Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has been established as an independent medical school.
Hackensack Meridian Health opened the school on the Nutley-Clifton campus on Route 3 three years ago in partnership with Seton Hall University. Hackensack Meridian assumed complete financial responsibility for the school in 2018 when the agreement was restructured, and both parties determined a date for the school’s independence at that time.
“We are extremely proud of the journey we have taken to create an independent medical school,” said Hackensack Meridian Health Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrett in a prepared statement. “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.”
Students at the school have a three-year path to residency, are partnered with underserved communities, in an effort to keep more physicians in New Jersey.
“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 Dr. Bonita Stanton, 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 Nyre in a prepared statement.
Hackensack Meridian and Seton Hall remain strategic academic partners and have interdisciplinary connections, training students for treating opioid addiction supported by a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services grant program. The program 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 Research Seminar Series, cultivating a collaborative research environment and promoting scholarly discourse, skill-building and mentoring for faculty, staff and students, an announcement said.
In 2018, the School of Medicine’s inaugural class included 60 students, and 90 students were admitted in 2019. Another 123 students are beginning their medical education this July. The medical students were picked from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants in the last two classes.
Nearly half of the new class is female and half are people of color. Students speak 33 different languages overall, and more than a quarter of them are from groups categorized as under-represented in medicine.