For Virtua, partnership with Rowan is about improving health care in South Jersey

CEO Pullin: We are investing in our community. And, the healthier a community is, the better off the community is

The Virtua Health College of Medicine & Health Sciences of Rowan University is more than just a collaboration that will bring together leading clinicians and scientists — and more than just a way to create a national leader in health care and biomedical research.

Virtua Health CEO Dennis Pullin said the partnership, announced Tuesday, also is about elevating care delivery, medical innovation and education for New Jersey residents.

Especially South Jersey residents.

“There is no need for them to cross a river to Philadelphia,” he told ROI-NJ. “There will not be a need for them to go to New York. We are investing in our community. And, to me, the healthier a community is, the better off the community is.”

Pullin said the partnership between a Top 100 public research university and the largest health system in southern New Jersey will ensure residents can stay in the state to receive care.

Pullin also feels the partnership will help distinguish South Jersey as a regional hub for innovation, research and clinical discovery — creating possibilities for the community that come with the affiliation plays into Virtua’s mission statement: To help people be well, get well and stay well.

“Any time there are two quality organizations coming together — realizing where there are synergies and where there are opportunities to collaborate, where one plus one equals three — I think the community wins,” he said.

The new college will encompass or create:

  • The state’s only osteopathic medical school;
  • An expanded nursing and allied health professions school;
  • A new school of translational biomedical engineering and sciences;
  • Multiple new research institutes;
  • Aligned clinical practices to improve patient care and train the workforce of the future.

Pullin said Rowan’s stellar reputation for educating people and research and Virtua’s reputation for providing care to the community will enable them to advance research.

And attract research dollars.

“By us coming together, I think we become more attractive to both public and private entities that want to invest in our research education,” he said.

Pullin said the two organizations share an overarching commitment to improving the health of New Jersey residents and creating a series of meaningful opportunities, and one of those commitments involves educating and training the state’s next generation of physicians, nurses and allied health professionals.

They also share a passion.

“We’re pretty darn excited about it,” Pullin said.

The impact will be felt in the region now, and later, he said.

Pullin believes that, by educating and training physicians, nurses and allied health providers in South Jersey, they are more likely to stay in South Jersey. Which is critical to creating the workforce of tomorrow.

“If you were to talk to any health care leader across the country, not just in our region, what’s their No. 1 concern that they’re dealing with today, every single one of them would give you the same answer — and that answer would be, ‘Workforce.’”