Taken from the Bridgewater Courier News
By Nick Muscavage
January 3, 2018
MONTGOMERY – The merger of Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic is official, and executives already have plans underway for several behavioral health projects throughout the region.
On Thursday morning, officials with Edison-based Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic, joined by state Department of Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, sat down at the Belle Mead campus and signed paperwork making the months-long deal official.
“Today is certainly a very special day for Carrier Clinic and for Hackensack Meridian Health,” said Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “We’re going to really rewrite the chapter on how behavioral healthcare services are going to be delivered here in New Jersey and beyond.”
Some of the major takeaways from the announcement were plans to expand ambulatory addiction treatment centers throughout the state and other healthcare services such as:
- Opening the first addiction treatment center jointly operated by Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic in the Bergen County area in 2019.
- Establishing behavioral health urgent care centers throughout New Jersey, with the first facility set to open in 2019 in Neptune.
- Setting up “tele-psychiatry” technology to provide treatment services 24/7.
- Investing $25 million in Carrier Clinic’s Belle Mead campus for infrastructure, technology and expansion of services.
“Unfortunately, too many New Jersey residents are still traveling long distances, particularly young people — some are traveling with their families across the country — to receive addiction treatment services,” Garrett said. “We’re committed on expanding addiction treatment services here in New Jersey.”
Garrett said the addition of behavioral health to urgent care already offered by Hackensack Meridian Health “will give people the opportunity to receive services 24/7 at a more convenient location.”
Garrett said behavioral healthcare is fragmented throughout the country. In order to address this, the new partnership will form a Behavioral Health Oversight Board structured with an equal number of representatives from Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic to coordinate behavioral health programs.