Rutgers Med School Signs Affiliation Agreement With St. Peter’s Hospital

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—As the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) school enters its second year, the school has signed an affiliation agreement with Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

The deal means that RBHS, the umbrella organization for the schools acquired by Rutgers University in a 2013 merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), now has partnerships with both of New Brunswick's major hospitals.

Now Saint Peter’s is a major clinical affiliate with Rutgers' Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

The aim of the alliance is to enhance medical education, the delivery of healthcare, and scope of research opportunities, according to school officials.  RBHS is one of the country's largest universities for the advancement of research-driven healthcare.

The agreement became effective last Tuesday, exactly one year after the 2013 breakup of UMDNJ.

“We look forward to working with Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in a new and exciting way,” RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom told njbmagazine.com.

“The affiliate relationship with Saint Peter's will provide enhanced clinical care, expanded educational opportunities, and greater access to clinical trials with the overall goal of continually improving the health of the community,” Strom said.

The affiliation agreement will include the sharing of ideas on fellowship programs, residency rotations, medical school clerkships, specialty, and subspecialty programs.  Each year, the program will accept 90 students in their third or fourth year. 

Ronald Rak, President and CEO of Saint Peter's Healthcare System, told New Brunswick Today: "It's beyond New Brunswick, it's the state." 

RBHS’s facilities are spread across several locations throughout New Jersey.  Clinical trials will also benefit from the synergy created by the partnership agreement, Rak said.

“Saint Peter’s initiated this affiliation because we believe that by working together and building strong partnerships, Rutgers and Saint Peter’s will best serve the interests of our communities and the State of New Jersey,” said Rak.

“The creation of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences has launched a new era for the advancement of medicine in New Jersey, and Saint Peter’s is thrilled to be a key part of that endeavor.”

Previously, a Philadelphia-based medical school had been partnered with St. Peter's.

Just a few years ago, Drexel College of Medicine began offering a residency program at the hospital to sixty students. Drexel offered the program as an alternative to the school's main hospital affiliation, Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

During that program, Rutgers undergraduate students could be accepted into the Drexel program in their junior or senior year, earning college credit for clinical research experience completed at St. Peter's. Those students would then be enrolled in the Drexel College of Medicine.

The deal between Rutgers, Drexel and St. Peter's was signed in November 2011, with the program beginning during the Fall 2012 semester.