Hackensack University Medical Center formally applied for state permission Wednesday to reopen Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood as a 128-bed full-service community hospital. If approved, the for-profit hospital would open late next year. The new plan aims to address the state's looming physician shortage as well as provide patient care to the northeastern part of Bergen County, which has been underserved since Pascack closed due to bankruptcy in November 2007, said Robert C. Garrett, Hackensack's president/CEO. The application is "the next phase of restoring much needed healthcare services to the Pascack Valley and Northern Valley," Garrett said. Although a final decision on the application is not expected until November, Hackensack's joint-venture partner appears confident enough of the application's success to have named a chief executive officer for the new facility.