Earlier today, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry H. Ostrowsky and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom provided details on their partnership during a briefing following a meeting of the Rutgers University Board of Governors. The Rutgers Board approved a resolution outlining the terms of the partnership. RWJBarnabas Health’s Board of Trustees approved proceeding with the partnership at their last meeting. The new venture will further the goals of Rutgers with respect to medical and health professional education and research by boosting the recruitment of prominent academic, research and clinical practitioners, and strengthening the advancement of health science innovation and education, while also enhancing the delivery and accessibility of evidence-based health care across the state.
“This is a transformational partnership for RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University, but, more importantly, for the people of New Jersey and beyond,” said Mr. Ostrowsky. “Together, we are poised to develop a widely renowned academic health system, driving medical innovations and clinical research to influence outcomes across the nation.”
“As one of the nation’s leading public universities, Rutgers has a longstanding history of excellence in education, service and research,” said President Barchi. “Through this partnership, we have formed the largest and most comprehensive academic health system in New Jersey and are well positioned to take our place as a national leader in patient care, health science discovery and innovation.”
Patients will benefit from increased access to a world-class academic health system, clinical innovation,
groundbreaking research and newly developed centers of excellence, as well as access to more providers that families need to manage their health and wellness.
Key among the transformative efforts of the partnership is the formation of a comprehensive medical group comprised of employed physicians and other health care professionals from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health. When finalized over the coming months, the new medical group – one of the largest in the country – will have a unified clinical mission that complements the high quality standards of teaching and research excellence. The medical group will be led by an integrated practice CEO.
“This unparalleled enterprise will further our shared goal to grow research activities and expand clinical trials statewide,” said Chancellor Strom, who oversees Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, including eight schools, a behavioral health network, and six centers and institutes that focus on basic laboratory research, cancer treatment and research, clinical and translational research, neuroscience, environmental and occupational health, and health care policy and aging research. “Becoming an integrated academic health system will enable us to expand our academic and research mission so we can better train tomorrow’s clinical workforce and quicken the pace of discovery for patients.”
RWJBarnabas Health will invest $100 million initially, and then more than one billion dollars over 20 years to expand in the education and research mission of the integrated academic health system, including:
- The recruitment of leading clinical and academic leaders and faculty to build and expand the enterprise;
- The recruitment of approximately 100 new high-caliber principal investigators by Rutgers over ten years, to double the research portfolio;
- $10 million in financial support earmarked to encourage Rutgers medical students to remain in and provide care to residents of New Jersey;
- Appropriately balancing the size of residency and fellowship programs across the state to enhance education;
- Increasing opportunities to train medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professional students in inter-professional clinical environments;
- Expanded access to clinical trials, bringing the newest and most promising treatments to all the people of New Jersey.
In addition, RWJBarnabas Health will also fund the construction of a new clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, as well as a new ambulatory care center, both in New Brunswick.
RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University will remain separate organizations, each retaining their own respective employees and the boards of each organization will remain independent. The boards will form a Joint Committee for strategic planning and oversight of the academic health system. The Joint Committee will feature equal representation from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers. The clinical delivery of services will be managed and led by RWJBarnabas Health in coordination with Rutgers, and the academic and research functions will be managed and led by Rutgers in coordination with RWJBarnabas Health.