Hackensack Meridian-Seton Hall medical school gets accreditation, to open this fall

The Hackensack MeridianSeton Hall University medical school is open for enrollment.

The school received its accreditation late Wednesday night from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, ROI-NJ has learned.

It’s the latest step, and one of the most important ones, for the school, which will be the first private medical school in the state.

With the accreditation, a source said the school can now accept applications for its first class. And, despite being behind other med schools, the source said the school is planning on enrolling its first class this fall.

The source requested anonymity because they are not authorized to comment on the school.

“We are thrilled that the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education,” Hackensack Meridian said in a statement Thursday morning. “This is a remarkable achievement, and we are thrilled that our vision for a new approach to medical education is becoming a reality. Dynamic changes in health care require us to rethink the education of future doctors. We are creating a rigorous academic curriculum that combines traditional science with a focus on the new frontiers in medicine: prevention and population health, genetics and team-based care delivery in communities. This holistic approach truly helps us forge a new path and the future of health care depends on such innovative solutions.”

The school will be housed on the old Roche site, which straddles Nutley and Clifton along Route 3.

It recently received the OK from the Nutley Planning Board for site plans, and both Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall have been building up faculty and staff and the curriculum in the past year.

“We are pleased to receive preliminary accreditation for the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education,” Seton Hall said in a statement. “This is an essential requirement and great accomplishment in the complex process of establishing a new medical school. We continue to work with our partner, Hackensack Meridian Health, to address the next steps in this exciting project as it moves forward, including at the appropriate time, an announcement regarding our inaugural class recruitment.”

The two entities announced the venture, the first of its kind in the state between a health system and private college, in 2016 after signing a 25-year lease for the 116-acre former pharmaceutical site in Nutley and Clifton.

Of that, 16 acres will become the new school, including Seton Hall’s College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences. It is also slated to be the home for research and innovation.

Since then, Seton Hall lost its president, A. Gabriel Esteban, to Chicago-based DePaul University.

But the dual-entity venture has gained Dr. Bonita Stanton as the founding dean of the school. Stanton has had a prominent career consulting with the World Bank, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

The school has said it is building its curriculum to encourage greater interaction within the health system and focusing on the latest technologies and strategies of providing health care.

“Basic science content will be presented in its clinical context with clear medical relevance. Students will learn within an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment,” according to the school’s website.

In the past, Robert Garrett, the co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, has stated he hopes the school will help alleviate what is expected to be a coming shortage of primary care physicians in the state.

In 2020, the state is projected to have a shortage of 2,500 primary care physicians and specialists.

Garrett is so passionate about the project that he and his wife, Laura Garrett, provided a $2.65 million gift to endow a chair for Stanton.

The school comes just six years after Cooper Medical School of Rowan University enrolled its first class. That class represented the first medical school to open in New Jersey in 35 years.

It is the fifth medical school in the state, joining Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rowan University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Newark building boom continues with $80M tower

Downtown Newark is getting another luxury residential tower, an $80 million project that would bring 256 units to the Brick City, according to developer Strategic Development Partners.

The building, named Vibe, will be made up of 60 percent one-bedroom, 20 percent two-bedroom and 20 percent studio apartments. It is slated for the intersection of Halsey and William streets in the Living Downtown Redevelopment Area, Strategic Development Partners said in a news release.

“Vibe will offer a technology-rich environment with abundant lifestyle amenities for millennials, who prefer the energy and convenience of cities like Newark,” Anthony V. Bastardi, Strategic Development Partners’ chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “The location — just minutes from diverse dining options, world-class cultural events, sports and transportation — will make Vibe an enviable address.”

The building will join residential construction projects in the city that include One Theater Square and One Rector Street, the first market-rate residential towers in the city in more than 50 years.

“Vibe represents a significant investment in Newark by a talented and experienced team of redevelopment professionals,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “It is yet another exciting sign that this city is a highly desirable location.”

The property will include two restaurants on the ground level, the developer said, joining a number of other new Newark eateries in the area. Amenities for residents will include a rooftop pool and spa, outdoor dining area, fitness center and on-site parking for 156 vehicles, as well as a coffee bar and rooftop lounge.

“We have incorporated resort-style amenities into every detail of Vibe,” Barbara A. Hillier, principal with venture partner Studio Hillier. “Residents will enjoy light and airy living spaces, as well as a menu of highly desired social and recreational opportunities.”

