For Immediate Release
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
UMDNJ Opens $72 million Child Health Institute of New Jersey
10/7/05—The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) today (September 30) dedicated the new $72 million state-of-the-art Child Health Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick.
The institute will serve as a center for biomedical research and pediatric care. The 150,000 square foot, six-story building serves as the cornerstone of pediatric research for the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Pediatric researchers housed in this new facility will have an opportunity to combine their scientific and clinical programs with hospital-based programs aimed at identifying treatments for chronic diseases like autism, mental retardation, juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancers and asthma.
Three of six floors in this new research center consist of laboratories that include special procedure rooms, temperature rooms, a dark room and glass wash area. In addition, there are two licensed 23-hour observation bays with six patient beds and pharmacy on site. The colorful children’s waiting area includes televisions and video games. A child-life specialist will offer supplemental education to parents and children.
An ambulatory care center for pediatric sub-specialties, along with faculty offices and a pediatric clinical research center are also components of the building. Over 16,500 pediatric visits are anticipated in the first year.
The institute is physically linked to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital and the soon-to-be constructed PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital.
Dr. John Petillo, president of UMDNJ, said, "Within the Child Health Institute is the synergistic center of some of the best minds in the science of childhood diseases. Individually and together, they work toward increasing our understanding of the environmental and genetic causes of disorders that affect development, growth, maturation, cognition and senescence."
Dr. Harold L. Paz, dean of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said, "The Child Health Institute of New Jersey will be a beacon for biomedical research and discovery across the nation and the world. It is my hope that the research found under this roof will discover treatments and cures for devastating diseases of children such as autism, mental retardation, juvenile onset diabetes, pediatric cancers and asthma."
Dr. Francesco Ramirez, director of the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, "The goal of the Child Health Institute of New Jersey is to establish a world-class research program in developmental biology relevant to understanding human diseases from infancy through adolescence. We are poised to foster the continued growth of the academic excellence at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as we educate and train future medical leaders in biomedical research focused on children’s genetic disorders."
To commemorate the opening of the institute, the United States Postal Service unveiled a Child Health Stamp at a dedication ceremony. Vito J. Cetta, district manager and executive-in-charge of the U.S. Postal Service, unveiled the new 37-cent, social-awareness Child Health stamp which represents the importance of regular check ups and quality health care for children. A silhouette of a health care provider using a stethoscope to monitor a child's heart rate is shown on the stamp.
Dr. Daniel Notterman, chairman of pediatrics at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said, "By combining the research in developmental biology with the broad clinical research efforts of the department of pediatrics in the areas of pharmacology, child development, advocacy, cystic fibrosis, obesity, and newborn medicine, our children’s academic campus will become a shining star of hope, love, and expert care for all of new Jersey’s children."