November 27, 2018

Mayor Baraka Calls for Over Haul of University Hospital

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 Statement by Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka


“The deaths of three premature infants with an Acinetobacter bacteria and the infection of a fourth, all cared for at University Hospital, are stark reminders that an overhaul of the quality of care and the leadership of the hospital is urgently needed. The infants had a variety of other medical conditions, but the fact remains that they contracted the bacteria in the hospital’s neonatal ICU. The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness will work collaboratively with the New Jersey State Department of Health to continue careful monitoring of the situation in that unit.


“In July, Governor Murphy acted swiftly and decisively in appointing a monitor for University Hospital. Today, more action is needed. The hospital is central to providing health care to Newark residents, and I have been very concerned about its quality of care, its leadership’s failure to liveup to the Newark Agreement negotiated when the hospital was created, their insensitivity to the opinions of residents, their attempt to reduce the number of pediatric beds without consulting myself or the Governor, and the failinggrade they received on their level of care from the Leapfrog Group."

“The time has come for the State of New Jersey and the Newark community to collaborate in setting a new direction for University Hospital:

  1. The hospital needs to become     more responsive to the people it serves and sensitive to their needs. This     requires more community input with new leadership, including a new board     with adequate representation of Newark residents and a new President/CEO     with a history of sensitivity to community.
  2. State and federal investment is     needed to enable University Hospital to become the first-class teaching     hospital that it was intended to be, including an overhauled emergency     room, a world-class trauma center, and more outpatient clinics to meet the undeserved medical needs of the people of Newark.


“In 1968, the state and federal governments negotiated a detailed pact with the people of Newark to create a top-notch medical facility with community involvement and oversight in perpetuity. On the 50th anniversary of the Newark Agreement, it’s time to keep the promise.”