JFK Medical Center began in the 1960’s as little more than a dream and an idea in response to the increasing demand for health care services created by a rapid population growth occurring in Edison, Woodbridge, Metuchen and surrounding communities.
Paving the Way
The late Edison Mayor, Anthony M. Yelencsics, for whom the original community hospital was named, led a grassroots effort to open a hospital to meet this demand. Mayor Yelencsics was appointed board chairman of the future hospital and his first official action was to establish a Women’s Auxiliary. The Mayor asked long-time community resident and advocate, Mrs. Charles Wira of Edison, to take on the responsibility of starting the Auxiliary – in order to raise funds and solicit support for the future community hospital.
Mayor Yelencsics convinced Edison officials to donate nearly 40 acres of township land for the hospital. He then lobbied with congressional leaders – such as Middlesex County’s own Rep. Edward J. Patten – to win $1.1 million in Hill-Burton funds, which at the time represented the largest single grant awarded in New Jersey under that program. By this time, before the hospital had even opened its doors, more than $110,000 in pledges had been raised in community donations by the Auxiliary.
Over the next few decades, JFK Medical Center has continued to expand and invest in technology that brings state-of-the-art health care to everyone in our community.
New Jersey’s newest 205-bed hospital opens its doors and admits its first patient.
Construction begins on the hospital’s first expansion program that included the Women’s Auxiliary Pavilion and the Robert Wood Johnson Jr. Rehabilitation Institute (known today throughout the nation as the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute).
The JFK Family Medicine Center opens to provide patients with patient-centered care and a wide array of services.
JFK enhances its scope of services by entering the long-term care arena with the addition of the Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent & Rehabilitation Centers, which provide a wide range of special services for long-term and residential care.
Hartwyck at Oak Tree opens, offering skilled nursing services and respite care in pleasant, comfortable surroundings.
Mediplex Surgery Center opens its doors. The Mediplex Surgery Center, located across the street from the Medical Center, is a hospital-based ambulatory surgery center designed to cater to pediatric patients’ special needs as well as adolescent and adult patients.
New Jersey’s first Huntington’s Disease Unit opens at Hartwyck Cedar Brook.
- Haven Hospice opens inside of JFK. Haven Hospice is for patients and their families who are coping with a life-threatening illness.
New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK opens. The creation of the Institute attracts top neuroscience experts from all across the United States with its clinical research and trials, medical and surgical education and innovative treatment protocols.
Hartwyck at Edison Estates opens. Hartwyck at Oak Tree is a unique facility that provides not only geriatric care, but also specialized care for residents who are ventilator-dependent or suffering from traumatic brain injury.
The new, five story Patient Tower opens its doors. The expansion project includes eight new operating rooms; a new maternity unit; and a centralized location for the New Jersey Neuroscience Institute.
- Solaris Health System is formed. This community-owned, not-for-profit health system serves the residents of the greater Central New Jersey region, including Union and Somerset counties.
Solaris Health System is renamed JFK Health System to better reflect our continued commitment to the communities we serve.
JFK Medical Center honored with an “A” for Hospital Safety in 2012 by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit group.
- JFK Medical Center’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Program is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and is a recipient of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award in 2012.
- JFK receives the Target Stroke Honor Roll Award and HealthGrades Stroke Care Excellence Award – ranked #1 in New Jersey and in the Top 5% in the Country.
- In the 2012 ranking of the nation’s “Best Hospitals” published by U.S. News & World Report, the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute earns a top recognition in the northeast. Only 148 of the 4,793 hospitals evaluated met such criteria and performed well enough to rank in the prestigious list of best hospitals.
Embracing change and transforming care becomes the focus of the entire organization. JFK is awarded another Grade “A” by the Leapfrog Organization. Healthgrades again ranks Stroke Care at JFK in the top 5% in the nation and # 1 in New Jersey. US News & World Report ranks Johnson Rehabilitation Institute a best in the New York metro area and a top hospital in the country. The JFK Emergency Medical Service is awarded “Outstanding Private EMS Agency Award” by the New Jersey Emergency Medical Services Council. The JFK Web page was recognized by Leapfrog with a “Transparency” award for the quality and safety information available to the public.
This year reflects our ongoing journey to become a high reliability organization. Achieving high reliability involves a leadership commitment and every member of our organization to consistently maintain high levels of safety and quality over time and across all health care settings and services. Achieving high reliability mean that our brand must reflect the trust our community places with the clinical and non-clinical staff at the hospital and organization.
- JFK rebrands the name of the organization to JFK Health, a name that reflects the efforts to bring the highest quality and most affordable care to the residents we serve. With the name change is a change to the logo and colors that is reflected throughout the campus.
- JFK proudly opens the next phase of the Emergency Department with completed construction of 30 private emergency patient rooms. When complete, the emergency department will be one of the largest in the entire state.