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These articles by Peter J. Mladineo and Barbara Fox were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on Wednesday, June 3, 1998. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
An apparent first for the healthcare industry could signal a new trend for aging America. Presbyterian Homes & Services, the not-for-profit system of elder care communities, has signed a contract with the Robert Wood Johnson Health Network. This agreement is not a merger but a contractual affiliation in which the 19 Presbyterian Homes communities will get access to RWJ Health Network's seven hospitals, four health centers, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry.
In this area, Presbyterian Homes communities include Meadow Lakes in Hightstown and Monroe Village in Jamesburg. The RWJ network includes Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton, Henry J. Austin Health Center, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
For RWJ, this deal will give it a potential new customer base of 4,000 seniors, and could signify the beginning of a new effort by large healthcare networks to find new ways to cash in on the growing senior sector in this country. "We wanted a large elder care provider who had a quality reputation throughout the state," says Andrew Greene, CEO of the RWJ Health Network.
"I think the demand for health services for seniors is such that it really has to be coordinated if we're going to reach the kinds of outcomes that that population expects. So we're going to try to bring the high technology, cardiac services, oncology services, and orthopedic services to a group that does a lot of physical therapy, home healthcare, and social programs and really make them seamless."
Presbyterian Homes, headquartered at 13 Roszel Road, also gains access to RWJ's expansive healthcare facilities and access to the University of Medicine and Dentistry. It will also help it get better rates from managed care plans. "We have 4,000 residents who have a variety of insurance plans," says Gary T. Puma, Presbyterian Homes' president and CEO. "On the federal level there has been an initiative to move to managed care plans. What we are positioning ourselves for today is the day when managed care companies will be responsible for the majority of Medicare recipients. We'll be able to negotiate with larger populations behind us."
This arrangement could dredge up fears of another HMO-like system where patients lose even more control of destinies. However, the important difference between this and an HMO arrangement is that the parties in this setup are providers, not payers. Therefore, Greene explains, Presbyterian Homes clients will get more choices.
"People are free to continue to use or seek out their own physicians," says Greene. "There are still the widest range of choices available but we will be there on-site and people can use these physician services as well. That issue of choice is an issue that we've stressed at every stop."
This arrangement, Puma feels, will also improve communication between the elderly community and the hospital. "There used to be a huge separation between the acute care and the senior living side and now the barriers are coming down to create more of a partnership," says Puma.
"People are realizing that we can take the strengths of the different organizations that are handling different segments of the long-term continuum for people. Always when you have residents living in a community they are accessing care at a hospital, but there's a break in communication between the hospital and the organization they're coming from. By being a representative of the network we have some say in long-term health care -- in how people are moved through the system."
Negotiations started months before Puma took the helm at Presbyterian Homes last year, replacing Thomas LePrevost, and lasted a full year. "This is the first time a hospital network was affiliated with an organization like ours," Puma says. "It was a different situation for Robert Wood and a new situation for us."
Puma, a 1976 graduate of St. John Fisher College of Rochester, has worked at PHS for 19 years and was COO from 1995 to 1997. Although there are five or six other health networks in New Jersey, Puma was most comfortable with Robert Wood Johnson. "It seemed that they weren't interested in coming in and controlling, and we weren't interested in that," he says.
Greene has been the CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Network since 1995, when he left the RWJ Foundation at College Road East, where he was treasurer for 14 years. Greene, 46, has a masters in health administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and an undergraduate degree from Ohio State, Class of 1974.
Greene believes this deal could germinate several other RWJ projects in the senior healthcare market. "It's going to give us access to a population to try new model programs in geriatrics," says Greene. "The medical school has just formed a geriatric institute. There is interest in teaching down at some sites in geriatric homes. We're about to start our discussions about that."
The upshot is, expect to see a lot more affiliations like this ironed out in the near future. "It could very well be a model on a very large scale for more to come," says Ron Czajkowski, a spokesman for the New Jersey Hospital Association.
