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(Photo courtesy of St. Peter's Hospital)

(Photo courtesy of St. Peter’s Hospital)

SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 – Saint Peter’s Healthcare System (Saint Peter’s) in New Brunswick and RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH), headquartered in West Orange, have signed a Definitive Agreement today, outlining their intention to integrate the two healthcare systems. The announcement comes less than a year after Saint Peter’s and RWJBH signed a Letter of Intent to explore a strategic partnership. Today’s announcement also culminates a three-year discernment process at Saint Peter’s that included a Request for Proposal in October 2018 seeking a strategic partner best suited to help the organization maintain its rich Catholic mission and identity in an increasingly changing and competitive healthcare market.

“After careful consideration by Saint Peter’s Board of Governors, senior leadership and the Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen and sole corporate member of Saint Peter’s, we have signed a Definitive Agreement to integrate with RWJBarnabas Health that assures Saint Peter’s continued mission and identity as a Catholic hospital,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

Under the terms of the Definitive Agreement, Saint Peter’s – with its flagship hospital, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute care teaching hospital and acute care children’s hospital –  would remain as a full-service provider of acute healthcare services serving New Jersey and the region, and would continue its longstanding mission and identity as a Catholic hospital in adherence with the standards of care articulated in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). In addition, RWJBH has committed to making significant strategic capital investments in facilities, technology and innovation to enhance, and expand the clinical services provided at Saint Peter’s.

“RWJBH has a rich history of providing high quality care to the residents of New Jersey – with our Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, as well as our Rutgers partners at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, to name but a few – and the inclusion of Saint Peter’s will allow us to only build upon this legacy of service,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of RWJBarnabas Health. “When finalized, we will have the necessary foundation for the creation of our state’s first and only premier academic medical center.”
With the signing of this Definitive Agreement, the proposed partnership will begin a period of review by various state and federal regulatory agencies. Approval by the Catholic Church will also be required.

“We are truly excited about the potential of this opportunity to integrate with RWJBarnabas Health to create a premier academic medical center of national distinction in which Saint Peter’s will share responsibility for leadership and governance,” Hirsch added. “We look forward to collaborating with RWJBarnabas Health and immediately undertaking the planning needed to make this vision a reality while also continuing our ongoing commitment to working collaboratively with community physicians.”