NJ ACTS creates a collaborative culture, drawing on the expertise and resources of its academic, industry and community partners. A New Jersey-wide coalition, NJ ACTS includes the major academic institutions of New Jersey, its dominant health system and clinical practices, representatives of its health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and animal rescues around the world.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey serves as the lead academic partner for NJ ACTS. Established in 1766 and the eight oldest US university, Rutgers represents the largest public university in New Jersey with nearly 69,000 students and 22,000 full and part-time faculty and staff with three main campuses (New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark and Camden). Rutgers consists of 31 schools and more than 300 research centers and institutes with an annual budget of $3.78 billion and $638 million dollars in extramural research support that has nearly doubled since 2014.
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) was established by the 2012 NJ Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act that consolidated medical education across New Jersey. RBHS comprises: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, the School of Dental Medicine, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, School of Health Professions, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and a Behavioral Health Care Network. Clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state — at Rutgers University — New Brunswick, including Piscataway; and at locations in Newark, Scotch Plains, Somerset, Stratford, and other locations. Clinical partners include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Newark’s University Hospital in Newark, and other affiliates. RBHS provides nearly all health care-related educational, clinical and research services of Rutgers University. RBHS also includes the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (a NCI designated comprehensive cancer center), six other research-based Institutes and the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science(RITMS), the Administrative Core for NJ ACTS.
Princeton University A world-renowned research university, Princeton consists of 3 schools and 36 Departments with 1,200 faculty members, 5,300 undergraduate students, 2,700 graduate students and an annual budget of $1.7 billion with $328 million dollars in extramural research support. Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Located only 15 miles from Rutgers New Brunswick campus, Rutgers and Princeton have a long and significant history of individual scientific collaboration and formal joint programs. Rutgers and Princeton enjoy a legacy of productive scientific collaboration and joint programs. For over 15 years, the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-Princeton University MD/PhD Program provided dual degrees to students who complete their MD training at Rutgers and their graduate school training at either Rutgers or Princeton, a component of the TL2 training program. The Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Cognitive Neuro-Psychiatry (CCCNP) leverages the expertise of the Neuroscience Institute at Princeton with RBHS’s University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) and the Brain Health Institute (BHI) in RBHS to use computational psychiatry (machine learning) to characterize and map psychiatric disorders to the spatial function of the brain. Machine learning technology will be expanded to characterize the heterogeneity of non-neurological diseases. Additionally, many Princeton faculty also hold appointments at the Rutgers Cancer Center of New Jersey (CINJ), and serve on the NJ ACTS Academy of Mentors. The Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), a joint Rutgers-Princeton center, facilitates research, education and outreach in discrete mathematics, computer science theory, algorithms, mathematical and statistical methods, and their applications. Rutgers, Princeton, AT&T Labs, Laboratories American, Applied Communications Sciences and Nokia Bell Labs partner to promote innovation in cybersecurity, energy, information sharing and dynamic data analysis.
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), a public polytechnic university, serves as a partner university. NJIT comprises 6 schools with 280 faculty and 11,000 students, and with an annual budget of $1.7 billion and $328 million in extramural research support. Research at NJIT, which is fifth in research expenditures among polytechnic institutions in the US, balances applied and basic research and focuses on translating knowledge into real-world applications.
RBHS, Princeton and NJIT offer annual Pilot Grants in Neuroscience, requiring co-PIs from at least two institutions. In the Ying Wu College of Computing, faculty collaborate with Princeton and RBHS to conduct research in networking and computer security for big data analytics, bioengineering and bioinformatics, and health informatics. NJIT and Rutgers also share federated departments providing platforms for shared coursework and degrees in quantitative and systems biology, and in Urban Systems. Through the Honors College, NJIT offers a BS/MD program with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
RWJBarnabas Health and RBHS provide the clinical care platforms for NJ ACTS that include an operating budget of $4.5 billion, 260,000 inpatient admissions, 2 million outpatient visits, nearly 700,000 Emergency Department visits, 23,000 births, 30,000 employees, 9,000 physicians, and 1,000 residents and interns. RWJBarnabas Health, formed in 2016 as a clinical care entity, comprises 12 acute care hospitals, three children’s hospitals, a pediatric rehabilitation hospital, CINJ and affiliates, a behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, 6 clinical research units and 120 providers in a primary care research network. Combined, RWJBarnabas Health represents one of the largest US health systems providing care for over 50% of New Jersey residents or nearly 5 million individuals. RWJBarnabas Health provides tremendous opportunity for clinical and translational research.
University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) . The second largest academic provider of behavioral healthcare in the US, UBHC’s 15 sites throughout New Jersey provides care to 13,000 individuals in 2015, including many who are low- or no-income. The care for 4,000 individuals with a serious mental illness (i.e., schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) and the statewide suicide prevention program is also coordinated by UBHC. UBHC is the primary mental health training resource for the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Children and Families, and the Department of Corrections). A division of UBHC, University Correctional Health Care (UCHC),provides mental health, medical and dental care and sex offender-specific treatment services to the inmates, residents, and parolees of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC), the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and the State Parole Board (SPB).
Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) is New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. CINJ embraced precision medicine approaches to provide genomic-based analysis for clinical cancer treatment and research. As a member of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), CINJ also focuses on ‘Big Data’ and information sharing that encourages use of a single clinical trial protocol known as Total Cancer Care® and Oncore®, a Clinical Trials Management System that will also be implemented in RBHS.
NJ Primary Care Research Network (PCRN) comprises one of the most robust practice-based research networks in the US that includes 300 primary care physicians managing 750,000 patients across 114 primary care practices. NJPCRN sites are located strategically statewide and provide a collaborative partnership among primary care practices and multidisciplinary teams of researchers. Over the past 5 years, NJPCRN led multi-investigator trials that recruited and followed 1,500-2,500 subjects per study for 5 years. Over 10 years, the network has served as the ‘laboratory’ for a series of observational and intervention studies, including those funded by the CDC, NIDDK, NCI, NHLBI and AHRQ.
RBHS Clinical Research Units (CRU) : The five RBHS CRUs serve as centers of recruitment and participant interaction for NJ ACTS. New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) Clinical Research Unit provides the core clinical research support team for NJMS faculty members in Newark; RWJMS Clinical Research Unit offers clinical research space and centralized support to New Brunswick-based investigators, with management and oversight for the development, implementation, coordination, and reporting of clinical trials in New Brunswick. Pediatric Clinical Research Center (PCRC) of RWJMS encourages families’ access to innovative clinical trials and novel treatments, investigators with trusted experience and an infrastructure to conduct clinical research in children less than 21 years old at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital, CINJ, PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital, and the School of Pharmacy. The PCRC is one of very few in the US devoted exclusively to pediatric clinical investigation. School of Dental Medicine Clinical Research Unit provides centralized facilities for investigators to conduct dental clinical research. The facility includes separate dental chair stations with x-ray capabilities and space dedicated to laboratory activities and sample processing. The Clinical Unit for Environmental and Occupational Health offers services to entities whose employees/study participants have been exposed to environmental stressors and comprises the Clinical Research Unit for the NIEHS-designated Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology.
Health Information Exchanges
New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) , a for-profit corporation of NJIT, guides health care organizations in adopting electronic health record systems and medical information exchanges. NJII established the Highlander Health Data Network, one of six HIEs in New Jersey and serves the HIEs as the aggregator of HIE data. As a Practice Transformation Network, NJII supports 11,500 clinicians to expand their quality improvement capacity, learn from one another, and achieve common goals of improved care and better health at a reduced cost.
Jersey Health Connect (JHC) is New Jersey’s largest HIE and connects a wide-array of healthcare stakeholders including physicians, medical offices, more than 30 hospitals and health systems, and over 140 long-term care facilities. JHC portals provide 430,000 online patient connections, 7.3 million patient records, and 4.9 million clinical transactions monthly. JHC covers roughly 75% of the NJ healthcare market with almost 7.3 million patients: 789,000 are from RBHS. Data exchanged across the network is standardized and provides real time data access.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey , the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, is a service corporation providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products. Horizon BCBSNJ serves 3.7 million members with headquarters in Newark. Horizon NJ Health, New Jersey’s largest Medicaid and NJFamilyCare managed healthcare organization, provides health services for 574,000 people in all New Jersey counties.
Center for Community Health Partnerships (CCHP) develops sustainable community-linked infrastructures to improve the health of urban communities in Newark and New Brunswick, and strengthens collaborative relationships and community engagement among academic investigators, community members, and local health care organizations. The Center trains ethnically competent community health workers, Promotoras, to work alongside health care providers. Project BRANCH uses immigrant men to teach other men about depression and partnered with the Mexican Consulate’s Health Program Ventanillas de Salud (Health Windows), Sacred Heart Church for the Buen Vecino (Good Neighbor) Project, and members for the FOCUS Wellness Center.
Center for Urban Youth and Families of the Rutgers School of Nursing addresses health disparities through interdisciplinary research with a special emphasis on improving the lives of urban youth. Current programs include: Brick City Synergy, a youth violence deterrence program that has developed a collaborative network of youth and family service agencies to provide community-based, family-focused, youth violence prevention services; Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More that provides evidence-based education to caregivers of children with asthma; Bright Smiles in the Brick City to determine if a nurse practitioner student-led oral health program improves oral health in urban preschoolers; and Zone to Zone, Asthma Severity and Children’s Contextual Coping Strategies that determines how asthma symptoms and severity affect a child’s ability to cope in various settings.
New Brunswick Tomorrow (NBT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of New Brunswick’s people by fostering public and private networks of institutions and community organizations. New Brunswick Tomorrow identifies critical community needs and responds to those needs. It serves as a catalyst in developing and supporting solutions that improve the quality of life in our community. It works with partners in the city’s public/private revitalization, assuring that health, human service and social issues are addressed that complement the physical and cultural revival of New Brunswick.