The developer said the project represents the closest new residential development to the Prudential Center, and will sit within walking distance of several other downtown landmarks and minutes from Newark Penn Station.

“This technology-rich environment, coupled with other first-class amenities, distinguishes Vibe as a leading player in Newark’s hottest residential market,” Adrienne Albert, CEO of The Marketing Directors, another venture partner, said in a statement. “This is especially important to millennials, who prefer the convenience of living in the city, with access to cultural and sporting events, as well as transportation, recreational amenities and the latest technologies. Vibe has it all.”

The building’s website will be online soon at VibeNewark.com.

NJR’s Larry Downes named chairman of NJEDA

New Jersey Resources Chairman and CEO Laurence M. Downes has been named the chairman of the board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the EDA announced Wednesday.

Downes, who joined the EDA board in 2010 and has been vice chair since 2016, succeeds Thomas P. Scrivo as chairman. Scrivo will remain a member of the EDA board.

Downes has been with New Jersey Resources since March 1985, serving as the utility’s CEO since July 1995. He also serves as chairman and CEO of NJR’s principal subsidiary, New Jersey Natural Gas.

“I am honored that Gov. Murphy has selected me to serve as chairman of the EDA, and I look forward to helping advance his vision for a stronger and fairer economy,” Downes said in a prepared statement. “The EDA is staffed by a professional and dedicated group of individuals, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue our efforts to create jobs and revitalize communities across the state.”

His designation by Gov. Phil Murphy follows Tuesday’s announcement that the board had approved Tim Sullivan as the authority’s new CEO.

“I applaud the governor’s decision to designate Larry Downes as the EDA board’s new chairman,” Sullivan said. “With a long and distinguished professional and public service career, including eight years on the EDA board, Larry’s knowledge and insight will be indispensable as we work to grow New Jersey’s economy.”

Downes is also a member of several boards, including the American Gas Association, Natural Gas Council, American Gas Foundation, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development’s national advisory board at Rutgers University, the Drumthwacket Foundation and Choose New Jersey.

NJ Transit board OKs Corbett as executive director

The New Jersey Transit board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved Kevin Corbett as executive director, the transportation agency announced.

Corbett, who was nominated for the post by new Gov. Phil Murphy late last month, will formally take over NJ Transit on Monday. He will succeed Steven Santoro, who was named executive director in October 2016 and announced his resignation early in January.

“Kevin is taking on one of the toughest jobs in New Jersey — turning NJ Transit around and restoring it as a world-class transportation agency that our commuters can rely on,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “Every New Jerseyan who takes the train or bus every day, and the thousands of employees who show up for work, deserves visionary leadership committed to getting this system right. Kevin’s confirmation signals that we have begun the difficult process of rebuilding NJ Transit and, in time, regaining commuters’ trust in the system.”

Corbett had been vice president, cross services, at the transportation and infrastructure company AECOM, where he was a leader on projects such as Moynihan Station phase one, Amtrak’s Gateway Program, post-Sandy PATH restoration and more.

“I would like to thank Gov. Murphy and the NJ Transit board of directors for the opportunity to serve the state of New Jersey,” Corbett said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the dedicated men and women of NJ Transit in restoring the transportation system to the national leader it once was, providing safe and reliable service and boosting economic development in New Jersey.”

NJ Transit is the third-largest transit system in the U.S., with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops in three states.

For the latest from ROI-NJ on Murphy’s cabinet appointments, click here.

City of Camden, after missing out on Amazon, made unsolicited bid for Apple HQ

Municipal representatives across the state said preparing a bid for Amazon’s HQ2 project was a worthy exercise — even if they did not make the 20 finalists — since it would enable them to produce better bids for other companies.

Camden proved that in January.

The city prepared a presentation addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook last month, soon after he announced company’s search for an additional campus.

“Camden is ready for Apple and Apple can help accelerate the positive trajectory that Camden is already experiencing today,” the city said in a proposal obtained by ROI-NJ.

“Historically, Camden was the epicenter of technology and innovation in the early to mid-20th century. It was America’s first Silicon Valley. … The city is already an emerging market, and its future will tell a great story of American ingenuity and perseverance.”

There hasn’t been much news since then, and city officials said they have not yet received a response.

Of course, no city has.

