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Rutgers, RWJBarnabas to partner on academic health care system

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Rutgers University is partnering with RWJBarnabas Health to create an academic health care system.
Rutgers University is partnering with RWJBarnabas Health to create an academic health care system. - ()

The state's largest hospital system and the state's largest university signed a letter of intent Thursday for a partnership that will create the state's largest academic health care system.

RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University announced the new venture, which focuses on providing better access to health care in the state and greater academic and clinical research opportunities — including existing work at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

It will also create a new 2,500-strong multispecialty group that includes the Rutgers Health Group of about 1,000 Rutgers-employed professionals, and gives patients increased access to physicians, physician assistants, dentists, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral health and addiction professionals.

“The affiliation between Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health to create the premier academic health care system in the state will accelerate the recruitment of world-class clinician-investigators to our health sciences faculty,” said Rutgers University President Robert Barchi. “It will also provide our students with outstanding clinical and research opportunities. The commitment of RWJBarnabas Health to fund research and educational expansion at Rutgers will further propel us to national leadership in academic health care and biomedical research.”

RWJBarnabas Health CEO and President Barry Ostrowsky described the roles of each entity.

“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. Together, we are solidifying our commitment to drive advanced research and invest in the health and wellness of the people in our communities throughout the region for many years to come,” he said.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom said the new alliance will help in the training of the next generation of doctors.

“Our new alliance will better enable us to educate the next generation of health care professionals and offer the top-tier health education and training necessary to provide health care in an ever-changing environment, developing one of the best academic health systems in the country,” he said.

The newly formed academic health care system will create a joint committee including Rutgers and RWJBarnabas officials for strategic planning and oversight.

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