The following is a statement by the UMDNJ Board of Trustees explaining its position on the proposed merger of UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine with Rowan University:
Denise V. Rodgers, MD
To the UMDNJ Community:
Following is a statement from the UMDNJ Board of Trustees Re: Proposed Merger of UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine with Rowan University:
The members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are opposed to the transfer of the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) to Rowan University as proposed in the most recent version of legislation to restructure higher education in the State — the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act. It has always been and still remains our position that New Jersey is best served by UMDNJ remaining intact; this is possible whether UMDNJ in its entirety is merged with Rutgers or not.
For the past 36 years, southern New Jersey has been well served by the School of Osteopathic Medicine, under the UMDNJ umbrella. It is a school that continues to grow in reputation and importance, not only in the State but throughout the nation.
The UMDNJ Stratford campus has well developed educational programs from the School of Osteopathic Medicine; School of Nursing; School of Health Related Professions; School of Public Health; New Jersey Dental School and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. These collaborations among UMDNJ schools have resulted in a strong, multidisciplinary health sciences campus. This campus is leading the University in the development of inter-professional initiatives. These initiatives are essential to both the delivery of cost effective, quality health care and training of health care professionals, particularly for the southern regions of our State. Furthermore, these programs are particularly important in the rapidly changing health care arena. High quality, cost effective health care is dependent upon such inter-professional programs. The Institute of Medicine recently issued a report on the importance of inter-professional education and care. Just last week, several foundations committed $8.6 million to promote inter-professional education and collaborative practice. The national recognition of the importance of the work that is being conducted on the Stratford campus speaks to the need to allow the process to grow and flourish.
The Schools of Osteopathic Medicine, Nursing, Health Related Professions and Public Health; New Jersey Dental School and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences have devoted immense time, energy, and resources to developing a number of innovative and highly successful programs on the Stratford campus. Disrupting these programs by transferring SOM to Rowan University is simply not in the best interests of the citizens of New Jersey.