In another example of how the Hackensack Meridian Health–St. Joseph’s Health cancer care partnership is having real impact on care in North Jersey, the two systems on Thursday celebrated the opening of the Cancer Center at Totowa, a state-of-the-art, 70,000-square-foot facility.
The outpatient center, located on the St. Joseph’s Health Totowa campus at 225 Minnisink Road in Totowa, is the marquee facility of the partnering organizations’ three enhanced cancer centers — a combined effort to bring comprehensive cancer care throughout the region.
Services being offered at the center include genomic testing, immunotherapy, diagnostic services, infusion services, lab services, medical oncology, radiation therapy and targeted therapy — plus nutrition and counseling.
Medical research also will be a hallmark of the facility, as there is a suite of novel clinical trials ready to launch and offer renewed hope.
HMH CEO Bob Garrett and St. Joseph’s CEO Kevin Slavin said patients who come to the Cancer Center at Totowa will be treated by the very best multidisciplinary, disease-specific teams of specialists, experts and medical practitioners to support them through every aspect of their cancer journey, from screening and diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.
“We are pleased to open the Cancer Center at Totowa and bring unprecedented evaluation and treatment in cancer care to more residents,” Garrett said. “It’s really a tremendous endeavor. Cancer patients will be treated by our nationally recognized team from Hackensack University Medical Center’s John Theurer Cancer Center.
For Garrett, the opening represents the partnership’s purpose.
“This was our vision all along — to make sure every patient has access to the greatest care there is in their journey,” he said.
“Opening the new cancer center is a major step forward in launching a comprehensive cancer care program as a collaboration between our two organizations,” he said. “We’re thrilled to bring the advanced expertise of the John Theurer Cancer Center to residents in the surrounding communities. When our teams work together, our patients win.”
Dr. Andre Goy, chairman and chief physician officer of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, said the goal was to create a new program in an unmet area where there was not enough access to advanced oncologic services.
“The future is diagnostic; it’s moving toward early diagnosis, early intervention and prevention, and to be able to bring those capabilities to an untapped region in our state and reduce the impact of cancer is outstanding,” he said.
The center also will introduce cutting-edge genetic services to the area. Any patient with a predisposition for (or family history of) cancers with a high genetic contribution — breast, stomach, prostate and others — can be screened by a specialist to test for cancer risk.
Dr. Elias Obeid, a medical director of medical oncology who specializes in both breast cancer and cancer genetics, will be leading the partnership cancer programs in Totowa, Patterson and Wayne.
“We are offering highly specialized care,” he said. “I’m able to bring my expertise to this center, so that, any time a patient presents with cancer, they are going to see a physician who specializes in that specific cancer. We will have disease-specific cancer evaluation centers on site, and any follow-up will be performed here; it’s truly a comprehensive care approach all in one location for the community.”
The Cancer Center at Totowa is shared with the community in part through a generous donation by the Nicholas Martini Foundation and Judge William Martini, a longtime supporter of health care and educational efforts throughout northern New Jersey.
“Our family is thrilled to see how this cancer center has come to life, all for the benefit of patients within this region,” Martini, a U.S. district judge for the District of New Jersey and president of the Nicholas Martini Foundation, said. “This is the future of health care.”
With a shared goal of providing all New Jersey residents access to advanced, high-quality health care, Hackensack Meridian Health and St. Joseph’s Health networks began collaborating in 2017, co-launching Visiting Health Services of New Jersey. The organizations’ partnership expanded in 2019 to include the areas of oncology and rehabilitation, bringing advanced rehabilitation services to St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center and the most advanced John Theurer Cancer Center oncology specialists to all of the St. Joseph’s Health campuses.
John Theurer Cancer Center is part of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center. It has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the state’s premier cancer centers in New Jersey.