Little is known about Apple’s search process, except that it is looking outside California and Texas, where current campuses exist, and the campus focusing initially on customer support employees.

Unlike Amazon, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said, the company would not use an auction process.

The move is part of Apple’s repatriation of overseas money, $38 billion of which will be paid to the federal government as part of a one-time 15.5 percent payment under President Donald Trump’s tax reform.

Little information is available about Apple’s search for an additional campus, but it will bring 20,000 jobs and is part of the company’s $350 billion commitment to the U.S.

In the proposal to Cook, Camden Mayor Frank Moran invited the company to do its own due diligence, but mirrored some themes — and used the same Ewing Cole renderings as it did for the Amazon bid.

“Camden is a city rising,” Moran said in the letter, echoing comments from the previous bid.

A city spokesman said similarities in the proposals exist because of the similarity of the companies being pitched.

Also similar to the previous bid, submitted under former Mayor Dana Redd, were some of the highlights, such as President Barack Obama’s visit, available public transportation, Campbell Soup Co.’s presence, higher education prevalence, 138 acres of shovel-ready property and the utility availability, including fiber banks and cellular service from major carriers, and electricity and gas from Public Service Electric & Gas.

“Camden is now a city in an unprecedented position to advance in terms of geography, economy, connectivity, sustainability and demographics,” the proposal said. “Apple’s presence in Camden will be more than an economic catalyst, Apple will shape Camden as a city for the future.”

7 N.J. firms named to 100 Most Sustainable by Barron’s

Barron’s released its first-ever ranking of the most sustainable companies in the U.S. on Wednesday.

Seven New Jersey-based companies were named to the inaugural 100 Most Sustainable Companies list, demonstrating positive sustainability efforts. They are as follows:

16. Cognizant Technology, Teaneck;
36. American Water Works Co., Voorhees;
47. Prudential Financial, Newark;
57. Campbell Soup, Camden;
58. Church & Dwight, Trenton;
67. Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes;
89. Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Roseland.

Cognizant, which was the top New Jersey company on the list, at No. 16, said sustainability is an integral part of its business.

“At Cognizant, we believe it is not just our responsibility to apply our technology expertise, passion for innovation and energy to the evolving needs of our clients, but also to our communities, our environment and our colleagues,” said Francisco D’Souza, Cognizant CEO. “We are proud to be recognized on the inaugural Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies list. We believe that, in addition to positive financial performance, hallmarks of a well-managed company include strong governance, a high standard of ethics and development of our communities and associates.”

To create the rankings, Barron’s worked with Calvert Research and Management, a unit of Eaton Vance. Calvert analyzed 1,000 of the largest publicly-held U.S. companies (it excluded real estate investment trusts and limited partnerships) by 300 performance indicators. The companies were rated in five categories: shareholders, employees, customers, planet and community. Calvert then formed a sustainability score for the companies and produced the Top 100.

Full details of the rankings and methodology can be found here.

NJII, Dept. of Health hope to create info exchange

The metaphor Tom Gregorio used for the health care information flowing through the state was plumbing. It’s a massive, underground network that’s always being expanded on. And it’s vitally important.

It’s just lacking some of the fixtures — the hot-or-cold knobs to twist — that might make it more meaningful for everyday use.

But Gregorio, senior executive director of healthcare systems innovation at the New Jersey Innovation Institute, said there’s a project in his organization’s pipeline that may help address that.

The New Jersey Innovation Institute, a New Jersey Institute of Technology affiliate that has become the state’s designated entity for advancing health information-related technology, is partnering with the New Jersey Department of Health on new infrastructure involving the state’s patient health information.

NJII’s government grant-funded New Jersey Health Information Network, as it’s called, will facilitate the exchange of the electronic health records across different facilities, health information organizations and state health data sources.

Because these entities may have different systems for storing health records, Jim Cavanagh, executive director of the network, said simply trading health information between health care institutions has not been as easy as it sounds.

“There has long been a need to share information and get them out of silos in hospitals, physicians’ offices or long-term care facilities,” Cavanagh said. “Interoperability is a big issue right now with government in health care reform. It drives the ability to do population health management, as well as reducing health care costs and making it more efficient, too.”

NJII is in the market of responding to what policymakers are asking for in the health care arena, which was the impetus for this project several years back. Cavanagh said governmental entities have allowed for the creation of islands of patient care information — and have realized the need for bridges between them after the fact.

