Further extending its reach in northern New Jersey, Hackensack Meridian Health announced on Wednesday the formation of a clinical and strategic partnership with St. Joseph’s Health – a move intended to deepen the organizations’ commitment to deliver innovative, high-quality and cost-effective care throughout Bergen and Passaic counties.
“This is an exciting step forward in the history of St. Joseph’s Health,” said Kevin Slavin, president and chief executive officer at St. Joseph’s Health. “After a comprehensive search to find just the right partner who would support our Catholic roots and philosophy, while at the same time embrace our commitment to the local communities of northern New Jersey, we are delighted to join efforts with Hackensack Meridian Health in this forward-thinking collaboration. This is a decision that we did not take lightly nor did we rush into. It was about two years ago that we started on this journey. It is a critical defining moment in the history of St. Joseph’s 152- year history. In health care now, the easiest thing to do is nothing but that is not the right thing to do. Forward-thinking organizations like ours move ahead and do bold and innovative things and that is the legacy of these two organizations,” Slavin concluded.
Robert Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said that St. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health are natural partners who share a common mission and culture—increasing access to high-quality, affordable care to the communities they serve.
“We are excited to enter into a partnership with a first-class health care network like St. Joseph’s Health. The formation of this innovative partnership will transform health care in New Jersey and provide more residents access to the most advanced treatments,” said Garrett.
He added that the new partnership will focus on expanding and improving cancer care including collaboration on the Paterson and Wayne campuses.
“We will be announcing a joint venture where we will be operating a joint cancer center in the Totowa area and in Wayne with women’s health care and cancer services,” said Garrett.
In a joint press release, St. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health said that the partnership will advance their commitment to meet the needs of the communities they serve, including the underserved and vulnerable. The two organizations said that they are focused on providing patient-centered care that humanizes the patient experience and is respectful of individual preferences, needs and values.
Under the new partnership, St. Joseph’s Health will remain an independent organization, governed by a separate board of directors, with continued sponsorship by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.
“The partnership of our two organizations deepens our commitment to the communities we serve,” said Sister Marilyn Thie, chair of the board of trustees at St. Joseph’s Health. “It will enable us to sustain our proud 152-year history and Catholic Mission for many years to come.”
This clinical and strategic partnership builds upon the existing collaboration between the two organizations.
In 2017, Hackensack Meridian Health and St. Joseph’s Health formed the Visiting Health Services of New Jersey, a jointly owned home health and hospice services agency that serves patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and parts of Morris counties.
VHS received nearly 4,000 admissions in 2018, a 160 percent increase over the prior year, and is setting a new standard of excellence in home health services, providing high-quality, highly coordinated and professional continuum of care to patients in the comfort of their homes.
“Partnerships are the future of health care, and together, with like-minded partners like St. Joseph’s Health, we will be able to transform health care delivery,” said Gordon Litwin, chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health board of trustees.
According to the two organizations, the new clinical and strategic partnership will also enable the networks to continue to advance medical education for the next generation of health care providers, and work together to support population health management and effectively transition to value-based care.
In addition, the partnership provides the opportunity to develop a strong clinical affiliation in oncology to bring advanced diagnostics and treatment therapies to the City of Paterson and across St. Joseph’s service areas.
“I firmly believe that innovative partnerships like this are the answer to enhancing health care delivery to those who need it most,” said Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli, bishop of the Diocese of Paterson. “New models and structures are imperative for Catholic health systems (like St. Joseph’s Health) to remain strong, while evolving as the leading health resource in the community.”