The Kessler Medical Arts Complex, which has been largely vacant for the majority of a decade, will be running at near-full capacity this year with the addition of a new inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
Pyramid Healthcare Inc. plans to open a 100-bed facility in December as the largest provider operating in the complex since William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital closed in 2009.
“It’s nice to see the complex full again, and it’s also a much needed service in today’s society,” said Mayor Steve DiDonato. “Hopefully in the long run, this will be a positive thing for families.”
Pyramid Healthcare, which runs more than 80 rehabilitation programs in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina, will provide residential detox and services for adult men and women at its new 35,000-square-foot Hammonton location.
Responding to a shortage of residential substance abuse services across New Jersey for those with Medicaid, Jason Hendricks, chief operating officer of Pyramid Healthcare, said the rehabilitation facility will accept Medicaid, along with other commercial insurances and county or public funding.
“In addition to providing high-quality treatment services, the program will also employ over 125 staff members, many of them local residents,” Hendricks said.
The new facility will have separate wings for men and women, an admission screening process, transportation services and possible security measures, officials said.
Bacharach Sleep Center and an ambulatory surgery center are neighboring providers within the complex and are currently operating.
The need for addiction services and treatment continues to grow at a rapid pace, especially in the demand for inpatient treatment beds, said Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson.
In New Jersey, more than 2,400 people have died from suspected overdoses so far this year, according to state data, including 166 people in Atlantic County.
The Kessler building was used briefly by AtlantiCare as an emergency facility shortly after the hospital closed, but the 94,000-square-foot complex on Route 30 has mostly been unoccupied, with various plans and proposals for the space over the years.
Community Healthcare Associates purchased the complex for $2.6 million in October 2011 and has worked with Pyramid Healthcare for the past four years. The town’s Zoning Board unanimously approved the provider’s plans in March.
Bill Colgan, partner at Community Healthcare Associates, said there is additional space in the complex for future providers, and that Pyramid Healthcare can provide services needed to fight the addiction epidemic.
Leonard S. Fiore, Inc is a general contracting and construction management company headquartered in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and operates throughout Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region including; Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia.