Rutgers physicians will assume role of Bergen County Medical Examiner, perform all forensic pathology duties for the county
(Hackensack) – Rutgers University, through Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, will appoint physicians to lead the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office by late September, in a new partnership between the County and the university.
The Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office is mandated by state law to investigate the cause of death for unusual or suspicious matters including suspected homicides, inmate deaths, workplace accidents and sudden infant deaths, and to provide expert testimony in civil and criminal court cases.
The five-year contract between Bergen County and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the first of its kind in New Jersey. The medical school’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine will assign at least two licensed physicians, who are also board-certified forensic pathologists, to work full time in the office. One will serve as the county’s chief medical examiner. Through the new partnership, the office may serve a teaching site within the school’s residency program in pathology, and as a research site for public health and forensic medicine research.
“Our physicians will serve Bergen County, families mourning the untimely loss of loved ones, and victims of violent crime with professionalism, compassion, and excellent skill in forensic pathology,” said Robert L. Johnson, M.D., dean, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “In addition, the benefit of a teaching site for our residency program will enhance our ability to produce highly-skilled physician graduates.”
“The Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office has a longstanding reputation of providing quality services to the people of this County,” said County Executive James J. Tedesco III. “This exciting new partnership will not only enhance these services but also provide vital research that will greatly improve overall population health management.”
Bergen County has determined that its forensic pathology needs would be best served by contracting exclusively with a public teaching institution – and, in particular, one that already provides medical services at the county’s hospital, New Bridge Medical Center.
“The Medical Examiner’s Office serves a critical role in society, from solving crimes to providing much-needed answers to loved ones,” said Bergen County Freeholder Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan, “The Freeholder Board is proud to work with the Administration in yet another partnership to create a win-win for the people of Bergen County. Not only will this agreement create better trained doctors, but they will be putting that knowledge to work right here in our community, to share services for the benefit and protection of not just Bergen County residents but the entire state.”
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Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.
About Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolFounded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state. Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 20 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” Home to the nation’s oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: njms.rutgers.edu.