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NJ hospital wants a public hearing on reopening rival

Leaders of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center are calling for a public hearing in Englewood over whether Pascack Valley Hospital should be reopened. The state said Friday that Hackensack University Medical Center's application to open a 128-bed community hospital at the Pascack site is complete and scheduled a hearing on the issue for Oct. 19 in Washington Township. But Englewood executives, who have been fighting the plan along with leaders of The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, have said North Jersey already has more than enough hospital beds and reopening Pascack will hurt existing medical centers. Douglas A. Duchak, president/CEO of Englewood, said in a letter Monday to state Health Commissioner Mary E. Dowd that under the state's own guidelines, a new hospital shouldn't be "detrimental to neighboring providers. Consistent with that aspect of the regulations and an appeal to fairness, we would request a second public hearing be scheduled in the Englewood area," he wrote. Hackensack wants to open the new hospital through a joint venture with LHP Hospital Group, a for-profit management and investment firm from Texas.
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