SUMMIT, NJ - Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center today filed its application with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for approval to build a helipad that they assert will advance the hospital’s stroke center.
Overlook Medical Center houses the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute (ANI), which serves as the hub for the New Jersey Stroke Network, a group of hospitals treating 40 percent of the state’s stroke patients.
“Overlook Medical Center has assembled a team of the best and brightest neuroscience practitioners in the nation,” said Alan Lieber, president, Overlook Medical Center. “Without a helipad, we are losing valuable, life-saving opportunities to engage these doctors. With our staff’s ability to provide innovative care and expertise, a helipad is essential to ensuring stroke victims in critical, time sensitive situations can access our facility.”
The helipad at Overlook Medical Center would be designed specifically for hospital-to-hospital transport of patients requiring advanced neurological care, and is intended to shorten transportation-related delays for stroke patients in need of urgent, highly specialized care where time is critical. Overlook expects the number of flights to range from five to nine per month.
Overlook maintains that the helipad would not be used to receive trauma patients from the surrounding area -- a concern expressed by some Summit residents because Overlook Medical Center is not a trauma center and is incapable of becoming one. Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center serves that purpose, and would be the receiving facility for trauma-related transfers.
Overlook further states that, because the goal of the helipad is to expedite the treatment of stroke victims – a very specific group of patients – the number of flights into Overlook Medical Center would not result in significant economic gain for the hospital, which is a not-for-profit facility.
“Overlook Medical Center presented a clear case for the important need of a helipad at its facility, and looks forward to hearing from the New Jersey Department of Transportation with regard to this application,” Lieber said.