Clinical Achievements

Palisades #1 in Treating Heart Failure and Heart Attack

New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services' 2009 Hospital Performance recognized Palisades for its world-class services. Palisades was one of only six hospitals in the entire state to receive a 100% score in heart failure care in the Report. The report also ranked Palisades as the #1 hospital in Hudson County in treating heart attack patients. The annual report focuses a great deal on heart failure and heart attack care because they are among the most common reasons for patient admissions. Report scores are based on the percentage of eligible patients that received correct treatments and care in order to fully recover from their medical problem. The complete report can be viewed at

Sleep-Wake Center Earns the Only AASM Accreditation in Hudson County

The Sleep-Wake Center at Palisades is one of the few in New Jersey that has been accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). As the leading voice in the field of sleep medicine, the AASM sets standards and promotes excellence in health care, education and research. This AASM accreditation assures that high standards of quality and clinical care are provided to all patients who require evaluation, treatment and follow-up. Led by Gregory G. Magee, MD, the Sleep-Wake Center at Palisades' team of physicians and technologists work hard to diagnose and treat sleep disorders in adults and children so that they can enjoy better health and return to the activities that are most important to them. The Center has been recognized for its comfortable, hotel-like accommodations.

AACVPR Certifies Cardiac Rehabilitation Center

The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) certified Palisades' Cardiac Catheterization Center. AACVPR certification verifies that programs at Palisades meet the essential standards of care to effectively reduce morbidity, mortality, and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research, and aggressive disease management.

Rapid Evaluation Unit Reduces Waiting Time in the ER

Palisades introduced a Rapid Evaluation Unit (REU) in the Emergency Room to provide immediate assessments to incoming patients and allow for faster triage and bedside registration. The REU team consists of at least one doctor, a nurse and nursing assistants at all times. Thanks to the new REU and other recent renovations, the average waiting time for Palisades' ER patients to enter the exam room is now only 11 minutes (April 2008 data). The REU was introduced at Palisades at a time when the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has declared that there is a national epidemic of overcrowded Emergency Departments throughout the United States. In 2003, Emergency Departments in the United States received nearly 114 million patients — a 26% increase in volume over the previous decade. New Jersey hospitals, in particular, face an even greater struggle due to the state's unusually high population density and its 1.2 million uninsured residents who often rely on Emergency Departments as their provider of last resort.

New Procedure Introduced to Treat Aortic Aneurysms

Under the direction of Shuba Varma, MD, Chairman of Vascular Surgery, Palisades introduced a new, minimally invasive procedure to treat Aortic Aneurysm. This procedure can be preformed while the patient is awake so they experience less risk, excellent outcomes and less recovery time. In the past, the only solution was a traditional surgical procedure that involved major risks, particularly in older patients, and required general anesthesia, a long abdominal incision, days in the hospital's intensive care unit and several months for complete recovery.

Pediatric Rehabilitation Program Fills Service Gaps

Palisades expanded its Pediatric Rehabilitation Program to support the special needs of children with disabilities and developmental delays, including children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Torticollis, and Genetic disorders. The program expansion fills a critical need in our community because there are very limited services in Hudson County for children with special needs and especially for the autistic child. The program now provides a full range of services for children of all abilities, including Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Audiology services. Therapists also provide a comprehensive evaluation of each child and use a family-centered approach to help each child reach his or her potential.

UMDNJ Forms Academic Partnership With Palisades

Palisades entered into a clinical affiliation agreement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and the New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) to provide medical students with clinical instruction and rotations. The agreement ensures that UMDNJ and NJMS students receive real-world training to better prepare them to be competent and compassionate physicians. The learning program also enhances the Medical Center's patient care by lending additional support to its highly qualified medical personnel.

Midwives Expand Obstetrical Program

Palisades launched a Midwifery Program to better meet the needs of mothers-to-be and their families. The Midwifery Program adds a new level of care to the Birthing Center at Palisades and will attract a new patient population. It also expands the scope of women's health services at Palisades, which already includes perinatology, the breast center, mammography, and bone densitometry. According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, renewed interest in midwifery began to build in the United States in the late 1970s and has grown steadily since then. Today, there are more than 7,000 Certified Nurse-Midwives in the nation who attend approximately 200,000 births annually, primarily in hospitals.

