By Donald Gilpin
James Demetriades, who became CEO of Penn Medicine Princeton Health (PMPH) on March 1, is leading the growing medical center through the second year of a pandemic and into a future of transformations that he continues to pilot.
In an April 13 phone interview, he noted that he and PMPH learned many lessons over the past year as they confronted the unpredictable onslaught of COVID-19. Demetriades, however, in his 18th year at the hospital, already had plenty of experience in observing and participating in dramatic transformations. His role has grown and changed along with the medical center’s growth and change over the years.
Though he feels some nostalgia for the days of the old Princeton Medical Center on Witherspoon Street, before the move to Route 1 in Plainsboro in 2012, Demetriades emphasized the importance of the growth.
“I loved being in the center of town,” he said. “I certainly miss being able to stroll up Witherspoon Street to Nassau Street. But we’ve built a health campus that spans across an individual’s life cycle, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia specialty office building to the hospital, which is the anchor tenant of our campus. We have sickness and wellness services, independent living, skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care, childhood and adult daycare.”
He continued, “Over the past 10 plus years we’ve created an integrated campus that, once complete, will represent a $1.5 billion asset to the residents of central New Jersey. Add to that our large behavioral health continuum with our 110-bed behavioral health hospital on Herrontown Road and another six outpatient facilities throughout the state.” He pointed out the limitations of the Witherspoon hospital location with demand and technology increasing rapidly and no space for expansion in town. more