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RWJBarnabas to spend $1 billion on new facilities, Rutgers partnership

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From left, RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees Chair Jack Morris, RBHS Senior Vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs Vicente Gracias, RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky,  RBHS Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Kathleen Bramwell, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees Vice Chair Marc Berson, and  Rutgers University President Robert Barchi.
From left, RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees Chair Jack Morris, RBHS Senior Vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs Vicente Gracias, RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky, RBHS Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Kathleen Bramwell, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees Vice Chair Marc Berson, and Rutgers University President Robert Barchi. - ()

RWJBarnabas will invest $100 million initially and more than $1 billion over the next 20 years on a public-private partnership with Rutgers University. 

Part of the partnership involves the construction and operation of a new clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey as well as a new ambulatory care center, both in New Brunswick. The facilities should open in 2020.

A group will be formed in coming months with a unified clinical mission that complements the standards of teaching and research under a CEO to be named.

Details of the ambitious initiative were detailed in a Tuesday conference call with media, with highlights including:

  • The recruitment of leading clinical and academic leaders and faculty to build and expand the enterprise;
  • The recruitment of approximately 100 high-caliber principal investigators by Rutgers over 10 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, and
  • Expanded access to clinical trials, bringing the newest and most promising treatments to all the people of New Jersey.

RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University will remain separate organizations, each retaining their own respective employees. The two boards, however, will form a joint committee for strategic planning and oversight of the academic health system with equal representation from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers.

Rutgers and RWJBarnabas signed a letter of intent to form the new system last year. The two entities have also been sharing research, especially involving Rutgers Cancer Institute.

“This is a transformational partnership for RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University, but, more importantly, for the people of New Jersey and beyond,” said Barry Ostrowsky, RWJBarnabas’ CEO, during the conference call. “Together, we are poised to develop a widely renowned academic health system, driving medical innovations and clinical research to influence outcomes across the nation.”

Said Rutgers president Robert Barchi: “Rutgers has a longstanding history of excellence in education, service and research. 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.”

Officials said patients will benefit from increased access to the system’s clinical innovation and research.

“This unparalleled enterprise will further our shared goal to grow research activities and expand clinical trials statewide,” said Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences department Chancellor Brian Strom. “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.”

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio


Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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