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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 29, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Thomas Slater

Revised Version: DHSS selects Somerset Medical Center as site for state's ninth Medical Coordination Center




The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has selected the Somerset Medical Center as the site for the Medical Coordination Center (MCC) in the Central West public health region of the state, strengthening New Jersey’s ability to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies.


The Somerset Medical Center is the ninth MCC site to be selected by the state. The MCC located at Somerset Medical Center will increase health care system capabilities during public health emergencies and mass casualty incidents by coordinating the region’s planning, communications and information-gathering.


The Department awarded Somerset Medical Center $1.05 million to develop the MCC facility which will be located at the medical center. The monies were provided with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).


“We are very pleased to have Somerset Medical Center join us in this vital effort as New Jersey continues to build its public health emergency infrastructure and capabilities to better protect the health and safety of our residents,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. “With the addition of Somerset Medical Center, we will have MCC facilities in all five designated regions of the state, allowing New Jersey to effectively coordinate resources during any public health emergency.”


The Medical Coordination Center will be located in 20,000-square-feet of unused space below Somerset Medical Center’s Emergency Department. When it is not being used in disaster situations, the space will be used by the medical center, emergency management agencies and other community groups for educational programs, training and conferences.


 “From building an Emergency Department that is one of the largest and best equipped in New Jersey to forging unique collaborations with local rescue squads that serve as a state model for effective shared services, Somerset Medical Center has been a leader in emergency care,” said Ken Bateman, president and chief executive officer of Somerset Medical Center. “Designation as a state Medical Coordination Center further demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the highest quality emergency care services for our entire region.”


Previously, eight other MCC sites were selected by DHSS. MCCs are located at hospitals throughout the state and are part of the DHSS’ emergency response capability. Each facility will provide regional planning, training, exercise and coordination of medical and medically related activities in preparation for a health emergency.


Functions of the MCC during an emergency will include analyzing and reporting daily regional health system statistics, collecting and monitoring bed status, diversion status, regional medical and pharmaceutical supply and Emergency Medical Service status. MCCs will also coordinate and communicate regional information to DHSS.


Each MCC facility can augment staff by with Department of Health and Senior Service members that are located in the regional area. During an emergency, each facility will have the capacity to be staffed by 20 public health professionals.


Regional MCCs will assist in coordinating overall planning, training, exercise, response and recovery activities in each of five New Jersey Public Health regions: Northeast, Northwest, Central East, Central West, and South. 


The Department has designated MCCs in the following hospitals:



Cooper University Hospital, Camden

Atlantic City Medical Center


Central West: 

Somerset Medical Center, Somerset.


Central East:    

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick



Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown



Holy Name Hospital, Teaneck

UMDNJ University Hospital

Jersey City Medical Center

Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingtson






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