Hackensack University Health Network and Seton Hall University Announce Joint Venture to Form School of Medicine

Hackensack University Health Network (HackensackUHN) and Seton Hall University (SHU) sign 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. The school intends to locate on the 119-acre campus of the former Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), a state-of-the-art biomedical facility, in Nutley and Clifton, New Jersey.

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, according to the two entities. By 2020, it is estimated there will be a shortage of 2,500 physicians in the Garden State.

The first class of students is expected to enter in the fall of 2017. Class size is predicted at 125 to 150 students.

HackensackUHN and SHU’s joint venture to create an 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.”

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. It is estimated that 400 to 500 jobs will be created through the venture. 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.

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