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Westwood Hospital's Approval Upheld by Appeals Court

HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley is scheduled to open next year. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and Valley Hospital in Ridgewood had appealed the state's approval of the new Westwood hospital.

The former Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood is set to reopen as planned under new management next year after a court ruled in the hospital's favor Tuesday.

A three-judge panel decided that they would uphold the approval of Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley in Westwood.

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood had jointly appealed State Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd's decision to approve the new hospital at the site of the former Pascack Valley Hospital, which closed five years ago. The decision was "arbitrary and capricious," according to the appeal.

The judges cited O'Dowd's expertise and rejected claims from the appealing hospitals that there had been procedural deficiencies and that the decision had been made "to appease voters." 

O'Dowd's decision "was well within the confines of the statutory and regulatory framework," the judges wrote.

Officials from the appealing hospitals have previously said they would suffer from "significant losses" if the Westwood hospital opened.

"While we are disappointed with the Appellate Division’s ruling, we remain strong in our belief – and the evidence continues to show – that our area does not need additional hospital beds," Valley Hospital spokeswoman Megan Fraser told Patch.

HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley CEO Chad Melton said in a written statement Tuesday that he was pleased with the court's decision.

"Today’s decision reinforces the fact that the area residents need our services," Melton said.

Renovations to the hospital are about 70 percent complete and it is on schedule to open next June, according to Melton.

Though it bears the HUMC name, the new Westwood hospital is a joint effort between them and LHP, a Texas-based company which specializes in hospital management. 


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