County, Saint Barnabas announce health care partnership

Photo Courtesy of Essex County
County officials gather with Saint Barnabas Medical Center staff on Dec. 28 to announce that SBMC is the health care partner at the Essex County vaccination site in the former Sears building at the Livingston Mall. Pictured, Essex County Hospital Center Assistant Director of Nursing Maria Magno receives a vaccination from SBMC Medical Staff President Dr. John Russo.

LIVINGSTON, NJ — On Dec. 28, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. announced a partnership with Saint Barnabas Medical Center to be the health care partner at the Essex County vaccination site in the former Sears building at the Livingston Mall. SBMC, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, will be the exclusive health care provider responsible for coordinating vaccinators at the Livingston Mall location. This clinic is open to residents of Belleville, Livingston, Millburn, Maplewood, Newark, Orange and South Orange. It is located in the former Sears building, 112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston.

As part of the announcement, Maria Magno, assistant director of nursing at the Essex County Hospital Center, was administered the COVID-19 vaccine before the site opened for the day.

“Getting five vaccination sites ready was just the first step in the process. We knew getting volunteers to staff the centers was just as crucial. When we approached RWJBarnabas Health and CEO Barry Ostrowsky, he did not hesitate in providing nurses to work at the vaccination center at the Sears building. This is just another example of the longstanding partnership we have with RWJBarnabas Health and the commitment to the community they have,” DiVincenzo said. “The COVID-19 vaccination will help stop the spread of the virus, but it will only be effective if at least 70 percent of the population receives the shot. Members of the public should feel confident that getting vaccinated in one of our centers will be safe.”

“RWJBarnabas Health has been working diligently with the state to support the New Jersey Department of Health’s ambitious vaccination plan to get 70 percent of the state’s adult population vaccinated in six months,” RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky said. “As the most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, we are committed to treating and saving the lives of patients with COVID-19 and to fighting the spread of the disease, protecting our team and community members and ending the pandemic. I am incredibly proud and grateful for the work, commitment to high-quality care and compassion that each of our front-line employees has demonstrated as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine is truly the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is thrilling to be supporting the Essex County executive in administering the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“Since early March, our amazing health care heroes at Saint Barnabas Medical Center have cared for more than 1,500 hospitalized patients. Until now, we have been on the defense with this virus, utilizing every tool that we have to treat it,” SBMC President and CEO Stephen Zieniewicz said. “We are excited to partner with our Essex County executive and embrace this historic vaccination effort for the residents of our community.”

“Saint Barnabas Medical Center is one of the finest health care institutions in the tristate area. Their expertise in providing health care will be crucial in ensuring our vaccination process runs as efficiently as possible. They are an ideal administrative partner for our Livingston Mall vaccination site, and we are fortunate to work with them to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to our residents,” County Commissioner President Brendan Gill said. Beginning this year, boards of chosen freeholders across the state have been renamed to county boards of commissioners.

This vaccination site will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residents can make appointments at www.EssexCOVID.org or by calling 973-877-8456. Vaccinations will be given in two doses. Residents making reservations to receive the vaccination will receive two appointments. It is critical that residents attend both appointments.

Limited doses of the vaccine are available, and the state Department of Health has compiled a phased-in approach to ensure the vaccine is distributed in a fair and equitable manner until larger quantities of the vaccine become available.

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