(Nutley, NJ) – Hackensack University Health Network (HackensackUHN) and Seton Hall University (SHU) announced today that the two institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new, four-year school of medicine. This partnership will establish the first private school of medicine currently in the state and provide a significant economic boost to the region. The school intends to locate on the campus of the former Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), a state-of-the-art biomedical facility, in Nutley and Clifton, New Jersey.
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Establishing a school of medicine with the backing of two esteemed institutions will attract the best and brightest to the field of medicine in the State of New Jersey and help curb the critical physician shortage that the state and the nation currently face. By 2020, it is estimated there will be a shortage of 2,500 physicians in the Garden State. HackensackUHN and SHU's joint venture to create a premier academic institution will help combat the physician shortage by providing key educational, research, and career opportunities to incentivize the next generation to pursue a career in medicine.
"We are excited to be taking this next step with Seton Hall University. Our academic reputations, combined with our clinical expertise, will guarantee the establishment of a world-class academic institution in the Garden State," said Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of HackensackUHN. "New Jersey has long been known as a home to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and it is imperative we continue to support our future workforce through a premier school of medicine."
"Seton Hall University has always been committed to academic excellence and servant leadership, and Hackensack University Health Network has always been committed to healthcare excellence," said Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, president of Seton Hall University. "As a Catholic university with strong existing programs in the sciences, nursing, health and medical sciences, and health law, we are perfectly poised to create a school of medicine that will educate talented people in the diverse fields of healthcare."
Speaking at the news conference, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie emphasized the importance of investing in higher education and praised the vision and leadership of Hackensack UHN President Garrett and Seton Hall President Esteban.
“We know that by continuing to grow our academic core, we are going to grow our economic core as well,” the governor said. “This would not have happened if it wasn’t for the willingness of Mr. Garrett and Dr. Esteban to step forward and say, ‘We will lead.’ That is the indispensable part of any great accomplishment – to have a person or people who are willing to step forward and take risks and lead, and that is what we have in both of these gentlemen. That gives me great confidence about the future of the Hackensack University Health Network and my alma mater, Seton Hall."
The school of medicine will not only help educate our future workforce, but it will provide a much-needed economic boost to the region by creating highly skilled jobs. The Clifton and Nutley communities experienced a significant economic setback with the departure of Roche, losing nearly 2,000 jobs in late 2013. The establishment of a new medical school will have a substantial impact on both municipalities, injecting much needed capital into the community.
Garrett added, "The school of medicine will create thousands of highly skilled jobs for New Jerseyans in the years to come, attracting new businesses to relocate to our great state to take advantage of our highly skilled workforce. I look forward to partnering with Seton Hall University to making this school of medicine among the best in the nation."
The school of medicine will be committed to educational and healthcare excellence, cutting-edge research, high quality care, and the advancement of medical and health science educational imperatives. Seton Hall's plan to integrate its nursing and allied health programs with the new school of medicine is not only innovative but mirrors how healthcare will be delivered in the future. HackensackUHN's hospitals will serve as the primary clinical teaching sites for SHU and SHU-affiliated graduate education programs. Access to HackensackUHN's premier healthcare facilities and training programs will provide hands-on experience and incentivize highly-trained researchers and physicians to live and work in New Jersey upon graduation. The first class is expected to begin within the next three years.
"HackensackUHN and Seton Hall's vision to create this school of medicine is truly inspirational. Repurposing Roche's premier state-of-the-art facility for this purpose is an excellent fit to Roche's purpose of 'Doing now what patients need next,'" said Tom Lyon, vice president and site head, Roche. "Creating a pipeline of future doctors and nurses truly embodies Roche's vision and continues the positive healthcare-related legacy for the local communities. As we move forward to divest the site, we look forward to working with HackensackUHN and Seton Hall and the ultimate new owner of the Roche campus, which Roche is selecting in parallel, to help make the new school of medicine a reality."
Subject to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) approval, an agreement is expected to be finalized in early 2015.
About Hackensack University Health Network
Hackensack University Health Network (HackensackUHN) is the New Jersey-based parent company of HackensackUMC, the HackensackUMC Foundation, Hackensack University Medical Groups, and corporate joint venture partners with LHP Hospital Group in ownership of two hospitals: HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley and HackensackUMC Mountainside. In late 2014, HackensackUHN announced its plans to merge with Meridian Health, forming the largest integrated health system in New Jersey. Also in 2014, HackensackUHN announced that Palisades Medical Center will become a full member of the Network. Together with six other health systems, the Network is part of the nation’s largest healthcare consortium of its kind, AllSpire Health Partners. HackensackUHN also enjoys clinical and academic affiliations with some of the nation’s most well-renowned health systems, hospitals and universities, including: CityMD, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MinuteClinic, North Shore-LIJ Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, St. George’s University, Statesir Cancer Center at CentraState Medical Center, and Stevens Institute of Technology. With more than 11,300 employees, 3,100 credentialed medical staff members and 1,697 hospital and nursing home beds at hospitals within the Network, Hackensack University Health Network is one of the largest healthcare systems in New Jersey.
About Seton Hall University
One of the country's leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been developing students in mind, heart and spirit since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous majors, Seton Hall's academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, US News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek. Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has experienced record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth as well as more than a 70 point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. Since 2007, Seton Hall students and alumni have been awarded 18 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors including a Rhodes Scholar. A founding member of the new Big East Conference, the Seton Hall Pirates field 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports teams. The university's beautiful main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles from New York City – offering its students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university's nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. For more information, visit www.shu.edu.