The institutions are joining forces to expand research, education and community engagement to advance the practice of palliative medicine in the City of Camden and the region.
Voorhees, NJ – On Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at the Samaritan Inpatient Center in Voorhees, N.J., Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D. and Samaritan President and CEO Phillip W. Heath, M.S. signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Premier Partnership, the first of its kind for both institutions, in alignment with their respective strategic goals.
“The newly formalized partnership between Rutgers–Camden and Samaritan will advance our many shared goals in research and community health. I am grateful that our faculty, staff, and students will have the chance to work alongside Samaritan’s healthcare professionals as we serve those in need in Camden County and throughout South Jersey,” said Rutgers–Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
“We are extremely proud to establish our innovative Premier Partnership with Rutgers University-Camden, the first of its kind for both of our organizations,” said Samaritan President and CEO Phillip W. Heath, M.S. “Today represents an important milestone for Chancellor Tillis and me, as our shared vision is codified and we bring together colleagues and key stakeholders to advance the practice of palliative medicine in Camden and the region.”
According to the Center to Advance Palliative Care, at least 12,000,000 adults and nearly 400,000 children in the United States are currently living with serious illness and could benefit from palliative medicine. The recently passed Palliative Care Medicaid Bill in New Jersey recognizes the importance of this specialized medical care, emotional and spiritual support, as well as pain and symptom relief for especially vulnerable adults and the pediatric populations living with serious illness.
The expansion and enhancement of palliative medicine services to the City of Camden and the broader region is at the heart of this new partnership between Rutgers–Camden and Samaritan. By engaging with Samaritan’s medical providers, clinical teams, and staff across all service lines (primary care, palliative medicine, social connections, hospice care, and grief support), the Partnership will support increased access to home-based healthcare services and supports for social determinants of health for communities of color and other underserved populations in Camden City and surrounding communities within Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties.
Additionally, the new partnership will expand clinical rotations for Rutgers–Camden nursing, social work, and psychology students by providing palliative medicine training alongside Samaritan’s interdisciplinary teams in the homes of Samaritan patients and its two inpatient centers, better positioning these future practitioners to meet the needs of the growing aging population. Rutgers–Camden students, faculty, and staff will help expand the recognized advancement Samaritan’s palliative medical teams have made throughout the region in increasing access, understanding, and awareness of the role of palliative medicine in serious illness care.
The partnership will also bridge thought leadership from research and education to implementation at the patient care level to improve patient outcomes throughout the city of Camden and the Camden, Burlington and Gloucester County regions.
About Rutgers University–Camden:
Ranked #49 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Public Colleges and Universities, Rutgers University–Camden is a diverse, research-intensive campus of approximately 6,100 students at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels and more than 1,000 faculty and staff members. Located in Camden, N.J., directly across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, the university is uniquely situated to serve a tight-knit local community while achieving global reach. A U.S. Department of Education-designated Minority Serving Institution, Rutgers–Camden is regarded as a national model for civically engaged urban universities. Recently, Rutgers–Camden earned Carnegie classification as an R2 research university due to a high volume of internationally recognized research, creative output, and scholarly activity.
Samaritan is a not-for-profit, independent organization locally founded in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1980 as one of the first hospices in the country. Samaritan is now one of the State’s leading providers of hospice care, palliative (comfort) medicine, at-home primary care, grief support and counseling, advanced illness care, education and advocacy. Samaritan serves people in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties who are coping with the stresses of aging, serious illness or grief wherever they call home. Samaritan also has two dedicated inpatient hospice centers in Voorhees and Mount Holly. Beyond the services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans, Samaritan annually provides nearly $1M in donor-funded non-reimbursed care for patients and families in the South Jersey region. A thrift shop in Westmont also supports Samaritan services and programs. Samaritan is accredited by The Joint Commission; a member of the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation; and is a four-star hospice in the national We Honor Veterans program. For more information, visit www.SamaritanNJ.org.