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RCSJ–Cumberland, County Welcome Rowan Medicine’s First Clinical Facility in County

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ), Rowan University, the Cumberland County Board of County Commissioners, and Virtua Health held a ribbon cutting ceremony recently on the RCSJ–Cumberland campus to celebrate Rowan Medicine’s first clinical facility in Cumberland County.

State and local government officials, administrators, health professionals, business leaders, and educators celebrated this special occasion along with RCSJ faculty, staff, and students.

The Rowan Medicine facility is home to the Virtua Health College of Medicine & Life Sciences of Rowan University’s clinical centers, which includes Rowan-Virtua Regional Integrated Special Needs (RISN); Rowan-Virtua NeuroMusculoskeletal Institute (NMI); and Rowan-Virtua Child Abuse Research Education & Service Institute (CARES).

The one-story 14,950-square-foot Rowan Medicine facility is dedicated to the health and psychological well-being of children and families and will answer a need within the South Jersey community by supporting its residents and improving educational opportunities for our students.

Dr. Frederick Keating, president, RCSJ, has long touted the benefits of an “Eds, Meds, and Commerce Corridor,” extending from Exit 50A to Exit 29 on Route 55. The Rowan Medicine facility adds another piece to the puzzle.

“…[E]stablishing a health center on the RCSJ–Cumberland campus strengthens the community by serving children and helping families in need, while increasing experiential learning for RCSJ students,” Keating said. “Cumberland County leaders recognize that this county has significant barriers that impact the economic vitality, physical health, and overall quality of life for its residents. This collaboration addresses those needs directly and we couldn’t have accomplished this much-needed center without the county’s support.”

The Cumberland County Board of County Commissioners was an instrumental partner in the development of this project. “[We] are proud to be a part of RCSJ’s expansion of the ‘Eds, Meds, and Commerce Corridor,’ ” said Joseph Sileo, director of the board. “This project not only serves the needs of children and families but also helps students at RCSJ gain practical and hands-on experience in their field of education.

“Cumberland County’s economy is in need of an overall increase in health, well-paying jobs to county residents and the education of local students looking to keep their roots here,” he continued. “The Cumberland County Commissioners are happy to support this collaboration and thanks and appreciates the efforts of RCSJ.”

At the conclusion of his statements, Sileo, along with fellow Commissioners Victoria Groetsch-Lods and Antonio Romero, presented a certificate of accommodation to Rowan Medicine and singled out Dr. Keating for his tireless efforts in spearheading this project.

Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University, emphasized the importance of connecting communities with health and education. “This facility shows our dedication to bringing much-needed services to Cumberland County and Vineland. We know that opening pathways of opportunity will benefit us all. In order for Rowan to thrive, our community needs to thrive,” he said.

Dennis Pullin, president and CEO, Virtua Health, expressed excitement about what the institution can offer for Cumberland County residents. “It is truly an honor and a pleasure to be here representing the 15,000 employees of Virtua. We see it as a privilege to be able to take care of this and all the other communities we support,” he said.

“We are committed to treating every individual as a unique person. Everybody deserves the care we provide,” Pullin continued. “So, this partnership … is one of the greatest manifestations [of] our commitment to taking care of this wonderful community.”

Keating was called back to the podium where he reminded the guests at the well-attended event about the importance of the academic proponent of this project, which is also intended to furnish Cumberland County students who aspire to work in health professions with a place where they can receive experiential learning. The idea is to also keep local students in the area once they have earned their degrees.

“I can say with confidence that RCSJ’s curriculum will improve my education and help me secure a better future and career,” said Christian DeLeon, a sophomore biological science major who participates in RCSJ–Cumberland’s Bridge 2 Rowan program. “Our county’s access to affordable quality care is extremely limited when compared to the state average.”

“With that being said,” DeLeon, whose goal is to become an orthopedic doctor, added, “this Rowan Medicine building and [the] programs that are associated with it will help aid that issue and allow fellow students like me to have clinical experiences to enhance our education. It will allow us to further support our county by providing the medical facilities and care residents need.”

Dr. Katelyn Skinner, Chief Academic Officer-Curriculum, Instruction and CTE at Cumberland County Technical Education Center (CCTEC), was asked to say a few words at the event.

“We’re very excited about this new building and ribbon cutting ceremony,” Skinner said. “[CCTEC has] a brand-new health science and medicine wing with over 250 health science and medicine students on their way. So, the future is bright.”

Skinner then introduced one of CCTEC’s best and brightest. “I am in the health science and medicine program at CCTEC. I’m working hard to go to the Pathway to Medicine at RCSJ,” said Lena Smith, a freshman from Vineland. “I’m working hard to study PA so I can be a nurse practitioner when I’m older.”

New Jersey State Assembly representatives Heather Simmons, who is also vice president, Career & Technical and Workforce Development at RCSJ, and Cody Miller, director, RCSJ Foundation and Alumni Relations, closed out the ceremony with a special presentation.

“The two of us are privileged to be members of the RCSJ family. By extension, we are members of the Rowan University and Rowan-Virtua SOM family, as well,” Simmons said. “I’m here today specifically on behalf of … Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman [Antwan] McClellan and [Erik] Simonsen to present a General Assembly Resolution to this partnership.”

“Things happen in this community because the commissioners have faith in this concept and we’re so grateful [to] them for investing big,” she continued. “They saw the value of saying ‘we believe in this’ because of the two young students you heard from today and because there are so many others like them, who want to … challenge themselves and find a way to give back to others in the community.”

For more information about Rowan College of South Jersey’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Division, visit