Source: The Record, Friday, October 20, 1995
Holy Name Hospital - 70 Years Young and Growing
With the Teaneck Community
When Holy Name Hospital was founded, Teaneck was little more than a rural village and Bergen County had only 250,000 inhabitants. Holy Name Hospital became a reality through the concern and dedication of two Teaneck surgeons, Dr. Frank McCormack and Dr. George Pitkin, and the leadership of Mother General Agatha Brown of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.
Recognizing the need to serve the sick and indigent of the community, the doctors appealed to Mother Agatha for help in finding a site and providing capable and caring Sisters for the administrative and nursing staff. The Hospital was erected on the estate of the late William Walter Phelps, which was purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Ground was broken in June 1924 and the hospital opened October 4, 1925.
Dr. McCormick became the medical director and Dr. Pitkin became the chief surgeon at Holy Name. Dr. Pitkin helped to put Holy Name Hospital on the medical map through his development of Spinocain, a method of spinal anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia had been practiced earlier but Dr. Pitkin brought it to a greater degree of safety by his formula, syringe, and technique. In his method was perfected.
In June 1926 a three-day fair was held by Governor A. Harry Moore to raise funds for the new hospital. It was the most successful event of its kind at that time in New Jersey.
With the completion of the George Washington Bridge in 1931, the cornfields and apple orchards that were once a familiar part of the landscape began to disappear. There was another surge in development at the end of World War II and the area soon became a thriving residential and business community.
Holy Name thrived as well. Two major additions, a 50-bed wing in 1930 and the Marian Pavilion, a 110-bed wing, completed in 1954, became taxed to capacity because of the growth and expansion of Bergen County.
The hospital has continued to expand over the years to meet constantly growing and changing needs of the community it serves. Today, Holy name has 361 beds serving 18,000 inpatients annually. Holy Name's medical staff is made up of 450 dedicated physicians with an administrative and support staff of 1,900 persons. Holy name's most recent large-scale expansion incorporated a new five-story building and renovation to a number of programs and services that enables Holy Name to continue to provide residents of Bergen County and beyond with the most advanced medical care in a contemporary health care setting.
The importance of women's health issues marks a new era in health care. The Women's Health Source at Holy Name Hospital is made up of two core service area. The BirthPlace, Northern new Jersey's first single-room maternity care unit, offer families the convenience and safety of experiencing all phases of the birthing process - labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum- in private suites. The Stella C. Van Houten outpatient center offers a wide range of educational, support and diagnostic services, including a comprehensive breast health program.
With surgical techniques continuously advancing, many procedures that once required long hospital stays can now be performed on a same-day basis. Holy Name's 22-bed Same Day Surgery unit allows patients to undergo procedures and return to their homes later that day.
The technology used to treat acute and chronic kidney failure has greatly improved in the last two decades. Holy Name's regional Dialysis Center, with 41 licensed stations, currently treats more than 350 individuals with kidney failure. The Dialysis Center is one of the largest community hospital-based programs in the nation.
Holy Name was the first hospital in this area to develop a cardiac rehabilitation program for patients who have undergone cardiac surgery or angioplasty. Since then, the program has earned a notable status that has led to a new cardiac fitness program. It emphasizes wellness by focusing on exercise, education, nutrition counseling, and emotional support through personalized plans.
When capabilities change because of illness of injury, patients can receive therapy at Holy Name's Rehabilitation Medicine Center to help them function at their highest capacity. To Rehabilitation medicine team also works closely with the staff of the Bernard W. Gimbel Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center, the only hospital-based facility in the state that specializes in the treatment of MS. What separates Holy Name from other hospitals is the variety of specialty services and programs that are offered to the community. These programs include: the Headache Center; the Eighth Nerve Hearing and Balance Center; DayAway, and adult medical day-care program; The Sniffles Club, a day-care program for mildly ill children; the Pain Management Center; Occupational Health Services; MedCall 24-hour free physician referral service; Chest Pain Emergency Room; and Home Care. In today's changing world, it is prudent for individuals to strive to prevent illness and disease. Holy Name's Community Health Services Department offers educational lectures, seminars, and workshops to educate the community and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Community Health Services' award-winning Health Check Program provides medical services for abused and homeless women and children in Bergen County's shelter system.
Holy Name Hospital's Outpatient Department provides clinical services to patients unable to afford the services of a private physician and the full cost of medical treatments. These clinics meet on a weekly basis and range from allergy treatment to cardiology care to infectious diseases and urology care, to name just a few.
As medical techniques advance, so does the role of a nurse. Holy Name Hospital's School of Nursing has educated and graduated thousands of nurses since 1925. The school operates one of the largest hospital-based nursing programs in New Jersey for the education of registered and licensed practical nurses.