EATONTOWN – Hackensack Meridian Health’s new health and wellness center, now under construction in a former big box shoe shop on Route 35, is beginning to take shape.
First up is its urgent care center, which will have its official ribbon cutting today, just ahead of an expected opening to the public on Dec. 27.
The rest of the nearly 50,000-square-foot ambulatory care center, which is still under construction, will be filled with primary care physicians, specialists, such as obstetricians and pediatricians, and other services such as physical and occupational therapy, and imaging. It is estimated to be ready in summer 2022.
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It’s located at Monmouth Plaza, a landmark shopping center on Route 35 at Wyckoff Road, in space that was formerly home to DSW and Eastern Mountain Sports.
“We look at the needs of the community and our intention with these health and wellness centers is that it’s bringing health care to their communities,” said Michael Geiger, senior vice president of health ventures at Hackensack Meridian Health. “The urgent care center is really like a front door.”
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The 2,800-square-foot urgent care center will provide walk-in medical care from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and until 4 p.m. on weekends. It will also offer other services including X-rays, minor surgery, stitches for injuries, and treatment for broken bones, sprains and strains, as well as COVID-19 testing.
Patients who need follow-up or additional care can be referred to other physicians in the wellness center and throughout the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Geiger said.
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The center is part of a larger trend in health care as providers seek to move acute care patients away from high-cost emergency rooms and into neighborhood offices. Now health care companies are locating urgent care centers in shopping centers, which are centrally located places where people visit and shop.
Right now, RWJBarnabas Health Family Care & Wellness, a project by Monmouth Medical Center and Children’s Specialized Hospital, is under construction at Monmouth Mall.
RWJBarnabas Health also is leasing part of a former Super Foodtown supermarket on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River for use as a primary care practice.
David P. Willis, an award-winning business writer, has covered business and consumer news at the Asbury Park Press for more than 20 years. He writes APP.com’s What’s Going There column and can be reached at [email protected] Join his What’s Going There page on Facebook for updates.
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