PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 7, 2018

Shereef Elnahal

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

State psychiatric hospitals in full compliance with accreditation agency

DOH invests an additional $4.8 million in hospital upgrades

New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal today announced that after recent visits by the Joint Commission accrediting agency both Ann Klein Forensic Center (AKFC) and Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital (GPPH) are in full compliance and reaccredited for 3 years.

“I’m happy to say that the Joint Commission has deemed Greystone and Ann Klein Forensic Center to be in full compliance,” Commissioner Elnahal said. “This is just one of many strides we are making as the hospitals transform from custodial to therapeutic environments.”

The Department is also making additional capital investments to improve the safety and environment of psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey. More than $4.8 million has been allocated to reduce suicide risks at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, upgrade the fire alarm and doors at AKFC, and install a new roof to protect the building that provides power for Ancora Psychiatric Hospital.

The Joint Commission (JC) visited AKFC on December 3 to assess if it was adhering to the hospital’s plan of correction, which directed the state to end the long-standing administrative lock-in policy in place on certain shifts. The hospital was previously in jeopardy of losing its accreditation because of this policy in January. To protect the safety of patients and staff, the hospital hired 90 additional medical security officers and nurses. 

Ann Klein Forensic Center received a final, three-year certification.

The Joint Commission (JC) made an unannounced visit to Greystone on October 31 as a follow-up to a 2017 inspection that resulted in citations on suicide risks presented by various ligatures. All of those risks were fixed and are now considered within JC standards, according to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital CEO Tomika Carter.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital (GPPH) is now in full compliance with the Joint Commission accrediting agency after suicide risks were eliminated as part of an ongoing and comprehensive overhaul of the state’s psychiatric hospitals

The hospital remained accredited between the visits, and minor issues remain to be rectified, such as replacement of a stained ceiling tile and fixing a gap near a ceiling sprinkler in a laundry room.

“The Joint Commission engineer complimented the facility and the Executive Team during the visit,” CEO Carter said.

The removal of ligature risks – door knobs, hinges, etc. - was one of the first improvements the Murphy Administration made when it took office and one of the first transformation efforts taken when it announced a turnaround effort and hospital consolidation in late August.

“The state’s psychiatric hospitals have made significant strides since Governor Murphy took office and will continue to make progress in ensuring a safe, patient-centered system of care dedicated to wellness and recovery,” Commissioner Elnahal said. “We still have much work to do, but we have put the hospitals on the right track and will continue to move forward with reforms in clinical care and critical physical plant upgrades. Our main focus has been on enhancing the quality of care and increasing staff and patient safety.”


In August, Commissioner Elnahal released the Department’s 18-month Action Plan for the hospitals, which outlines significant strides that have already been made including the hiring of 220 clinicians and other staff. 


For more information about the state’s psychiatric hospitals, please visit:  https://www.nj.gov/health/integratedhealth/hospitals/


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Last Reviewed: 12/7/2018