The economics of healthcare at this time, Czajkowski explains, make it very attractive for hospitals to integrate long term care providers. "There probably isn't an acute care hospital in the state that isn't thinking along these lines right now," he says. "Every acute care hospital in the state is trying to build some kind relationship with a long-term care provider."
But don't expect to see a flurry of other affiliations between hospitals and long-term care providers diminish the significance of this deal any time soon. "It's significant because of its scope," says Czajkowski. "This has regional if not statewide implications."
-- Peter J. Mladineo
One of the world's largest consumer products firms is moving one of its pharmaceutical marketing divisions to Palmer Square. Unilever United States is moving a 20-person office from Lever House on Park Avenue to 7,000 square feet in the Gallup Building on June 8. Known as Unipath Diagnostics, the division markets and sells women's reproductive diagnostics kits, including ClearBlue Easy (the first one-minute home pregnancy test) and ClearPlan Easy (a three-minute home ovulation test).
The president of Unipath's United States division is Patricia Nasshorn. She was not available for comment, but company materials say that her organization was established in 1997 to partly replace a broker sales force and combat the loss of the kits' largest customer. That customer reinstated the line in 1998.
Unilever is based in Great Britain but sales topped $8 million last year in the United States, where it employs 21,000 people in 23 states. Unilever Foods North America has such product lines as Lipton, Wish-Bone dressings, various spreads including Promise, Ragu sauces, Gorton's frozen seafood, and Klondike, Popsicle and Breyer's. The home and personal care division has detergents, bar soaps such as Dove, skin care products such as Vaseline, Q-tips swabs, hair care, oral care, and Calvin Klein and Elizabeth Arden cosmetic and fragrance products.
A major setback may have been suffered by Anthra Pharmaceuticals as a result of a federal advisory panel rejecting Anthra's drug Valstar for treating a rare form of bladder cancer. Anthra had been seeking approval from the FDA for the drug to treat carcinoma of the urinary bladder, a disease that had 54,500 new cases last year, with 11,700 deaths.
Anthra, which filed a new drug application for Valstar in January, hopes that the drug could be used to stave off surgical procedures that would remove the cancerous organs from patients. But the panel felt that Anthra's studies -- based on a clinical trial involving 90 patients -- weren't adequate to show the drug's clinical benefit. The FDA's final decision on a new drug application usually follows the advice of these panels, according to a dispatch from Dow Jones News.
Representatives from Anthra could not be reached by press time.
In the early 1990s Mikros Systems Corporation was a star tenant at Princeton Service Center and a poster boy for the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. It successfully developed and sold innovative applications of advanced signal processing technology and digital wireless communications.
But though Mikros may be still be successful, it does not seem to be staying in Princeton. After selling part of its business Mikros moved out of Princeton Service Center, and calls are being taken from 5 Vaughn Drive, where a long-time investor has his office.
Mikros Systems was founded in 1978 in Albany, New York, to exploit microprocessor technology developed at the General Electric Research and Development Center. When it employed 25 people at 3490 Route 1 North, Mikros had concentrated on military contracts and was one of two main suppliers of wireless communication systems to the United States Navy. It landed the NJCST's first-ever Small Business and Innovation Research grant in 1993 and in 1996 was one of the first winners of a Small Business Administration innovation award.
But like some military suppliers Mikros needed to vigorously reinvent itself. According to documents filed with the SEC, in 1996 it joint partnered with Safeguard Scientific to form two new firms -- Data Design and Development Corporation and Mobile Broadcasting Corporation -- to develop AM and FM technology for the civilian market.
Meanwhile that year it beat out its competitor for a major Navy contract, so that it would be the exclusive supplier of wireless communication systems, and its equipment could now be the de facto standard for the U.S. Navy and the choice for allied navies which need a wireless intra-fleet system.
On May 18 it closed on a deal to sell this and the rest of its government business to General Atronics, a firm in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, headed by George E. Huffman (http://www.generalatronics.com).
