On a stage with Seton Hall President Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, Roche Vice President Tom Lyon, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Hackensack University Health Network CEO Robert C. Garrett tried to sum up the significance of the announcement.
“A game changer,” he said.
“An absolutely monumental event,” he offered.
“We know that, with this partnership, we will be able to rival the best of the best,” he boasted.
No one in the standing-room-only crowd of hundreds of people who make up a who’s who in New Jersey politics and the health care industry doubted the statements.
The only question: Was he talking about the still-to-be-named Hackensack-Seton Hall school of medicine, the world-class research facility that will accompany it, the ability of the state to finally figure out how to repurpose the campus of an outgoing corporation or the clear sense that this was going to be a huge plus for health care, education and business development?
What was clear: The announcement was worth celebrating.
”This is a great day for everybody here,” U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) said. “You can feel the electricity. New Jersey needs days like this.”
They bring a better future, Christie said.
“We know that by continuing to grow our academic core, we will grow our economic core as well,” he said.
The future school will be the anchor tenant of the 119-acre property that’s situated approximately 5 miles from both Hackensack and Seton Hall.