It was for various reasons that the organization was recognized as having the ability to achieve this in concert with the New Jersey Department of Health.

“It’s our combination of health care knowledge — the organization is really made up of people well versed in health care policy, because we’ve been executives in hospitals and health care systems for many years — but also understanding technology and putting a focus on innovation and new ways of doing things,” Cavanagh said.

It is worth mentioning, however, that the New Jersey Health Information Network program, which is being rolled out first in the Newark metro region and is being expanded out from there, is not entirely unique.

“What we’re implementing in New Jersey is actually based on a model that was successful in Michigan,” said John Novak, senior director for government technology and architecture at NJII.

Many states are looking at establishing similar systems that could all link up to a national information exchange.

“Every state has something different in their scope, the interoperability they’ve been able to achieve and, frankly, the money they’ve spent on it,” Cavanagh said.

The amount of data that even just the Garden State’s health care industry manages is massive. So, those undertaking efforts to streamline that information also have to keep an eye on costs.

NJII’s leaders, in talking with the many organizations that comprise the health care industry in the state, said questions about costs have often come up regarding the pilot data platform.

“We’ve been talking to anyone and everyone about this; we want feedback from as many folks as we can,” Cavanagh said. “And some of the feedback has been around familiar barriers to interoperability, such as cost.”

One way that NJII’s leaders and its state health department partners are hoping to remain cost-efficient with their initiative is the attention they’re paying to existing health information exchanges already serving certain geographic areas of the state.

“We’re trying to avoid redundancies with those exchanges and making sure we’re not reinvesting needlessly in places where money was already spent,” Cavanagh said. “We don’t want to duplicate efforts of other organizations. Instead, we want to get them to communicate with each other. So, we’re really building on those foundations and not redoing them.”

There are important reasons to get it right. Gregorio said the health information system they’re envisioning has a role to play in confronting the nation’s opioid epidemic.

“This is something we’ve presented at the state level; even the previous administration got to see it,” he said. “We think there’s an opportunity here; we believe it can make an impact on this serious problem.”

That impact comes from getting the right information in front of physicians, as Cavanagh explained.

“Some of the ideas we’re working on now include an opioid risk factor measurement that pulls the right information from different parts of the health care continuum,” he said. “If a patient shows up in an emergency department, we may be able to raise a flag to a provider while the patient is there.”

Too often in the practice of health care, Cavanagh said, health care professionals are piecing together reports from the past in a way that allows them to be reactive — not necessarily proactive.

That’s not the case for today’s technology.

“We now go onto Amazon, it already knows our buying patterns — with Google talking to it about what we’re searching and looking to buy,” Cavanagh said. “Technology needs to be in real-time. That’s how we should look to impact technology in this industry, too.”

Speaking of that e-commerce behemoth: Gregorio said the network NJII is participating in the creation of could even have implications for the new health care company that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced last month they were launching.

The corporations are expecting to bring innovations to the health care industry with this venture; NJII expects its health information solution to be seen as just that sort of innovation.

“When you think about that announcement … the need for information they’re going to have, to solve some of the problems they put out there to solve — that’s exciting to us,” Gregorio said. “We can help identity some of the issues they’ll looking to take on.”

But the data platform isn’t being made only to meet the future demands of the industry.

“We’ve got our finger on the pulse of gigantic changes coming in health care, but, also, we’re well aware of historic problems that still need addressing,” Cavanagh said. “That could be things as simple as matching patient identity and making sure we get that right.”

The platform is one NJII leaders consider potentially a model for other projects. As the program develops, Cavanagh said the organization is more than willing to share what works in New Jersey with other states developing a network that links smaller health information networks.

“Because what we’re ultimately interested in is bringing better solutions in health care to the country,” he said.


Details on the network

Here’s what the New Jersey Department of Health plans for the shared platform the state is working on with New Jersey Innovation Institute, according to its website:

  • A statewide transfer notification service that will send alerts to providers and care management teams admission on a patient’s status, improving post-discharge outcomes, prompting follow up care and improving communication among providers;
  • A common key service that will provide a consistent and reliable way to match patients across multiple organizations, applications, and services, thereby improving patient safety and data integrity;
  • A health provider directory service that will manage information on organizations and their associated health care professionals, including provider preferences for receiving health care information;
  • A state health data hub that will allow providers of participating health information organizations to query health information from, and, in some cases, submit health information to, state health systems.

