Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic has made major strides to advance behavioral health care in New Jersey. As the state’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health network in 2020, it is looking to do even more.
Carrier Clinic, a behavioral health care system located in Belle Mead, merged with Hackensack Meridian Health in January of last year.
Hackensack Meridian Health now has 17 hospitals and more than 500 patient care locations and physician offices in eight counties. In Middlesex County, the company owns JFK Medical Center in Edison and the Raritan Bay Medical Center, with campuses in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy.
Phil Hartman, manager of public relations at Carrier Clinic, said that the clinic will be launching a series of webinars starting in March that focus on ways to manage stress and deal with mental health.
This is the third time the clinic will be conducting a webinar series. Next month’s program focuses on the importance of horticultural therapy.
“Horticultural therapy (gardening) truly can be so therapeutic and calming for people, which helps them to get a better sense of the world and allows them to deal with their stress,” Hartman said.
Carrier Clinic also has plans to build an on-site greenhouse in Belle Mead for its patients to enjoy.
“Having an on-site greenhouse will allow our patients to be able to easily plant and garden their worries away,” Hartman added.
Hackensack Meridian Health has also opened a first-of-its-kind Urgent Care Clinic in Neptune in 2019 that features onsite behavioral health services. Individuals who come to urgent care who are also in need of counseling have access to professionals right away. The company plans to open other urgent care facilities in the near future.
Hartman, a former editorial page editor for the Home News Tribune, who has been involved with MCRCC for several years, said that he’s made invaluable contacts with other businesses through the chamber’s vast network.
Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic used to host a radio show covering issues on behavioral health entitled “Connections in Caring ” on WCTC 1450 AM. Many guest speakers on the show were generated through the chamber.
“We’ve certainly made great use of the very valuable membership the Middlesex County chamber offers,” Hartman added. “The chamber provides its members with access to a lot of great organizations and contacts.”