Unidentified Warren Hospital staff in the 1960s.
St. Luke’s Warren Campus is honored to join residents of the greater Phillipsburg area and Warren County, N.J., in celebrating the 100th anniversary of their community hospital on Thursday, May 13th. The story of this cherished institution is one of provider purpose, community support and organizational partnerships.
Historic photos available for public use: https://stlukes.smugmug.com/Warren/Warren-History-Photos/i-68qJzRj/buy
By the time Warren Hospital, as it was then known, had entered its 10th decade, its outlook had dimmed. The health care industry was rapidly evolving, and the hospital was struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
In 2012, Warren Hospital made the decision that would forever alter its course and secure its future: It joined St. Luke’s University Health Network.
That’s when Scott R. Wolfe assumed the role of hospital president. Leading the hospital’s dramatic turn-around and its integration into St. Luke’s University Health Network has been a high point of his career, Wolfe said.
Today, St. Luke’s Warren Campus is thriving. The hospital and its satellite locations provide a wide array of sophisticated medical services to area residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
These services range from primary care and wellness education to advanced imaging, surgery and cancer care, bolstered by a new clinical, academic and research collaboration agreement with the Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health system.
The hospital proper boasts an expanded emergency room, modernized infusion center and refurbished inpatient units as well as a state-of-the-art intensive care unit and IR/catheterization lab. Expanded outpatient facilities, meanwhile, extend care into nearby neighborhoods and communities.
“St. Luke’s goal is to keep people healthy and close to home, whether they receive care at the hospital or in nearby outpatient offices,” Wolfe said.
Organized healthcare in the Phillipsburg area began on May 13th, 1921, with the founding of the Maternity Hospital and Infantorium, a facility for delivering babies and treating young patients. Soon thereafter, Warren Hospital was built on Wilbur Avenue, Phillipsburg.
Over time, the city’s population grew and diversified, and health care technology became more specialized. The hospital outgrew its walls, and a new facility on Roseberry Street was built in 1958 with federal funding, community contributions and generous support from corporate booster Ingersoll-Rand, Co.
The hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program welcomed its first newly minted doctors to the hospital in 1981 for training, creating a vital, local source of physicians with expertise in this specialty. Later came facility expansions and development of specialty programs, such as behavioral health units, cancer care, a vascular lab and a cardiac catheterization lab.
As part of St. Luke’s, the Warren Campus today is stronger than ever. With over 600 employees and a medical staff of over 80 primary care and specialty physicians, it provides care to patients for 5,000 observations and admissions, 25,000 emergency department visits and 95,000 outpatient visits annually.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital used the innovative clinical protocols adopted throughout St. Luke’s to assure that those sickened by the virus could receive all the treatment they needed at the Warren Campus, avoiding unnecessary patient transfers. And to avoid hospital admission and infection, special clinics were set up to administer monoclonal antibody therapy and COVID-19 vaccinations.
“St. Luke’s Warren Campus greets its second century with unbridled optimism and a renewed commitment to ensuring that quality care is accessible to this community and beyond far into the future,” Wolfe said.
What community members say about St. Luke’s Warren Campus:
Todd Tersigni, Phillipsburg Major: “St. Luke’s has a pristine reputation in our area. They will be here for many years to come. They’re a great partner for our community.”
Karen Kubert, St. Luke’s Warren board chair: “St. Luke’s Warren has become a premier hospital supported by a strong, widely geographic and diverse network. Being connected to the St. Luke’s network is a real plus for this community.”
Bob Rumfield, former board chair at Warren Hospital and former board member of St. Luke’s: “We can be proud that a small hospital that started on Wilbur Avenue today offers excellent healthcare to the greater Phillipsburg/Warren County population. I’m proud to have been just a small part of this 100-year story.”
Helene Meissener, director of the NORWESCAP Food Bank: “St. Luke’s is an important part of the Warren County community. They saved the hospital, and they continue to improve the quality of care and quantity of care here.” This is something Meissner knows from personal experience. When she needed a heart procedure before flying across the country to her daughter’s wedding, St. Luke’s Cardiologist Narpinder Singh, MD, arranged his busy schedule to treat her at St. Luke’s Warren so she could adhere to her travel plans.