Rowan receives $3 million health-care grant

From left, Rowan University vice president Kenneth Blank, president Ali Houshmand, and associate provost Roberta Harvey after the university received a $3.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct wide-ranging research and other work on improving health-care delivery. Story, B2.
From left, Rowan University vice president Kenneth Blank, president Ali Houshmand, and associate provost Roberta Harvey after the university received a $3.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to conduct wide-ranging research and other work on improving health-care delivery. Story, B2. (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 20, 2014

GLASSBORO Rowan University has received a $3.05 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to pay for an 18-month health-care delivery effort, the school announced Tuesday morning.

The money will support a loose-knit collection of projects aimed at developing "new and enhanced methods and approaches to health-care delivery," Kenneth Blank, Rowan's senior vice president for health sciences, said at a news conference.

Rowan will "convene panels of experts," Blank said, who will work with consultant teams to improve current programs, such as its Institute for Successful Aging. Each of five people on a panel will receive $10,000, according to the fund allocations.

An additional "team of academic experts" will receive funding for $10,000 for each of its 10 members.

Other funding has been set aside for new faculty projects. Faculty "incubator teams" composed of members from across the university's campuses - at least one member must be from its newly acquired School of Osteopathic Medicine - will propose interdisciplinary projects, administrators said.

At least five projects will receive seed funding, with the goal of attracting further funding at the end of the 18 months. Each can receive up to $100,000.

"It's not purely exploratory. It's very results-oriented. . . . They'll have a year to come up with the next phase," said Roberta Harvey, the university's vice president for academic affairs. "This 18 months is very much building blocks."

Part of the grant will help the university attract new faculty. To supplement "start-up packages" given to new hires, the grant includes $550,000 for one-time costs, such as outfitting a new lab space.

Rowan and Rutgers University were invited to submit proposals following a statewide higher education restructuring that took effect last year, the foundation said. Rutgers announced its $12.5 million grant last May.

The university is soliciting proposals from faculty teams. Projects will be chosen by late March or early April, Harvey and Blank said, with the expectation that they begin in June.

Health-care education and delivery has been a new focus for the university as it expands in size and scope. In 2012, the university opened the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden in a partnership with Cooper University Hospital.

Last year, as part of a large-scale restructuring throughout the state, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was dismantled and part of it was absorbed into Rowan. The acquisition of the renamed Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Stratford, gave the university its second medical school.

The state also granted Rowan a research designation last year, giving the university a new mandate.


jlai@phillynews.com

856-779-3220 @elaijuh

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