NEW BRUNSWICK — RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers University are forming a health care partnership to ramp up clinical care and research in New Jersey, which officials say will allow patients in New Jersey to have more access to the newest and most promising treatments.

Rutgers President Robert Barchi says it will bring together the power of an academic institution and a world-class health system. Barchi calls the partnership the future of health in the state.

"Through this partnership we are forming what will be the largest academic health system in the state, and one of the most comprehensive and powerful in the country, that can have a major impact, on health care, health education and the future of health in this state," he said.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Science Chancellor Brian Strom says what is unique about this is that "we have aligned the two organizations, very tightly, in very meaningful ways. But at the same time we remain separate organizations, each with their own employees."

RWJBarnabas Health will initially contribute $100 million and then more than $1 billion over 20 years to expand education and research.

Officials said this partnership will recruit leading clinical and academic stars as well as 100 high-caliber researchers.

About $10 million will be earmarked to encourage Rutgers medical students to remain in New Jersey. The partnership also will increase training opportunities for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy students.

RWJBarnabas Health also will construct a clinical and research building for the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and an ambulatory care center in New Brunswick.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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