SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health announced today that the two organizations have signed an agreement for a long-term lease with the real estate development firm Prism Capital Partners to lease 16 acres including two state-of-the-art buildings on the former Hoffmann-La Roche biomedical campus located in Nutley and Clifton, New Jersey, to serve as the home for their new health and medical sciences campus. The campus will include the new School of Medicine being started by Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall, as well as Seton Hall’s College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences, which will be moving from their present location on the University’s main campus in South Orange. In addition, the new campus will serve as a major site for health science research and discovery activities. The 25-year-lease of the campus is set to begin in early October.
Prism signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement that will enable the transfer of the former Roche North American Pharmaceuticals headquarters’ 116-acre campus by September 30. Transfer of the Roche site and the lease are contingent upon completion of the necessary financial and development approvals by the local municipalities.
The co-location of the College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences with the new School of Medicine is designed to mirror how healthcare will be delivered in the future. This team-based approach will train students from medicine, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, and other related fields together to improve patient care. Hackensack Meridian Health’s hospitals will serve as the primary clinical teaching sites for Seton Hall and its affiliated graduate education programs.
“Seton Hall is proud to partner with Hackensack Meridian Health in the signing of this lease agreement to create a state-of-the-art health and medical sciences campus that will serve as the home for our new School of Medicine,” said University President A. Gabriel Esteban. “The new campus will allow us to become the preeminent center for Catholic-based health sciences education in the Northeast.”
“Together with our partner, Seton Hall University, Hackensack Meridian Health is pleased to enter into this agreement with Prism Capital Partners for the home of our medical school,” said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “The longevity of the lease indicates our confidence that this school of medicine will thrive and become one of the nation’s best. We look forward to providing a world-class medical school on a world-class campus.”
The Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian Health partnership will establish the only private school of medicine in the state and will provide a significant economic boost to the region. Establishing a school of medicine with the backing of two esteemed institutions is expected to 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. By 2020, it is estimated there will be a shortage of upwards of 3,000 physicians in the Garden State and 135,000 nationally. The joint venture to create a premier academic institution will provide key educational, research and career opportunities to incentivize the next generation to pursue a career in medicine.
Earlier this year, Dr. Bonita Stanton, a nationally recognized expert on pediatric medicine, was appointed the founding dean of the new School of Medicine, which the parties plan to open in fall 2018. The school will be committed to educational and healthcare excellence, cutting-edge research, high quality care, and the advancement of medical and health science educational imperatives.
The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners granted conditional approval to the project earlier this year, subject to the approval from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The LCME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authority for the accreditation of medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree. Accreditation by the LCME establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs, including Title VII funding administered by the Public Health Service.