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RWJBarnabas furthers partnership with Rutgers University by joining clinical practices

RWJBarnabas has begun a number of partnerships in recent months, including with Saint Peter's Healthcare System and Trinitas Regional Medical.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

New Jersey-based Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health furthered their existing partnership last week by announcing their integrated practice agreement.

The agreement creates a singularly aligned clinical enterprise that combines the university's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and RWJBarnabas Health medical group practices.

It does not include clinical services provided by Rutgers New Jersey Medical School at University Hospital in Newark or the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. However, the cancer institute will be integrated at a later date, according to the announcement.

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The agreement was effective as of July 1, 2020.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Under the agreement, all current Rutgers employees will remain employees of the university, and the academic leaders from those practices will continue to lead the recruitment of new faculty. RWJBarnabas will assume responsibility for patient experience and will oversee the Rutgers Health Robert Wood Johnson Medical School clinical enterprise.

The clinical enterprise brings together more than 2,900 providers and clinical staff members from the two organizations.

Together, the organizations will work to expand access to care for the members of their community. They will operate with the shared goal of offering end-to-end healthcare by offering primary to tertiary or quaternary services.

Additionally, the combined enterprise hopes to become a national destination for cancer treatment and neurological services, attract esteemed medical professionals from around the world and expand its portfolio of teaching and learning opportunities for medical education.

The CEO of the combined medical group is Dr. Andy Anderson. In this role, he oversees and manages the operations of the combined medical group, reports to RWJBarnabas Health leadership and sets the strategic direction and policies of the combined medical group.

THE LARGER TREND

Rutgers and RWJBarnabas' affiliation originally began in 2018 when the two signed an agreement to form an integrated academic health system.

With that first agreement, RWJBaranbas agreed to invest $100 million in the medical group immediately and then $1 billion over 20 years.

Over the course of the affiliation, Rutgers has been able to grow its research arm, recruit faculty and establish a project to build a $750 million cancer pavilion in New Brunswick.

RWJBarnabas has entered into a number of partnerships in recent months.

First, it signed a definitive agreement to integrate with Saint Peter's Healthcare System in New Brunswick. Under the terms of the agreement, Saint Peter's – with its flagship hospital, Saint Peter's University Hospital, a 478-bed acute care teaching hospital and acute care children's hospital – will remain as a full-service provider of acute healthcare services serving New Jersey and the region. It will also continue its longstanding mission and identity as a Catholic hospital.

Then last November it reached a definitive agreement with Trinitas Regional Medical Center to make it and its affiliates a part of the RWJBarnabas Health system.

These partnerships were born out of RWJBarnabas' ability to financially survive the pandemic, which it attributes to its clinicians.

ON THE RECORD

"Today's announcement is another step toward integrating Rutgers' expertise in health innovation and research with RWJBarnabas Health's experience in the delivery of health care to bring the citizens of New Jersey world-class healthcare in their own backyard," said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. "Our shared goal has always been to be a transformational leader in health care, and it is exciting to continue to see our vision come to fruition."

"The long-standing reputation of our two great organizations and the combined strengths of our outstanding clinical practitioners solidify our commitment to invest in the health and wellness of the people in our communities throughout the region," said Barry Ostrowsky, president and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health. "I could not be more proud of what we, together with Rutgers, have already achieved and am confident that the future will hold innovative approaches to maintaining good health."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org