The pandemic has forced many businesses in New Jersey to adjust and recalibrate. Perhaps no sector required more rethinking than health care – especially hospitals, which were nearly overrun early in the pandemic and are still coping with both COVID-19 and the evolving expectations of patients.
To find out how the state’s largest health system is getting on and how executives there are planning for the future, NJBIZ recently spoke with Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert Garrett. Much of the discussion focused on the omicron variant and the ongoing efforts to contain the latest wave.
“We’ve come off the peak,” he said. “Having said that, though, there’s a significant number of patients still in critical care settings, a significant number of patients on ventilators and, sadly, there are still patients dying in New Jersey’s hospitals. But the encouraging signs are that the trends have been going in the right direction over the last couple of weeks. The modeling that we’ve seen was fairly accurate, and they said that we would peak around the middle of January, around the 12th. We actually did peak and you will see a pretty precipitous drop in hospitalizations.”
But Garrett also spoke about his priorities beyond the pandemic and how Hackensack Meridian will navigate the changing business landscape.