Conversation Starter

Reach Tom Gregorio of NJII at tomas.gregorio@njii.com or 973-596-5857.

Reach the New Jersey Innovation Institute at: njhin@njii.com or 973-596-5800.

N.J. SBA recruiting for Emerging Leaders class

The U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey district office announced it is looking for candidates for its fifth Emerging Leaders class, an executive-level entrepreneurship training program for small business owners throughout New Jersey.

According to Al Titone, SBA New Jersey district director, the seven-month series starts April 3 and will be held at the Rutgers Business School in Newark. The program is free for participants, but requires approximately 100 hours of classroom time per student. In addition to the training, participants will be given the opportunity to work with mentors, attend workshops and develop connections.

“The Emerging Leaders Initiative advanced training series is open to small business owners and executives who have annual revenues of at least $400,000; have been in business for at least three years; and have at least one employee, other than self,” Titone said. “Between now and March 9, we are looking for the 17 most qualified small business owners who meet this criteria, are committed to the program and on the cusp of taking their businesses to the next level.”

Titone said that, over the past four years, participants in the program have come from all over the state.

“When we interview potential candidates to become part of the Emerging Leaders class, we’re looking for a small business owner to make a significant time commitment and who has the desire to grow their business significantly,” Titone said. “In exchange, we are offering small business owners the chance to earn what is essentially a mini-MBA. We have seen over 60 students go through this program in New Jersey and each of them has improved their business processes as a result of being enrolled in the Emerging Leaders program.”

This program, according to Titone, is available in 60 cities throughout the U.S. The initiative, which as been around for 11 years, has trained more than 5,000 small business owners, created over 6,500 jobs, generated $300 million in new financing and helped small business owners secure $316 billion in government contracts.

“Over time, the Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for underserved communities,” Titone said. “We are excited about recruiting and interviewing candidates for our fifth class here in Newark.  Our primary goal is to get inner-city small business owners, who are poised for next-stage growth, and provide them with the necessary support, resources and skills to help them to achieve long-term success.”

In New Jersey, Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Financial Resources Federal Credit Union, Greater Newark Enterprises Corp., M&T Bank, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, New Jersey Small Business Development Centers and The 504 Co. are sponsoring this year’s program.

To apply to the program, click here. For the online application, click here.

Envigo appoints senior vice president of global sales

East Millstone-based Envigo, a provider of nonclinical contract research services and models, announced Tuesday it has appointed Lynn Lewis its new senior vice president, global sales.

Lewis, who has extensive experience in the pharmaceuticals and contract research organization industries, will be responsible for strengthening the company’s position in the marketplace with a focus on customer service.

She will report to Craig Boyd, Evigo’s chief commercial officer.

“Given the dynamic growth in the CRO industry, there is an increasing opportunity to further engage our existing customers, as well as attract emerging life sciences companies to Envigo’s extensive nonclinical service offerings and research products. We are thrilled that Lynn Lewis has joined our team to drive this important effort,” said Adrian Hardy, CEO and president.

“Lynn’s broad experience leading billion-dollar, successful global sales organizations serving the biopharmaceutical industry will be an invaluable asset to our commercial team. Under her guidance, our sales teams in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific will be unified which will provide additional focus on enterprise-wide growth initiatives and an enhanced customer experience, while contributing to our vision to work together to build a healthier and safer world.”

Prior to Envigo, Lewis was at Covance as its group vice president of business development, clinical development and commercialization services.

Cantel Medical promotes exec to senior VP

Little Falls-based Cantel Medical Corp. announced Wednesday it has promoted Lawrence Conway to senior vice president, business systems and integration.

Conway will be responsible for Cantel’s acquisitions, along with his current role leading its business functions.

Conway joined Cantel in 2013 as vice president, business systems and procurement.

“Lawrence is the ideal candidate to lead Cantel’s acquisition integration function. He is an accomplished executive who has played a critical role in leading the integration of our acquisitions over the past several years,” Jorgen B. Hansen, Cantel’s CEO and president, said. “With his successful track record and expertise, I am confident that he will continue to be a terrific asset to the company as we further enhance our M&A integration capabilities.”

Prior to Cantel, Conway was at ConvaTec for 11 years, most recently as its vice president and general manager, ostomy care.