Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Participate in Gotham Shield 2017

April 26, 2017

Hackensack University Medical Center, Palisades Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center participated in exercise with state and local officials to ensure preparedness in emergency situation

Three Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals, Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center, part of New Jersey’s most comprehensive and integrated Health network, participated in Gotham Shield 2017 on Wednesday, April 26. Gotham Shield is an exercise on the federal, state and local levels to ensure emergency preparedness and coordination in the event of an Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) attack in northern New Jersey.

“Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals successfully participated in the Gotham Shield 2017 exercise this week, demonstrating our ability to respond effectively in emergency situations such as a nuclear attack,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Our team members prepare for emergency situations year-round, and exercises like Gotham Shield allow us to test, evaluate and improve our emergency operation plans to make sure we continue to keep our patients, team members and communities safe during an emergency. We look forward to implementing what we have learned from this exercise to strengthen our response and coordination efforts with state and local agencies moving forward.”

The purpose of Gotham Shield 2017 is to evaluate the response, recovery and coordination on the federal, state and local levels to an IND in the New York metropolitan area. Exercises at various sites in the area have been conducted throughout the week. As hospitals located within the Urban Areas Securities Initiative (UASI) area – which consists of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union counties, as well as the cities of Jersey City and Newark – Hackensack University Medical Center, Palisades Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center were asked to participate in the exercise.

“Hackensack Meridian Health team members did an excellent job working together with state and local officials to make Gotham Shield 2017 a success,” said John K. Lloyd, FACHE, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “It is critical that our hospitals remain prepared in the event of an emergency situation or disaster scenario, and exercises like Gotham Shield help us enhance our response and coordination efforts. I am proud of our team members, emergency responders, and state and local officials for everything they are doing today and every day to keep our communities safe.”

During Gotham Shield 2017, Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals focused on coordination efforts with state and local agencies, including area fire departments, police departments and offices of emergency management. Hospitals remained fully operational throughout the exercise, and hospital officials activated emergency operation plans upon commencement of the exercise. Hospitals also set up full decontamination areas to practice mass decontamination procedures. Students from area schools acted as “patients” in the exercise to give the simulation a real-life feeling for team members. Participants gave feedback about the effectiveness of the exercise and how response and coordination measures can be improved upon in future situations.

Hackensack Meridian Health team members receive comprehensive training year-round in preparation for emergency situations. Gotham Shield is one of many emergency preparedness exercises Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals conduct throughout the year to test systems and emergency preparedness.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit Health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated Health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home Health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in Health care philanthropy, committed to the Health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading Health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.