Rowan Partners with Virtua to Advance South Jersey Healthcare

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Rowan University and Virtua Health have partnered to expand education, research and patient care. 

However, this may raise concerns about the monopoly Virtua holds on the healthcare system. 

Virtua has over 14,000 colleagues at five hospitals, two satellite emergency departments, 27 ambulatory surgery centers and more than 280 other locations. The substantial size of Virtua may appear formidable, but it has proved to operate at a high capacity. 

Virtua increased in size when it merged with Lourdes Health System in July 2019. Although the merger has not been assessed since, it was stated that no employees would lose their jobs, according to Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO of Virtua Health. 

The organization also has complied to maintain the Catholic identity of its Camden location, mollifying the merging. It also has affiliations with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience treatment and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for pediatrics. It has a wide reach of care including home health, rehabilitation, mobile screenings and a paramedics program. Overall, it is widely noted for its treatments in orthopedics, advanced surgery and maternity.

Rowan inserting themselves into the position of allowing students hands-on experience from trustworthy partners is a promising play. The affiliation between Virtua and Rowan is not similar to a conglomerate exploiting a “mom-and-pop” business because both are respected, sizable institutions. 

Rowan functions with about 23,000 students enrolled across eight campuses. The school wisely collaborates with qualified establishments, especially for students studying health sciences. According to the U.S. News & World Report, both its Camden and Vorhees locations earn Virtua the tenth spot for Best Hospitals in New Jersey, and Rowan’s other partner, Cooper University Health Care, ranks seventh.     

In 2012, Rowan joined with The Cooper Health System to establish the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, making it the first medical school in New Jersey inaugurated in the past 35 years. As of today, it has proudly produced almost 350 graduating physicians.

Both Rowan and Virtua have proved to provide esteemed care and dedication to expanding their outreach, especially in the medical field. The partnership between the two institutions is symbiotic. 

The university released a letter to the community regarding the news in Rowan Today. The two institutions will collaborate for “clinical education, activities, and research,” which will be available for students of the School of Osteopathic Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions and Translational Biomedical Engineering & Sciences. In addition, Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine students will have more opportunities for clinical experience, residencies and fellowships. More so, both Rowan and Virtua nurses will have “streamlined access” for undergraduate and graduate programs.

This partnership not only benefits Rowan and Virtua but South Jersey as a whole. By providing educational experiences to Rowan students and Virtua employees, it secures, strengthens and advances the quality of healthcare in South Jersey by creating a local connected medical network directed towards improving health. 

“It’s going to be an exciting partnership with a lot of benefits for both organizations.” Rowan University spokesperson Cardona said. “[Virtua and Rowan] are working through all the details and expect we will reach a final agreement in January, at which time we can share the details.”

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