Rutgers University–Camden and Samaritan sign memorandum of understanding

Nearly 50 guests came together yesterday at the Samaritan Center in Voorhees, N.J., to see Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis of Rutgers University–Camden and Samaritan President and CEO Phillip W. Heath sign a memorandum of understanding that will expand clinical rotations for Rutgers–Camden students in nursing, social work, and psychology. This partnership will provide hands-on palliative medicine training alongside interdisciplinary Samaritan teams in home care settings and Samaritan’s two inpatient units.

“The newly formalized partnership between Rutgers–Camden and Samaritan will advance our many shared goals in research and community health,” Chancellor Tillis said. “I am grateful that our faculty, staff, and students will have the chance to work alongside Samaritan’s health care professionals as we serve those in need in Camden County and throughout South Jersey.”

Under the new agreement, Rutgers–Camden students, faculty, and staff will help expand Samaritan’s medical services, which include primary care, palliative medicine, social connections, hospice care, and grief support. This partnership will also increase access to home-based healthcare services for communities of color and other underserved populations in Camden City and surrounding areas within Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties. 

“We are extremely proud to establish our innovative premier partnership with Rutgers University–Camden, the first of its kind for both of our organizations,” Heath said. ”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 [South Jersey] region.”

Distinguished guests at the celebratory event included the Honorable Melinda Kane and the Honorable Al Dyer, both members of the Camden County Board of Commissioners; Susan Elizabeth Lehrman, a member of Samaritan’s board of directors; Mary Ann Boccolini, former president and CEO of Samaritan; Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden Dean Donna Nickitas; and Nyeema Watson, Rutgers–Camden senior vice chancellor for strategy, diversity and community engagement, who is also a member of the Samaritan board.   

By bridging the gap between research and education to practical, hands-on caregiving at the patient level, this collaboration will improve patient outcomes and provide Rutgers–Camden students with new, practical opportunities to build upon the education they receive on campus.