Joint Health Sciences Center opens in Camden

Joint Health Sciences Center opens in Camden

Leaders from the Joint Board, participating institutions and elected officials gathered in Camden’s “Eds and Meds” corridor Oct. 15 to celebrate the opening of the Joint Health Sciences Center at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Broadway.

The $70 million, four-story JHSC, which houses facilities for Rowan University, Rutgers-Camden and Camden County College, represents completion of Phase I of the Board’s two-phase campus construction. Joint Board CEO Dana Redd described the Center as a milestone achievement for the Board, the City of Camden and the region.

“By leveraging the power of these institutions, the Center is poised to become the research and innovation hub of South Jersey,” Redd said. “This campus will be the beating heart of Camden’s eds and meds corridor, injecting opportunity, growth, and innovation throughout the region.”

The Center houses vast research space for Rowan, Rutgers-Camden and Camden County College.

For Rowan, this includes Cooper Medical School of Rowan University’s advanced simulation lab, the School of Osteopathic Medicine’s Institute for Successful Aging, the virtual reality center and biomedical engineering labs focused on high impact health research.

Rutgers-Camden facilities include the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, which includes more than 40 internationally recognized scholars who are producing next-generation biomedical insights in such areas as predictive toxicology, metagenomics and biological rhythms.

Camden County College will use the space to house its Practical Nurse, Certified Nurse Aide, Multi-Skills Technician and Alzheimer’s Journey Coordinator programs and to expand educational opportunities in the city.

Communal multi-purpose rooms are distributed throughout roughly 60,000 square feet of space occupied by Rowan, Rutgers-Camden and the Joint Board, which also holds offices and the Center’s Biomedical research equipment and labs. The goal now is for students and faculty from the institutions to work together on a common research agenda to produce advances in biomedical science.

“Rowan’s recent commitment of $50 million for research funding in Camden, and at this Center, will lead to collaborations among the universities and spur growth and employment in the city,” said Rowan President Ali Houshmand. “It will produce great advances in the life sciences and serve as a catalyst that makes Camden a center of innovation.”

Joint Board Chairman Jack Collins said the new center represents the promise that collaboration between students, faculty and staff at the three institutions, and graduates from them, can achieve.

“By investing our future in the fast-growing eds and meds sector, we will prepare thousands of students for careers in expanding industries, while stimulating job creation and economic activity in the City of Camden and beyond,” Collins said.

The Center and Joint Board developed following passage of the 2012 New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, which encouraged partnership and cooperation between South Jersey’s institutions of higher education.

“Our community took action to strengthen our higher education systems and become a hub for medical research and innovation,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “Today I am proud to see that vision become a reality through this collaborative effort, and I can't wait for the life-changing medical breakthrough that some young mind will discover right here in South Jersey.”