FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – CentraState Medical Center has been awarded a $5.5 million federal grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for the hospital’s extensive emergency measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced.
“I worked with the tireless staff at CentraState at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and learned firsthand how hard they cared for the sick even while putting themselves at risk,” Smith was quoted as saying in a press release.
“This federal grant, which follows up a $1.1 million FEMA reimbursement in mid-March, will help reimburse the hospital for the protective equipment and measures it provided to help safeguard workers and patients threatened by COVID-19.
“CentraState and many other hospitals in the Garden State were among the hardest hit in the nation, but their professional, compassionate medical staff and hospital personnel stepped up to the challenge.
“Their medical expertise and dedication to patients during this unprecedented national healthcare emergency has been a ray of sunshine during a storm. Their devotion to caring for others in our community is amazing and heartening,” Smith said.
John T. Gribbin, president and CEO, CentraState Healthcare System, said, “As we continue to care for COVID-19 patients and embark on a large scale vaccination effort in our community, we are very grateful to receive the FEMA reimbursement money and for all the support we have received from Congressman Chris Smith.
“This funding will help us recoup a substantial amount that we have spent to keep people safe; on personal protective equipment, ventilators, employee overtime, temporary workers, testing supplies and many other expenses unique to this pandemic,” he said.
The award provides $5,508,240 in federal funding for emergency protective measures that were the result of FEMA’s COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration, according to the press release.
During the peak of the pandemic, CentraState administrators reported handling a high number of 138 cases. The hospital and its outpatient and senior facilities and primary and specialty care offices used enhanced infection control and cleaning protocols and mandatory screenings to ensure safety, according to the press release.
Acrylic glass and other physical distancing barriers were installed throughout the facilities along with signs to remind all who enter to wear a mask, wash their hands routinely and to maintain a safe distance from others.
The federal grant was based on CentraState’s costs for medical equipment, material, rented equipment and contract services used in response to the emergency, according to the press release from Smith’s office.