Palisades Medical Center

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Palisades Medical Center
Hackensack University Health Network
Palisades Med Center jeh.JPG
Location 7600 River Road
North Bergen, New Jersey, United States
Care system Medicare (US), Medicaid
Hospital type Regional
Affiliated university Hackensack University Health Network
Standards JCAHO
Emergency department Yes
Beds 350
Website PMC
Lists Hospitals in the United States

HMH Palisades Medical Center is a 202-bed hospital located in North Bergen, New Jersey, United States, that serves a population of 400,000 in Hudson County and in Southern Bergen County. The non-profit medical center is part of the Hackensack Meridian Health Network. Connected to the hospital is The Harborage, a 247-bed nursing home and rehabilitation center.[1] With more than 1,300 employees, Palisades is the largest employer in its service area and it has an annual operating budget of approximately $150 million.

The State of New Jersey’s annual healthcare report card ranked Palisades as one of the top hospitals in the state and first in Hudson County. Palisades was also one of only two hospitals in New Jersey to receive a perfect 100% score in treating heart attack patients.[2] The State's annual evaluation showed that The Harborage at Palisades had "zero deficiencies" - a rating received by only 3% of health care facilities statewide - for three consecutive years.[3]

The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) recognized Palisades Medical Center with its Community Outreach Award in 2011 for a program that serves residents who may not get needed healthcare services due to socioeconomic and language issues.[4][5] Palisades Medical Center’s community outreach and education programs are funded in part by Abbott Nutrition, the Aetna Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation, Schering-Plough Corporation, TD Charitable Foundation and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.[6]


Palisades was formerly known as North Hudson Hospital in Weehawken, New Jersey. In 1978, the hospital was relocated to the North Bergen waterfront and renamed Palisades Medical Center.[7] It is situated on the Hudson Waterfront at the site of Bulls Ferry.

The hospital's location on the waterfront, across from Manhattan, and situated between the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge, makes it a vital component of the area's emergency response in the event of disasters in the Hudson River area, or widespread disasters in the surrounding urban areas, including New York City.[8] This was demonstrated on January 15, 2009, when two survivors of the Flight 1549 crash landing were taken to Palisades Medical Center following their rescue, where they were treated for hypothermia. On July 28, passengers Dave Sanderson and Barry Leonard organized a thank you luncheon on the Center's shores for the hospital staff and emergency responders from Hudson County who had rescued them and treated them.[9][10]

The Palisades Medical Center Foundation gathers support from local residents, businesses and other organizations to enable Palisades Medical Center and the Harborage to more effectively serve the community by improving facilities and programs.[11] The Palisades Medical Center Fashion Show raises funds for Guardians of Healing, a group of local health care professionals who serve in countries in need of medical assistance.[12]

In 2009, the hospital began carrying out renovations and remodeling of its Emergency Department, the first phase of which was completed at the end of July 2010. The renovations were implemented to improve capacity, community access, patient safety and quality of health care delivery. The changes included reconfiguration of the nursing station to improve workflow and augment patient privacy, the presence of all board certified physicians, renovated patient rooms, waiting areas, pediatric care unit and digital radiology, and improved communication to track emergency patients during critical periods and provide medical staff updated status reports, including laboratory and radiology results. The upgrades were made amid a declaration from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies that the United States is experiencing an epidemic of overcrowded emergency departments, a problem particularly severe in New Jersey, due to its high population density (New Jersey has the highest in the county[13]), and a poverty rate in the North Hudson and South Bergen Counties that is four times the New Jersey average. Renovations planned in 2010 were designed to allow walk-in patients direct access to the Emergency Room from the waiting area.[14]


By 2009, waiting times at Palisades Medical Center were reduced to nine minutes, with a maximum of 11 minutes, improvements that were attributed to the a mid-2009 update to PMC's emergency room, specifically, the construction of a Rapid Evaluation Unit (REU), in which patients are asked questions and treated by two nurses: a technician and a physician. The REU features digital radiology, a Picis computer system that permits rapid delivery of a patient's history, a Vital Works computer system that provides staff with up-to-the-minute updates, new cardiac, stroke and ventilator equipment, a renovation of patient waiting rooms and staff facilities, and a pneumatic tube that can vacuum specimens directly to the hospital's lab.[15]

Palisades Medical Center received among the highest scores in Hudson County in the New Jersey Department of Health's 2009 Hospital Performance Report, which is based on self reporting from each institution. The Center scored in the top 10% of hospitals in the state for their care of heart attacks, surgical improvements, and heart failure, receiving 100, 98 and 100 in those areas, respectively, percentages which represent the number of patients treated properly and released. PMC received 98% for pneumonia, greater than 50% of hospitals in the study. Its performance in pneumonia was due to a 98% correct preventative antibiotic timing, and 93% blood culture rate. Beginning and ending antibiotic treatment at the right time crucial to prevent infection. At PMC .03 of patients received accidental punctures or lacerations, compared to a national average of 3.6. PMC had a post-operative sepsis rate of 42 per 1,000, compared with a 2004 national average of 11.4 cases per 1,000 patients treated (four times higher than the national average), and a 2007 statewide rate of 13.9 cases per 1,000 patients.[16]

