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Saturday, June 19, 2021
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(Courtesy of SMGH) The advisory board at St. Mary’s General Hospital recently had a virtual meeting to discuss progress at the hospital and to obtain ideas from the board that will help us serve the frum community. We welcomed two new members who replaced Dr. Elliott Samet, z”l, whom we lost to COVID last year, and Esther East, former executive director of Jewish Family Services. who retired.

The new members are:

Dr. Andy Pomrantz, pediatrics and pediatric nephrology, is a longtime member of the Passaic-Clifton frum community. He earned his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency at Montefiore Hospital Medical Center, so he is very familiar with our world—locally and generally. With younger families in our kehilla, we need a pediatrician to guide us concerning the needs of this population.

Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is associate rosh yeshiva at Ner Boruch/PTI and writes a column in two local publications. He also oversees a drop-in center for troubled teens and will be a valuable asset to our advisory board as we expand our education programs in the community.

They will join the advisory board members Rabbi Moshe Krupka, executive vice president and university ombudsman of Touro College and University System; Dr. Michael Rosen, medical director of Hatzolah; Rabbi Dr. Eli Rybak, reproductive endocrinologist; and Rabbi Col. (Ret.) Ira Kronenberg.

“Welcome all advisory board members,” said Ed Condit, CEO of St. Mary’s General. “Thank you to the two new members, and we are looking forward to your guidance as we move forward in the community. These past 14 months have been hard on everybody, and this week, for the first time, we do not have any COVID patients. Rather than discuss COVID, I am going to highlight other improvements we have had during this pandemic.

“We are building medical leaders with our graduate medical education programs, which now include Internal medicine residency and podiatric medicine residency, and will soon include psychiatry,” Condit continued. “Over the next five years we will be adding more programs, all of which means more doctors will be in our community.

“Going forward we have planned for 2021 a lung cancer screening program; expanded graduate medical education (GME); stroke care and neuro-interventions; neurosurgery; a bariatric/weight loss center; and a foot and ankle reconstruction center. Some of these are under construction, and others will be started soon. We also plan to leverage the Prime Healthcare network and our sister hospitals St. Michael’s and St. Clare’s to maximize patient access to specialty heart care by connecting services and experts. We are doing this now with behavioral health issues and have a webinar planned for June 3. Now I would like to hear ideas from you board members.”

Rabbi Kronenberg suggested sponsoring education programs for the community such as a medical ethics seminar and also including CEU credits for medical professionals.

Rabbi Krupka agreed and expanded on that idea by offering some joint programs with Touro, especially with GME and education programs—in particular a physician assistant GME program, which is common with frum ladies in the kehilla. “We should have a Shomer Shabbat GME program which will benefit everybody,” he said, “coverage on Sundays and holidays for residents who are off on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.” He also suggested a vaccination program for children, as it may be something that the state will require as kids return to school.

Rosen added that many people do not have a primary care physician, and that we should look to partner with primary care practices to help the community.

It was noted that the hospital is working with Touro and their social workers program. We have provided speakers and consulted on programs and now we will work on the medical side.

Condit ended the meeting by announcing that the hospital has taken over the EMT program with the City of Passaic and City of Clifton. Rosen indicated that paramedics are needed with Hatzolah, and there is a shortage of them in New Jersey; consequently, some education programs would be very helpful. There will be some conversations with individual advisory board members to implement some of the ideas discussed.


St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferred—among the top hospitals in America for health, quality, and patient safety. A center of excellence for maternal-child, the hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care, to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country including a “Top 15 Healthcare System” by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about St. Mary’s General Hospital, visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, Community Liaison at [email protected]

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