Shovels hit the ground on June 24, marking the beginning to the state’s first freestanding cancer hospital, from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, in partnership with the New Brunswick Development Corp. (DEVCO).
At the ceremony, it was announced that the 510,000-square-foot structure will be named the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center in recognition of the philanthropic leadership of Jack Morris, a longtime supporter of New Brunswick development, and his wife, Sheryl.
The estimated project cost is $750 million.
The 12-story facility, to be located on Somerset Street, will house inpatient, outpatient and ancillary services, as well as state-of-the-art laboratories where research faculty can provide hands-on educational opportunities for students, and enable physician-scientists to translate scientific findings directly to patients.
“There is nothing that feels better or more gratifying than helping others in need,” said Jack Morris. “Cancer touches the lives of everyone – and we believe that people should not have to travel to New York or Pennsylvania to get great cancer care. It has been our vision, our hope and our dream to have the top cancer center in the nation right here in New Brunswick. Sheryl and I are so proud that we can play a role in helping to make this dream a reality.”
“RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers are widely recognized as leaders in health care and life sciences, and the addition of the Cancer Center represents a significant step forward in New Jersey’s fight against cancer,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “Through the development of this new cancer pavilion, these world-class entities will continue to be at the forefront of research, innovation, and cancer care, serving as a leader for our state and nation. This center will provide patients with the most sophisticated cancer treatment available with access to the latest technology and medicine New Jersey has to offer. I am grateful to RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers for their commitment and proud to support this effort that will further provide access to the latest treatments for cancer patients across New Jersey and beyond.”
“Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey together with RWJBarnabas Health already serves as a destination for advanced cancer treatments including clinical trials, stem cell transplantation, proton therapy and CAR T-cell therapy. This trailblazing facility will help us further our mission in the delivery of outstanding comprehensive oncology care for our state and improving the health and well-being of our residents,” stated RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky. “Jack Morris has been the greatest champion of this project since its inception.
“The magnitude of this generosity propels Jack and Sheryl into the ranks of visionary philanthropists who have helped to change the course of healthcare in New Jersey,” he said.
The project is expected to be completed in 2024.
“The Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center will amplify our ability to more quickly translate groundbreaking
discoveries from the laboratory directly to the patient in addition to providing numerous amenities critical to the cancer journey all in one footprint. Keeping the patient at the center of all we do is paramount to bringing exceptional cancer care to our patients,” noted Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Dr. Steven Libutti, who is also the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health. “I am humbled by the passion and commitment of the Morris family and the many other donors who I know will join them. Their support will further propel us into the future of cancer discovery and care, and for that we are truly grateful.”
The Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center will enable ease of access for imaging, other diagnostic tests, treatment and follow-up exams all in one space. It will also have the capacity to offer wellness and education resources including offerings catered specifically to the needs of cancer survivors.
“This new cancer center demonstrates a strong commitment to academic medicine in our state. With an emphasis on research, education, prevention, and patient care, this facility will give New Jersey cancer patients enhanced access to the latest treatments – fueled in part by scientific investigation conducted at Rutgers and by numerous other partners,” added Jonathan Holloway, president, Rutgers University.l