Stephen C. Denty, president of Mikros since last year, was traveling and not able to take calls but was quoted in a press release: "This strategic move positions Mikros to concentrate solely on the development of the high speed data transmission technology for the commercial marketplace."
Mikros Systems trades on an over the counter bulletin board as MKRS and hovers at 11 cents, with a 12-month high of $1.20.
Calls are being answered by a skeleton Mikros staff at the office of John B. Torkelsen, a director and minority shareholder of Mikros Systems Corp. and founder of Princeton Venture Research.
The investors that bought Quilty's at 18 Witherspoon Street aim to open not one but two restaurants -- the small one at 18 Witherspoon and the larger two-story space at 235 A Nassau Street (formerly inhabited by Emerald Coffee). Both will be open for lunch and dinner, says Steve Willis the lead investor, but the Emerald space -- which has both indoor and outdoor tables -- will be "a full gourmet restaurant" and probably house the liquor license.
The names? "Zanzibar" for 235 Nassau and "Harriette" for Witherspoon. Harriette's, says Willis, is named after his mother-in-law, wife, and daughter: Harriette Brainerd, Harriette Brainerd Willis, and Harriette Willis.
It's a family affair: Willis's sister's husband, Rich Hoerner, will be the general manager in charge of both eateries. Hoerner has 20 years experience in the business and has worked in Beverly Hills and Connecticut, most recently with his own restaurant, LaSalle, in West Hartford.
The same ("prominent" but as yet unnamed) chef will plan both menus, thus achieving some economies of scale.
Richard Immesberger of Terrapin LLC at 228 Nassau Street helped put the deal together.
Steven Willis was born in Chicago, raised in Massachusetts, went to Middlebury College (Class of 1981), and is a New York investment banker. His wife, Harriet Brainard Willis, comes from a family with long-time Princeton roots; she went to Princeton Day School and Middlebury College and has taught at Lawrenceville School. With their four children, ages 2 to 11, plus assorted livestock and horses, they live on a farm in Hopewell Township.
The restaurant will be managed by Steve Willis's brother-in-law, Rich Hoerner, who has had a 25-year career managing high end restaurants in such spots as Beverly Hills; he and his wife (Willis's sister) will be moving here from Farmington, Connecticut.
Hopewell Valley Community Bank moved one step closer to becoming a reality when it named James Hyman its first president and CEO. While the bank is still in organizing process (U.S. 1, March 18), the naming of Hyman should provide some momentum. Hyman, a Rutgers University graduate, was founding president and CEO of the First Community Bank in Clinton, and grew the bank from scratch to $195 million in deposits during his seven-year tenure there. He has also worked for Midlantic Bank, Ultra Bank, and Carteret Savings and Loan and served in the U.S. Navy.
Steve Kalafer, chairman of Flemington Car & Truck Country and the new Somerset Patriots minor league baseball team, predicts that Hyman will get the new bank "out of the box quickly."
"Small business people and local consumers should be thrilled with his choice because he will make certain that their needs are met," says Kalafer.
Patrick Ryan, formerly executive vice president of a Trenton-based beer distributorship and principal organizer of the banking venture, is stressing the service angle that Hyman seems to represent. "Jim and his staff will enthusiastically provide personalized service to everyone who utilizes our institution," he says.
William T. Quinn moved his specialty advertising firm to 3,700 square feet at Eastpark Boulevard. The firm concentrates on catalog publishing for retailers, catalog companies, and shopping centers, and moved from Davison Avenue, Somerset. It also has a showcase on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Quinn graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick (Class of 1977) and spun this company off from another advertising firm, W.T. Quinn, in 1993. That company has since moved to Atlanta. "W.T. Quinn was a full-service advertising agency concentrating on shopping centers, we're really working with retailers and catalogers," he says. Its customers include the Mall at Short Hills, Hanover Direct in Weehawken; Lillian Vernon, Greenfield Jewelers, and the World Financial Center.
