Newswise — February 23, 2021, Nutley, NJ – The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has been granted Provisional Accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), bringing it nearer to Full Accreditation. 

The LCME voted at its meeting this month to grant Provisional Accreditation to the School’s medical education program. Full Accreditation will require its first class of students to graduate. 

Coming soon this year: a “match day” in March for select students from the inaugural class, followed in June by the School’s first-ever commencement ceremony. 

“This medical school has been surpassing expectation since day one,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.  “Its progressive mission and commitment to excellence has already created a reputation that is getting noticed in New Jersey, and beyond.” 

“Building a new medical school is not an easy task, as one might imagine,” said Bonita Stanton, M.D., the School’s founding dean. “But our unique mission and vision are worth this massive undertaking, and we are gratified that all the hard work is coming to fruition.” 

Aside from the LCME, the School has received its license from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE); is a Candidate for Accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE); and is eligible for, and participates in, the management of Title IV funds through the U.S. Department of Education. 

The School has grown quickly in the three years since its founding. Its inaugural class in 2018 included 60 students, and the 2019 class admitted 90 students. Another 123 students made up the 2020 cohort, as selected from more than 5,000 applicants. The latest incoming class is expected to number 165, who will have been admitted from more than 6,000 candidates. 

The school also aims to diversify New Jersey’s next generation of physicians.  Nearly half of the 2020 cohort is female, and students speak 33 different languages. Half of the class identifies as persons of color (other than white), and more than a quarter are from groups categorized as under-represented in medicine (URIM). 

The school’s innovative curriculum includes inter-disciplinary learning, the opportunity for a three-year path to residency, an optional fourth year which offers combined master’s degree or graduate certificate programs, and the Human Dimension Course. This immersive community-based experience links pairs of students to families in the community, with a focus on the domains of the social determinants of health: social, environmental, psychological, and medical. Throughout their stay at the School of Medicine, students in the Human Dimension follow the health trajectories of individuals and families, in locations including Hackensack, Garfield, Paterson, Passaic, Bloomfield, Clifton, Nutley, Union City, and West New York. Through experiences in the family's home, community, and health care settings, students come to understand the role of community and context in health and well-being, as well as the role of the physician in maintaining health. 

This humanistic mission has continued through the COVID-19 era. Although some of the first-year students have conducted their studies remotely, they nonetheless have continued their community-based medical education. The Human Dimension course, for instance, has helped partners get access to care and safely reopen schools in midst of the pandemic. 

Last July, the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine achieved independent operation, after three years of partnership between Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University. The university continues to lease space in the health network’s Interprofessional Health Sciences campus in Nutley, in which the School of Medicine is housed, for its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences. 

“We are forging a new path – and we believe that it will make all the difference for all the new doctors in the years to come,” said Stanton.




The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The School’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey.



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. 

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick. 

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves. 

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list. 

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. 

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.


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