Please attribute the following statement to HPAE President Debbie White, RN
Today, the Rutgers Board of Governors voted to merge the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick with the New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
The board disregarded unanimous oppositional testimony to the merger from community groups as well as Rutgers faculty and student groups from both campuses. All those who testified expressed concerns about the impact of the merger on University Hospital in Newark, on medical education at both campuses, and on the delivery of medical services, especially to vulnerable communities.
Since the time of the Newark Accords, University Hospital and NJMS together – and only together – have played a significant role in addressing social determinants of health and structural racism in Newark. Speaker after speaker today spoke against the merger, expressing concerns about the impact on the community and Newark’s continued economic and cultural revitalization. If NJMS loses its identity in Newark and its clear connection to University Hospital, it is a step in the wrong direction and in violation of the 1968 Newark Accords.
Despite the opposition, the Rutgers Board of Governors voted to approve the resolution to move forward with the merger without any discussion or questions. HPAE joins the community, faculty, and student groups in opposing this merger. We applaud the efforts of NJ Jersey legislators who have expressed concerns over irreparable harm to Rutgers, the two medical schools, University Hospital, and the people of Newark.
For more information, contact: Michael Allen, (646) 436-7556.