Under a rainbow of balloons and an ocean of smiles, officials of JFK Medical Center and the local area were present Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility's brand new pediatric emergency department.
"It's a first class, state-of-the-art ER," beamed Ray Fredericks, president and CEO of Solaris Health Systems, which owns the medical center, located in Edison.
The new 16 room pediatric facility is geared toward the comfort of children and their parents, said Steven Weiss, spokesman for JFK. The pediatric ER has a separate, private entrance so that children won't be exposed to adult health care emergencies that might compound the fright youngsters would feel in any emergency situation.
"The facility is non-threatening and calming to children, and reassuring to parents," Weiss said.
The new pediatric ER facility is just part of a bigger expansion Solaris executives are planning for JFK. Fredericks said that there are plans in the works to expand the current adult ER facility into a four-story building.
JFK's auxiliary group raised more than $2 million for the ER expansion, according to Barbara Braynoc, president of the auxiliary. Refreshments and guided tours of the facility followed the opening events, which included singing and a girl scout troop who collected books for the new unit.
"I am so thrilled. I'm so proud of JFK Medical Center," said Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, as she cut the ribbon at the ceremony dedicating the pediatric ER unit.