Union Board of Adjustment greenlights Children’s Specialized Hospital move

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UNION, NJ — Health care expansion is needed now more than ever, especially with the continued coronavirus outbreak putting many on edge as we approach the upcoming school year. With anxiety building regarding the first day of school, the possibility of children falling ill to COVID-19 is every parent’s nightmare.

Easing fears, Children’s Specialized Hospital continues to branch out and is now expanding into Union Township. On July 22, the Union Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a variance that gives Children’s Specialized Hospital authorization to move to a vacant space, often referred to as the Money Store, located on 2840 Morris Ave. in the township.

“The facility will enable us to relocate the outpatient services at our Mountainside and Warren locations,” CSH marketing and public relations Director Megan Granozio said on July 31. “This facility will be a state-of-the-art facility providing optimal patient flow and adequate parking to accommodate our patients and families. It will allow Children’s Specialized Hospital the necessary growth to provide care to more children in need of our services.

“This will be an additional location added to the list of Children’s Specialized Hospital branches,” Granozio said. “But outpatient services currently at our Mountainside location will be transitioned to this new site. Our Mountainside location will now focus on long-term care, rehabilitation technology and other supporting functions of the hospital.”

The new Union location will have multiple uses, according to Granozio.

“The facility will provide the following outpatient services: primary care for children with special health care needs and specialty physician services, including neurodevelopmental, physiatry and psychiatry services,” Granozio said. “Therapy services will include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and psychology. Services will be offered to children from birth up to 21 years of age.”

The age of COVID-19 has made a number of facilities, businesses and establishments more safety oriented to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This new facility is no different, as health safety has always been a priority for the health care organization.

“The safety of our patients, families and staff members is our top priority,” Granozio said. “This facility will incorporate all of the appropriate features, processes and procedures to safely treat our patients and safely accommodate families and staff. We will also ensure state-of-the-art telehealth services continue to be offered as part of this facility.”

Many children are afraid of doctors’ offices and hospitals. To give this location more of an at-home feel, the new facility will include an enclosed playground on-site.

“The playground has a dual purpose,” Granozio said. “It can be used by our families for their child or the patient’s siblings while receiving care within the facility. Our therapists will also use it to integrate fun into their sessions while working on the child’s individual therapy goals in a natural environment.”

Though an opening date is yet to be announced, the facility, once opened, will be open daily.

“Hours of operation will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday,” Granozio said. “We will be providing evening and Saturday appointments to meet the needs of our patients and families.”

Expectations are high for the new facility.

“We anticipate this will be a smooth transition from our Mountainside and Warren facilities for our current patients and will allow even more patients in need of our services to receive care,” Granozio said. “The building is being designed with input from both our staff and current patient families — we are making their anticipated needs a priority.

“We are very excited about this facility,” Granozio continued. “Our clinicians and therapists will have a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility to provide our exceptional care to our patients and their families. We are making a significant investment into this facility and we are really excited about the potential this site has to offer the patients and families we care for. We are thrilled to now be part of the Union community.”

According to Union Construction Code Official Anthony Monguso, the facility will be approximately 67,825 square feet with three floors, holding approximately 142 to 200 treatment rooms.

Union Township Mayor Michele Delisfort said she is pleased to have this facility added to the township’s resources.

“We are honored to have the nation’s leading provider of specialized health care services for infants, children and young adults in our township,” Delisfort said on Aug. 3. “We are especially pleased to have a health facility of this caliber that our families with special-needs children can visit and receive services so close to home. Children’s Specialized Hospital joins a long line of premiere health facilities and offices offering our residents the best in health care.”

Photos Courtesy of Anthony Monguso