The tape duplication firm headquartered in Irvine, California, took 1,400 square feet at Princeton Meadows Office Center to open a tri-state sales center with four employees. Its clients include Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Simon & Schuster, Prentice Hall, as well as several agencies such as Gem Communications and Dynamic Communications that service the pharmaceutical industry.
While it does fulfillment for its clients, CPU is not technically a fulfillment house. "Somebody will call us up and say `I have a set of cookbooks and I want you to do fulfillment for it.' That's really not the kind of stuff we do fulfillment for," says Bob Sellers, the regional sales manager. "We do the fulfillment for the products that include audio and video cassettes and CD-ROMs. That's more than enough to keep us busy."
Based in Santa Monica, California, this business mortgage firm moved to the Mack-Cali building on Vaughn Drive last month.
"Technology is exploding, and there is a lack of technical people in the field," says Mohan Reddy. "Because my partner and I have been in the business for 20 years, we know where to get the people to do the consulting work."
He is a graduate of Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1975, and he and Raj Sajanklia opened this firm in March. Of 25 employees, five work at this 1,200 square feet location and the rest at clients sites. The firm does client server software consulting and Year 2000 compliance.
Based in Sunnyvale, California, Penergy Inc. changed its name to Presidio Systems and then was bought out last year by Domain Solutions, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm offers a software product for the pharmaceutical industry's clinical trials -- Presidio RDC (with the initials standing for remote data capture). Puneet Mahashwari supports the product at every stage, from installation to customization.
After earning bachelor's and master's degrees in India, Mahashwari obtained a master's in biomedical engineering at University of Texas in Arlington and worked in Dallas for Sabre Decision Technologies. He has a shared office space at Princeton Office Gallery but is now consulting at Merck & Company, in Rahway, where he is using Presidio RDC to implement remote data capture for conducting clinical trials.
The software development plans to move its two dozen employees to 4,300 feet at 305 College Road West this month. It has groupware products including Interact.Pro software for private interactive meetings on a single server
After combining its sales force with that of the Kodak copier division Danka moved from 3705 Quakerbridge Road to 6,000 square feet in 103 Carnegie Center, suites 101 and 103. There are now 100 employees working in its location.
Danka was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. It specializes in the manufacture of photocopiers and network digital copiers and network printers, as well as color and high volume equipment. Worldwide Danka has 22,000 employees. With the purchase of Kodak's copier division in December, 1996, Danka has become the strongest independent copier/dealer in New Jersey, says Rob Bain, senior area manager. It has more than 20,000 customers and over 200 field technicians working in New Jersey. "We're second largest to Xerox in the world," says Bain. "We've consolidated our offices even though we're growing by leaps and bounds."
The residential and commercial real estate firm has gone from 10 to 21 agents in the past year and doubled its square footage, taking 2,300 square feet across the street at 55 Princeton-Hightstown Road. It was previously located at 54 Princeton-Hightstown Road.
Founded in 1965 and headquartered based in Phoenix, Arizona, Realty Executives is the fourth largest real estate firm in the nation and has branches in 39 states and five countries.
The two-attorney tax and estate planning law firm moved to 1,500 square feet in Ewing. The new address, is 1230 Parkway Avenue, Suite 201, Ewing 08628. The new phone and fax are 609-882-6010 and 609-882-8040.
Because of ALK Associates' expansion, the Princeton Adult School administrative office moved from 1000 Herrontown Road to 228 Alexander Road.
The investment firm has moved from Washington Park and calls are being taken by corporate headquarters at 66 South Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903; 401-272-9590. It offers investment services, mortgage backed securities, and all fixed income securities.
The microfiche laser printing firm formerly known as Endata moved out of 13,000 square feet in Horizon Center to be closer to its Philadelphia client base. The new address is 701 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. The new phone and fax numbers are 215-923-4100 and 215-923-4854 respectively. First Image also maintains an office in Allentown, PA.
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