Power Processor Makes Lab Work Safer and Faster

A new, automated system was installed in the Laboratory at Palisades to improve patient safety and turnaround time. The Power Processor ensures correct patient identification from the time lab specimens are received until the time lab results are generated. The system features a robotic arm to load and unload sample tubes and sort specimens into testing racks. It is also linked to a new bar-coded label printer that was installed in the Emergency Department.

Institute of Nursing Presents APPLE Award to Maria E. Bornia, MD

The Institute of Nursing presented its prestigious APPLE Award – Acknowledging Physician Partners: A Liaison for Excellence – to Maria E. Bornia, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Palisades. The award honored Dr. Bornia's work in supporting nurses and being a tireless patient advocate. Dr. Bornia has been a true visionary and trailblazer throughout Palisades' 30-year history, and she is respected by her peers for being her relentless in her commitment to her patients and best practices.

NJSNA Inducts Ruben D. Fernandez into its Roll of Honor

The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) presented its prestigious lifetime achievement award to Ruben D. Fernandez, MA, RN, Vice President of Patient Care Services at Palisades, by inducting him into its Roll of Honor. The Roll of Honor is the highest award given by a state nurses association. Past Roll of Honor inductees include Clara Barton, Clara Louise Mass, Walt Whitman, Dorothea Lynde Dix, and Faye Abdellah. Fernandez has more than 20 years experience in senior leadership within the healthcare industry. At Palisades, Fernandez has created many work re-design initiatives that have been credited with empowering hospital staff and improving patent safety and care.

Palisades Offers Bariatric Surgery Options

Led by Stefanie Vaimakis, MD, FACS, FASMBS, bariatric surgeries are now offered at Palisades for individuals who have been unable to achieve significant weight loss through diet modifications and exercise programs alone. Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, refers to the various surgical procedures performed to treat obesity by modification of the gastrointestinal tract to reduce nutrient intake and/or absorption. Dr. Vaimakis specializes in advanced laparoscopic techniques and laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

Pain Management Department Offers Personalized Care

Palisades officially opened a new Pain Management Department to treat patients with a variety of conditions, including acute pain as a result of injury or illness, back problems, arthritis, cancer pain, post-surgical pain, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, post amputation pain, shingles, and muscular conditions. Scott Gottlieb, MD, was named the Clinical Director for the Pain Management Department, which is located on the Palisades campus at 7704 Marine Road in North Bergen. Treatment is individually based and may include medication management, acupuncture, physical therapy, biofeedback, and interventional treatments.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Supports Palisades' Cardiac Care

Palisades was awarded a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to participate in a statewide initiative to improve cardiac care to all patients and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities for African American and Latino patients with heart failure. The statewide program features a learning network comprised of Palisades and nine other New Jersey hospitals to share and apply best practices. In New Jersey, studies show that African Americans have higher death rates than whites for both heart disease and stroke. In addition, preventable hospital rates in New Jersey for heart failure and angina are highest among Latinos.

Continence Center Provides Specialized Care for Women

Palisades officially opened a new Continence Center to treat women who experience problems with incontinence or with their urinary tracts or bladders. The Continence Center at Palisades is led by Sam Hessami, MD, FACOG, Associate Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Hessami is a renowned urogynecologist who specializes in treating disorders in the bladder, rectum, uterus, vagina, as well as the muscles, constructive tissue and nerves that support these organs. According to recent studies, more than 25 million Americans, the majority of whom are female, suffer from incontinence — an ailment that many will not talk about with their best friends or their doctors. In fact, more than 50% of women between the ages of 42-50 suffer from some degree of this problem.

The latest New Jersey Hospital Performance Report Rates HackensackUMC Palisades as one of the top hospitals in New Jersey.

New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services' annual New Jersey Hospital Performance Report measures and scores how well general acute care hospitals treat patients in key categories that are among the most common reasons for patient admissions throughout the United States.

The 2009 report also rated Palisades as Hudson County's top performer for surgical care and providing appropriate treatment for life-threatening ailments such as heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. In fact, Palisades was one of only two hospitals in all of New Jersey to receive a "Perfect 100 Percent Score" in treating heart attack and heart failure patients.

During the past several years, Palisades has been recognized throughout New Jersey for consistently improving its hospital facilities, expanding its clinical programs and services, and adding modern technology to meet the changing healthcare needs of its patients. The latest report underscores Palisades' success in all clinical areas thanks to the quality and efforts of its medical professionals.

The New Jersey Hospital Performance Report was created to provide hospital quality information to patients, their families, and health care professionals. The information is designed to help you choose a hospital and make other decisions about your health. The complete report can be viewed at