Newswise — AUGUST 4, 2020, Nutley, NJ – The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has won an award for its redevelopment of the former U.S. headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-La Roche into New Jersey’s newest medical school – a hub of learning for the state’s future doctors. 

The School won the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s New Good Neighbor Award in helping to bring about the rebirth of the pharmaceutical giant’s headquarters in the United States from 1929 until 2009. 

The new use marks a remarkable turnaround for the site, where medical history was made before Roche ceased operations in 2012. 

Now, nearly 250 medical students are working their way toward a degree at the school. 

“We are very proud to have opened the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in 60 years - reviving what was once one of New Jersey’s most impressive centers of science,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “With the school and its neighbor, the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), our health network has made an extraordinary investment and a major advancement in the health of our state and beyond.” 

“The adaptive reuse of this building with such an important pharmaceutical history is a great benefit for the state of New Jersey,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. “This state-of-the-art facility brings greater opportunity to send the next generation of doctors, nurses and practitioners into the workforce. We can take great pride in this building facilitating better health care training and, ultimately, better health outcomes for our residents and people all around the world. We’re proud to recognize the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine with a 2020 NJBIA New Good Neighbor Award.” 

The New Good Neighbors Awards honor “outstanding economic development projects in New Jersey.” Judging was based on projects’ economic benefits, job creation, architectural merit and community involvement.

The Hoffmann-LaRoche (Roche) headquarters was a leading global medical research hub for decades, and had a pivotal role in the development of interferon and Valium, and which employed 10,000 workers locally at its peak. Roche departed from Nutley in 2012. 

Hackensack Meridian Health’s plans for a medical school started to be realized in 2016. The location selected for the new campus was the Nutley site. To refurbish the space for the new educational purpose, involved some $70 million total construction cost, and 630 trades-men and -women, over several years. FX Collaborative was the architectural firm, and Torcon was the main contractor. 

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine admitted its first class of students in 2018, and is located in the site’s main building, known for decades as Building 123. 

The medical school shares that building with two Seton Hall colleges: the School of Nursing and the School of Health and Medical Sciences. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation is linked via a “skybridge” to another former Roche building, known historically as Building 102. 

“This is a great home for our mission and vision for the future of medical education,” said Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the medical school. 

“Our planning has remade the Nutley site into a hub that is a major boost not only for our health network, but also for all of northern New Jersey,” said Robert Glenning, the chief financial officer of Hackensack Meridian Health

All the winners of the 60th annual New Good Neighbor Awards are profiled in New Jersey Business magazine, as well as on NJBIA’s website.

The NJBIA held a virtual celebration online for all of the New Good Neighbor winners – a live, one-hour event hosted by NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka on Tuesday morning. 



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 34,100 team members, and 6,500 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 10 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 at Seton Hall University, 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. 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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