JULY 27, 2020, Nutley, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University have announced that the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has been established as an independent medical school. This is a major milestone for the three-year-old school that offers a three-year path to residency, partners students with underserved communities and strives to keep more physicians in New Jersey.
“We are extremely proud of the journey we have taken to create an independent medical school,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “We have worked closely with our partner Seton Hall University to establish a school that will lead the nation in medical education, as well as create a physician workforce highly trained to excel in a new state of health care.”
Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University and opened the school on the Nutley-Clifton campus on Route 3 three years ago. The agreement was restructured in 2018, in which Hackensack Meridian assumed complete financial responsibility for the school and both parties determined a date for the school’s independence.
“Our vision –which we believe is achievable—is that all citizens within the State of New Jersey—and eventually across the nation—deserve the same level of health outcomes regardless of race or socioeconomic status,” said Bonita Stanton, M.D., the School’s founding dean. “The entire curriculum is built around this vision.”
“I am confident our IHS campus — and the alliance that supports it — will play a major role in creating a safer and healthier world for everyone. We remain focused on enhanced team-based approaches to medical and health education. These approaches will continue to serve our nursing and health and medical science students, as well as Seton Hall undergraduates who dream of studying at a world-class medical school,” said Seton Hall University President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D.
A ceremony was held at the school Monday, in which Mr. Garrett, Dean Stanton and Dr. Nyre unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the school’s independence. Photo from left: Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Founding Dean Bonita Stanton, M.D. and Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.
Beyond sharing facilities, the Hackensack Meridian and Seton Hall communities remain strategic academic partners and have interdisciplinary connections. Together, they train students for treating opioid addiction supported by an innovative U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) grant program, which allows students at the School of Medicine, the Seton Hall School of Health and Medical Sciences and the Seton Hall College of Nursing to receive certifications to eventually prescribe drugs to treat opioid addiction. The three schools also collaborate on a successful Interprofessional Health Sciences (HIS IPE) Research Seminar Series at the campus which cultivates a collaborative research environment promoting scholarly discourse, skill-building and mentoring for faculty, staff and students.
The School of Medicine’s inaugural class in 2018 included 60 students, and the 2019 class admitted 90 students. Another 123 students are beginning their medical education this July. In each of the last two classes, the medical students were picked from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants.
The school’s innovative approach includes inter-disciplinary learning, the opportunity for a three-year path to residency, an optional fourth year which offers combined master’s degree or graduate certificate programs, and the Human Dimension Course. This immersive community-based experience links pairs of students to families in the community, with a focus on four domains of health: social, environmental, psychological, and medical. Throughout their stay at the School of Medicine, students in the Human Dimension follow the health trajectories of individuals and families, in locations including Hackensack, Garfield, Paterson, Passaic, Bloomfield, Clifton, Nutley, Union City, and West New York. Through experiences in the family's home, community, and health care settings, students come to understand the role of community and context in health and well-being, as well as the role of the physician in maintaining health.
The school also aims to diversify New Jersey’s next generation of physicians. Nearly half of the class is female, and students speak 33 different languages. Half of the class identifies as persons of color (other than white), and more than a quarter are from groups categorized as under-represented in medicine (URIM).
Our curriculum is mission-based, designed to create physicians who are humanistic, socially responsible and collaborative across the health care system – professionals who are equally adept at biomedical intricacies, as they are at the behavioral, social, and health system sciences used to treat people. Classes on anatomy, molecular and cellular principles, and neuroscience and behavior, are required like they are at other schools. But at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the basic science is always placed in its clinical context.
The School also continues to achieve its milestones toward full accreditation, including that of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
“We value the cooperation and collaboration on this campus, and we look forward to continuing it into the future,” said Stanton. “We thank Seton Hall for their assistance in getting our start, and we will find ways to work together heading forward.”
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The School’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children's hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 34,100 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network's notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker's Healthcare's "150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019" list.
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.
ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY
One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 rigorous academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Seton Hall embraces students of all religions and prepares them to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. In recent years, the University has achieved extraordinary success. Since 2009, it has seen record-breaking undergraduate enrollment growth and an impressive 110-point increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen. In the past decade, Seton Hall students and alumni have received more than 30 Fulbright Scholarships as well as other prestigious academic honors, including Boren Awards, Pickering Fellowships, Udall Scholarships and a Rhodes Scholarship. The University is also proud to be among the most diverse national Catholic universities in the country.
In recent years, the University has invested more than $165 million in new campus buildings and renovations. The University’s beautiful main campus in suburban South Orange, N.J. is only 14 miles from New York City — offering students a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Seton Hall’s nationally recognized School of Law is located prominently in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses Seton Hall’s College of Nursing, its School of Health and Medical Sciences as well as Hackensack Meridian Health’s Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.For more information, visit www.shu.edu.