On Monday June 17, The Valley Hospital and The Valley Hospital Foundation held a dedication ceremony for the new Bolger Medical Arts Building, formerly the Community Blood Services building in Paramus. The building will house the Okonite Medical Research Laboratories and outpatient services after interior and exterior renovations are completed.
Philanthropist and long-time Valley supporter David F. Bolger and the Bolger Foundation assisted in the building purchase with a donation of $5 million. The Okonite Company, of Ramsey, N.J., led by Chairman and CEO Victor A. Viggiano, has also committed $5 million to sponsor translational research initiatives in the building’s existing laboratories.
“This facility is a tremendous opportunity for Valley to consolidate all our research capabilities and build a world-class facility dedicated to advancing medicine and discovering novel medical and surgical approaches to diagnosing and treating heart disease and cancer,” Audrey Meyers, president and CEO of The Valley Hospital and Valley Health System,” said at the dedication. “I truly believe that Valley’s continued dedication to research will ultimately advance our already high-quality patient care, offer our patients and their families as yet unheard of treatments and services, and ensure our continued success as a healthcare system of choice for our community for decades to come.”
The building, located at 970 Linwood Avenue near Route 17, will be renovated to created appropriate and new laboratories and administrative offices to support Valley’s clinical and translational research program.
The site will also be the new home of The Valley Arrhythmia Institute, the tri-state area’s largest electrophysiology practice. Electrophysiology is the subspecialty of cardiology that involves the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.
The Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine will also move into the new facility on Linwood Avenue from its current site at Valley’s Daniel and Gloria Blumenthal Cancer Center in Paramus. An additional research laboratory will be devoted to the study of cardiac valve disease. Valley’s tissue banks for cardiac and oncology research – which were among the first to be established in the state – will also be housed in the new building.
Plans are still being finalized as to the additional services that will be housed in the new building.
“We are indebted to our generous supporters for helping us to build a premier medical research community at Valley, where shared resources and collaboration among physicians, researchers, and scientists can take place within one facility,” says Anastasios Kozaitis, president of The Valley Hospital Foundation. “With state-of-the-art research capabilities, we will be able to house an expanded biorepository and recruit additional distinguished physicians, attract grant-funding opportunities, and strengthen collaborations with national and international research institutes.”
“This building is ideally suited for medical research because we can make use of existing laboratories used by the blood bank, which we will also modernize and maintain for cutting-edge research activities,” says Maria Mediago, vice president of facilities management at Valley.
According to Mediago, the building will undergo interior renovations to create physician practice and staff offices, examination rooms, a lobby, employee lounge, and waiting areas. The exterior façade will be upgraded as will landscaping, fencing, parking, and other features.
Design of the new facility is under way.
Caption: The Valley Hospital and The Valley Hospital Foundation held a dedication ceremony for the new Bolger Medical Arts Building, formerly the Community Blood Services building in Paramus. The building will house the Okonite Medical Research Laboratories and outpatient services after interior and exterior renovations are completed. Shown here (left to right) are: John H. Bolger, son of David F. Bolger; Audrey Meyers, President and CEO, The Valley Hospital and Valley Health System; John Albohm, Esq., Secretary, The Valley Hospital Board of Trustees; Victor Viggiano, Chairman and CEO, The Okonite Company, Inc.; David F. Bolger, President, The Bolger Foundation; Douglas H. Dittrick, Chairman, The Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; James D. Cornell, M.D., Ph.D., President, The Valley Hospital Medical Staff; and Richard LaBarbiera, Mayor, Borough of Paramus.