What’s in a name? Rutgers and Felician College to partner with ‘Hoboken University’ hospital

The rebranding of St. Mary Hospital has begun.

When the city officially acquires the 136-year-old medical facility, it will be renamed the Hoboken University Medical Center.

Hospital CEO Harvey Holzberg announced Wednesday night at a meeting of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority that several new academic affiliations will come along with the name change.

He said the hospital will now partner with the Rutgers College of Nursing, its sister school the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, and the Felician College for Nurses.

The hospital’s current owner, Bon Secours Health System, Inc., a private Catholic health care company based in Marriotsville, Md., is currently negotiating to transfer the ownership of the hospital to Hoboken. The city could close on the facility by the end of the year.

Why is this important?

Holzberg said Wednesday night that Hoboken University Medical Center will continue to be a community hospital, adding that it won’t become a “full fledged” teaching hospital, but the academic partnerships will give it “all of the trappings of one.”

Holzberg said that, in addition enhancing the hospital’s regional reputation, these affiliations with area medical schools will be a valuable tool in recruiting new doctors.

“We have to remember that in this day and age, recruiting physicians and getting them to use this hospital is [one of our most important tasks],” Holzberg said.

He later added that the partnerships “represent another step in our plan to improve quality by attracting the brightest doctors, specialists, residents, fellows, nurses, and advanced practice nurses.”

Rutgers welcomed

According to hospital officials, students enrolled at the Rutgers College of Nursing will complete a five-week clinical rotation at the medical center.

The students will rotate through several departments, including the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Oncology Department, and the Outpatient and Maternity wards.

Felissa R. Lashley, dean and professor at Rutgers College of Nursing, said that the school is pleased to be an academic partner with the medical center.

“Our students look forward to one-on-one mentoring opportunities with professional nurses and to be able to fine-tune their nursing skills in caring for patients,” Lashley said.

Under the agreement between the medical center and the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the medical center’s director of pharmacy and the Rutgers Department of Pharmacy chairperson will collaborate on creating clinical instructional programs. According to Holzberg, the medical center’s director of pharmacy and pharmacists who participate in the clinical instruction programs will be designated adjunct members of the clinical faculty of Rutgers. One faculty pharmacist will be placed at the hospital to lead the clinical pharmacy activities.

Other programs continue

Holzberg also said that the three new partnerships will join the nursing program at the College of Saint Elizabeth, which began its affiliation with St. Mary Hospital in the spring of 2002. Currently, 38 students from Saint Elizabeth are completing the program.

The hospital will also continue its two residency programs. The St. Mary Hospital/UMDNJ Department of Family Medicine Residency Program is a clinical and teaching service that brings 24 residents a year to the hospital. According to Holzberg, more than 50 primary care doctors currently practicing in the hospital’s primary service area were trained at St. Mary Hospital.

Also continuing will be the St. Mary Hospital Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency Program.


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