Creation of Premier Academic Medical Center Approved

RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) and Saint Peter’s Healthcare System announced that the state of New Jersey has approved their transaction to create New Jersey’s first premier academic medical center (“premier AMC”) located in New Brunswick.

“This is a tremendous milestone in a years-long journey towards fulfilling our shared vision to bring transformative care to New Jersey,” said RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky. “As densely populated and historically rooted in biomedical research and innovation as New Jersey is, it is incredible to me that our state has never had a premier academic medical center that can unlock opportunities for medical discovery and make high-quality care more accessible and affordable for everyone. For too long, New Jerseyans have endured the cost and inconvenience of traveling out of state to receive highly specialized care, when they should be able to get it right here at home. New Jersey residents deserve nothing less, and we are now just one step away from being able to deliver on that promise.”

“We are excited to partner with RWJBarnabas Health in this first-of-its-kind endeavor as we are jointly committed to providing high-quality, affordable care to our patients and every New Jersey resident, especially the most vulnerable in our communities,” Saint Peter’s Healthcare System President and CEO Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, said. “State approval now puts us on the cusp of being able to create New Jersey’s first multi-campus premier academic medical center that will draw top talent, increased research funding, and more opportunities for groundbreaking clinical trials, while also enhancing specialized services and improving overall patient care.

“New Jersey deserves to have a premier academic medical center of national distinction like many other states that will serve as a destination for patients from all walks of life to get lifesaving treatment for complex illnesses and as an anchor for medical innovation, educational opportunity, and economic development.”

Establishing a premier AMC would fulfill a long-held state goal to transform academic healthcare, increase services and patient access to primary and specialty care, especially for children and vulnerable populations, address historic racial disparities in health outcomes, and offer a “destination AMC” level of clinical care for residents. By locating the premier AMC in New Brunswick, it will further launch Rutgers into the nation’s top tier of medical research and teaching universities, attract world-class talent and research funding, and allow for more clinical trials and greater innovation.

On April 26, in authorizing the transaction under New Jersey’s Community Healthcare Assets Protection Act (“CHAPA”), Superior Court Judge Lisa Vignuolo said, “The applicant has met the requirements necessary … [and the transaction between RWJBH and Saint Peter’s] will serve in the public interest and the public good resulting in the creation, the hopeful creation and anticipated creation, of the premier New Jersey academic medical center which would benefit the citizens of this state.”

The RWJBH and Saint Peter’s transaction has received support from U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Middlesex County Commission Chair Ronald Rios, New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus, New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Aetna Better Health, among others.

Final approval to create New Jersey’s first premier AMC is now pending review by the Federal Trade Commission.

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