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RWJBarnabas, Rutgers Launch $1B Public-Private Partnership

Analysis  |  By John Commins  
   July 25, 2018

New Jersey's largest health system will invest $100 million initially, and $50 million each year over 20 years to expand education and research, and improve access to healthcare.

RWJBarnabas Health announced this week that it will invest more than $1 billion in a public-private partnership with Rutgers University to create "a world-class integrated academic health system."

"This is a transformational partnership for RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University, but, more importantly, for the people of New Jersey and beyond," RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry H. Ostrowsky said Tuesday at a media briefing in New Brunswick.

"Together, we are poised to develop a widely renowned academic health system, driving medical innovations and clinical research to influence outcomes across the nation," he said.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom said the partnership will create a medical group of more than 2,500 employed physicians from RWJBarnabas and Rutgers Health, making it one of the nation's largest medical groups.

"This unparalleled enterprise will further our shared goal to grow research activities and expand clinical trials statewide," Strom said. "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 and Rutgers will remain separate organizations, each keeping their own employees and independent boards, which will form a joint committee for strategic planning and oversight of the academic health system.

Clinical services will be led by RWJBarnabas. Academic and research functions will be managed and led by Rutgers.

In addition to the medical group, RWJBarnabas Health will invest $100 million, and then more than $1 billion dollars over 20 years for education and research at the health system, that will include:

  • The construction of a clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and a new ambulatory care center, both located in New Brunswick.
  • Recruiting clinical and academic faculty, including 100 principal investigators by Rutgers over 10 years who will double the university's research capacity;
  • $10 million for incentives to keep graduating Rutgers medical students in New Jersey;
  • Expanding residency and fellowship programs across New Jersey;
  • Expanding inter-professional clinical training for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professional students;
  • Expanding access to clinical trials of new and promising treatments to New Jersey.

"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," Rutgers University President Robert Barchi said.

RWJBarnabus Health, New Jersey's largest health system, was formed in 2016 with the merger of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Barnabus Health. The system includes 11 acute care hospitals, four pediatric hospitals, a 100-bed behavioral health center, and outpatient offices that provide care for more than five million people in a nine-county catchment area.

The health system is also New Jersey's largest public employer, with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences includes eight schools, a behavioral health network, and six research centers.    

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


The partnership creates a medical group of more than 2,500 employed physicians, one of the nation's largest.

RWJBarnabas and Rutgers will remain separate, with joint oversight of the academic health system.

Clinical services will be led by RWJBarnabas. Academics and research will be led by Rutgers.

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