In October 2010, Lori-Ann Ligon, the director of Respiratory Care at PMC, was given the 2010 Instrumentation Laboratory (IL) Achievement Award by the New Jersey Society for Respiratory Care (NJSRC) at the NJSRC's annual conference in Atlantic City.[17] The IL Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to both the state society in general, and the Respiratory Care profession in general.[18][19]

Medical record controversy[edit]

On September 21, 2007, actor George Clooney and companion Sarah Larson were taken to Palisades Medical Center for treatment after a motorcycle accident. Information that Clooney was a patient at the hospital was disseminated to the media before any official hospital statement had been issued, leading officials to suspect an internal leak. The hospital conducted an audit and announced that 27 employees had accessed Clooney's information without prior authorization. All 27 employees were suspended for one month without pay. The employees included nurses, support staff, and security guards. A union representing some staff challenged seven of the suspensions.[20][21]


Anthony Passanante, MD became the hospital's Acting President on June 2, 2017. Departing President and CEO Bruce J. Markowitz, announced his retirement after 24 years, effective June 30, 2017. Theresa de León, Esq. is Chairwoman of the Board of Governors.[22]


  1. ^ "Palisades Medical Center and Hackensack University Health Network Sign Affiliation Agreement", Palisades Medical Center. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  2. ^ Tirella, Tricia. "Practice makes perfect; Palisades staff refreshes cardio support skills with mannequin", Hudson Reporter, March 21, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2013. "PMC was rated as one of the top hospitals in New Jersey’s annual healthcare report card and as the best in Hudson County. It also was one of only two hospitals in New Jersey to receive a 100 percent score in treating heart attack patients."
  3. ^ Staff. "North Bergen Briefs", Hudson Reporter, November 14, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2013. "Harborage at PMC receives ‘zero deficiencies’ – For the third consecutive year in a row, the Harborage at Palisades Medical Center, a 245-bed nursing home and rehabilitation center, received “zero deficiencies” after the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) conducted a six-day evaluation focused on a dozen quality of care and quality of life issues. Only 3 percent of facilities in the entire state receive this score."
  4. ^ Staff. "North Briefs", Hudson Reporter, January 23, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2013. "Palisades Medical Center’s Faith-Based Community Outreach Initiative received the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) 2011 Community Outreach Award on Jan. 14. The outreach program reaches Hudson and Bergen County residents who may have ignored healthcare needs due to economic, social, and language barriers by bringing free health screenings and affordable treatments to their places of worship."
  5. ^ "25: FREE COMPREHENSIVE BREAST HEALTH AND AWARENESS PROGRAM", Beyond Hospital Walls: Highlights of N.J. Hospitals' Community Outreach Programs, 2000-2005, Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "NJHA Recognizes Palisades Medical Center’s Community Outreach Program", Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "Palisades Medical Center Celebrates 25 Years on the North Bergen Waterfront" (Press release). September 23, 2003. Archived from the original on May 4, 2006.
  8. ^ "Palisades Medical Center expands emergency department to meet increased community need" The Union City Reporter; August 15, 2010; Page 11
  9. ^ "'Miracle on the Hudson' survivors to return to waterfront" The Union City Reporter. July 26, 2009. p. 4
  10. ^ Tirella, Tricia. "A pat on the back". The Union City Reporter. pp. 5 and 17
  11. ^ About Us, Palisades Medical Center Foundation. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  12. ^ Groething, Roy. "Palisades Medical Center Fashion Show". "Out & About" Palisade magazine. Summer 2010. p. 46
  13. ^ GCT-PH1-R. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density (geographies ranked by total population): 2000 Archived 2003-10-18 at the Wayback Machine.. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 3, 2010
  14. ^ "Hospital improves ER service". Hudson Dispatch Weekly. July 29, 2010. pp. 1 and 2
  15. ^ Tirella, Tricia. "Palisades updates ER; Hospital’s wait times reduced to around nine minutes", Hudson Reporter, September 20, 2009. Accessed June 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Tirella, Tricia. "Palisades scores highest in Hudson County North Bergen hospital in top 10 percent of state", Hudson Reporter, October 25, 2009, pp. 5 and 6. Accessed June 27, 2018. "The state recently released its sixth annual New Jersey 2009 Hospital Performance Report, and Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen had the highest scores in Hudson County. Read more: Hudson Reporter - Palisades scores highest in Hudson County North Bergen hospital in top 10 percent of state ".
  17. ^ Annual Shore Conference New Jersey Society for Respiratory Care. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  18. ^ Norquist, Dr. Sallie. "Palisades Medical Center's Lori-Ann Ligon receives NJSRC 2010 Achievement Award" The Union City Reporter, November 7, 2010, Page 15
  19. ^ "Palisades Medical Center’s Lori-Ann Ligon Receives NJSRC 2010 Achievement Award". My Bergen. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  20. ^ Jim Hague (October 14, 2007). "Hospital suspends 27 for looking at Clooney's files". Weehawken Reporter.
  21. ^ Bruce Lambert and Nate Schweber (October 10, 2007). "Hospital Workers Punished for Peeking at Clooney File". The New York Times.
  22. ^ Meet The Team, Palisades Medical Center. Retrieved July 18, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°47′38″N 73°59′47″W / 40.7938°N 73.9965°W / 40.7938; -73.9965