more than 500 patient care locations, which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers, physician practice locations, and a fitness and wellness center. With more than 35,000 team members and 7,000 physicians, Hackensack Meridian Health is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy and committed to the health and well-being of communities throughout New Jersey. The network’s notable distinctions include having more U.S. News-ranked hospitals than any other health system in New Jersey, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, 2022-23. Hackensack University Medical Center is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, are ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, their combined nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States.