Saint Clare’s Health is moving its urgent care center from Sussex Borough to Hardyston, seven months after reducing services and hours at the former hospital.
The relocation is expected to begin next Tuesday or Wednesday, Sussex Mayor Katherine Little said following a meeting with Saint Clare’s officials.
Saint Clare’s in Sussex Borough
It will end a 100-year run of having either a hospital or medical center in Sussex Borough, starting in 1918 with the Alexander Linn Hospital.
Saint Clare’s said it will be using space in the Hardyston Mercantile Mall on Route 94, about a 5-mile drive from the current location.
Brian Finestein, President and CEO of Saint Clare’s Health, said in a statement that the network “is committed to assuring that high quality urgent health care is available in Sussex County.”
“We are taking the opportunity to relocate Sussex Community Urgent Care to Hardyston Township to provide easier access to more of our neighbors in the community,” Finestein said.
Little, though, said the move is a loss to Sussex Borough, whose 2,100 residents live within walking distance of the urgent care center. The borough covers about six-tenths of a mile: “We’re a low-income town. We have senior citizens, and we have low-income people. A lot of them don’t have vehicles.”
Saint Clare’s oversaw several reductions at the Sussex Borough site in recent years. In 2012, what had been a full-service hospital was downgraded to a satellite emergency center. At that time, it was the smallest and least-used hospital in N.J., treating an average of 12 patients per day. Last June, it was again rebranded — this time as Sussex Community Urgent Care, with fewer operating hours.
The schedule in Hardyston will be unchanged from Sussex Borough. It will open seven days per week — Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It will receive patients with conditions that are not emergencies but require care within 24 hours, such as eye irritations and sprains. X-rays and lab services for blood tests will be available, Saint Clare’s said.
Besides the Sussex Borough facility, Saint Clare’s also currently has two hospitals in Denvillle and Dover and a behavioral and psychiatric treatment center in Boonton, among other locations.
Saint Clare’s has agreed to continue to provide security for the soon-to-be-vacated building in Sussex Borough, Little said, adding that the site’s future use is not known.