New medical center expected to be a ‘game changer’ for township, health care

The new medical center will bring technological advancements in the medical field to Harrison Township as the township addresses several concerns.

The nearly 465,000-square-foot Inspira Medical Center of Mullica Hill is inching closer to its mid-November launch date, creating a major shift in how those in the area will seek medical care. (Inspira Health Network/Special to The Sun).

After two years of construction, the new Inspira Medical Center in Mullica Hill will officially open in mid-November, signifying a major shift in health care in South Jersey.

CEO and president John DiAngelo said the $356 million medical center has a projected open date of Nov. 17, and it will deliver “state-of-the-art” medical care to an area that has been what Mayor Louis Manzo considers to be a hole in health care.

On the Delaware River and Atlantic Ocean sides of South Jersey, there’s an overabundance of hospitals and medical centers available, whether it’s one of Virtua, Cooper Medicine or AtlantiCare.

Manzo said with Inspira coming to Mullica Hill, it’s a “game-changer” in that people won’t have to drive to either end of the region for care. The medical center comes equipped with a maternity unit, pediatric emergency rooms, robotic technology and a soon-to-be cancer center (projected January open date).

DiAngelo said the Mullica Hill location will feature electronic medical records in patient rooms that will keep a patient’s vitals, reason for admission, care protocols and any other relevant information on a screen, easily accessed by medical professionals and to, hopefully, link it to the patient portal system.

If you happened to be admitted to a hospital or urgent care, it would funnel into the portal and would make the transition of care much easier because you won’t do duplicate testing,” DiAngelo said. “Mullica Hill will be used as a site for understanding what the center has to offer.”

He added the company’s Woodbury location will still remain where it is, and it’ll be focused more on mental health care, have an emergency department and other administrative offices.

With the new medical center comes roughly 1,400 jobs in various fields, and worries from residents concerning traffic congestion and if the township will become built-out.

The county is working with the township and Inspira to create a backroad entrance to the medical center from Ellis Mill Road.

We’ve talked to other areas that have had hospitals come up that weren’t there, which is often, and talking to the leadership on how to deal with something like that,” Manzo said. “The main thing is traffic. You have to make sure the medical center is accessible.

He added the township will also need to look into increasing its officers by two so the hospital has adequate security and patrols of the grounds and immediate areas.

As for protecting the township from being built-out, Manzo said after Inspira initially purchased the unoccupied land from Rowan University, the Joint Land Use Board was in the process of reviewing the township’s master plan to keep the town from being inundated with commercial and retail businesses.

The plan also methodically places where subdivisions, medical offices and other similar properties will go. Currently, Manzo said it calls for medical offices to be in the Richwood section of the township.

Inspira, Manzo added, will also contribute to keeping the township as green as possible, both literally and figuratively, with three acres of solar fields and the planting of more than 700 trees.

“Seven hundred trees are what it calls for to look kind of aesthetically pleasing,” Manzo said. “We were sticklers on that, even though they’re willing to do it, and having it fit with the community and meet the high standard we already have. We do it with our buildings.

On the opposite side of Route 55 near Dunkin’, Manzo added the hospital is an “economic driver” for the Richwood Project to undergo a few more changes before crews break ground “as early as the spring.”

To learn more about upcoming job fairs for the medical center, visit www.InspiraHealthNetwork.org.

We look at it saying that the goal is to provide the best quality of care to people in our community,” DiAngelo said.