Saint Barnabas Medical Center

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Saint Barnabas Medical Center
RWJBarnabas Health
Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ.jpg
St Barnabas Livingston New Wing.jpg
Location94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, New Jersey, United States
TypeMajor teaching
Affiliated universityRutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
St. George's University
New York College of Osteopathic Medicine[1]
ListsHospitals in New Jersey

Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC), an affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health (formerly known as Barnabas Health and Saint Barnabas Health Care System), is a 577-bed non-profit major teaching hospital located in Livingston, New Jersey. It is the oldest and largest nonprofit, nonsectarian hospital in New Jersey.[2]


In 1865, a dedicated group of women known as the Ladies Society of Saint Barnabas House established The Hospital of Saint Barnabas in a private home. Eliza Titus who was the first patient gave her small estate to help in creating the first hospital on McWhorter Street in Newark. On February 18, 1867, The Hospital of Saint Barnabas became the first incorporated hospital in New Jersey by the act of New Jersey Legislature. The hospital was later moved to a larger site on High Street in Newark in 1869. The hospital was called Saint Barnabas Hospital and had been expanding services for many decades.

Between 1950 and 1955 there was discussion of relocating the hospital outside of Newark. Finally, the decision was made to move to Livingston. The new site was purchased in 1956 and the hospital was renamed to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in the same year. The new hospital at the current location was opened on November 29, 1964. Since that day, Saint Barnabas Medical Center has been expanding with opening of new departments and units. In 1982, the Board of Trustees voted to form a multi-corporation healthcare system with the Saint Barnabas Corporation as the parent company which was the beginning of Saint Barnabas Health Care System.

Both Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Health Care System continued to grow. In 1996, the Federal Trade Commission approved Saint Barnabas Health Care System to form a statewide health system. The system included eight acute care hospitals: Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Community Medical Center in Toms River; Irvington General Hospital; Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood; Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Union Hospital; and Wayne General Hospital. The system later expanded to include Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, West Hudson Hospital in Kearny and Wayne General Hospital.[3] However, Wayne General Hospital subsequently changed to affiliate with another organization (Saint Joseph's Healthcare System), Irvington General Hospital was later owned by City of Irvington,[4] and Union Hospital was closed in 2007.[5] Alongside the hospital's cafeteria for eating, there was once a McDonald's restaurant at the end of the cafe corridor but since has been replaced with a wrap and sandwich eatery. In 2011, the Saint Barnabas Health Care System was renamed to Barnabas Health.[6]

Saint Barnabas Medical Center currently treats about 35,000 inpatients and close to 90,000 Emergency Department patients per year. The Medical Center and the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, also in Livingston, provide treatment and services for about 300,000 outpatient visits annually.[7]

In May 2015, construction began on a $250 million renovation and expansion of the center.[8] In July 2015, Stephen P. Zieniewicz, FACHE, former executive director of the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) in Seattle, Washington, was named president and chief executive officer.[9]

In 2015, Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System signed an agreement which outlines the merger between these two health systems. Once complete, the transaction will create New Jersey’s largest health care system and one of the largest in the nation. The New Jersey Attorney General must review the deal before it is official, with the expectation that the merger will be completed in 2016.[needs update][10] On March 30, 2016, the two health systems officially merged and formed RWJBarnabas Health.[11]

Departments and centers[edit]

There are dozens of departments and centers of specialties within Saint Barnabas Medical Center. A few examples are The Saint Barnabas Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, The Cancer Centers, Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Saint Barnabas, and The Joint Institute.

Departments and centers include:

Obstetrics and gynecology[edit]

The department of obstetrics and gynecology delivers about 5,500 babies annually.[12] The department is designed as a regional perinatal center for high risk pregnancies.[13] The 56-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit has eight full-time neonatologists during the day, at least two newborn specialists at night, and more than 100 NICU nurses.[14]

The department also formed the nation's first hospital-affiliated program with a private cord blood bank, LifebankUSA, to encourages patients to bank or donate the material for research.[15]

The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science[edit]

Founded in 1995, the Institute provides fertility treatment to patients as well as conducting research in the field. It is one of the nation's largest fertility centers.[16]

The institute has been the pioneer in fertility research. Dr. Jacques Cohen, an embryologist of the institute, discovered a technique called the cytoplasmic transfer in 1996 in which the contents of a fertile egg from a donor are injected into the infertile egg of the patient who has undergone unsuccessful attempts of IVF along with the sperm.[17]

The institute is also the first develop a test to detect chromosome translocations in human embryos to increase the success rate and avoid genetic disorder. The work received the general Program Prize of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in 1996. Another PDG work on aneuploidy also received the prize paper of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology in 1998[18]

Other research areas at the Institute include oocyte cryopreservation, embryo cryopreservation, micromanipulative procedures to improve embryo development and implantation, and embryo selection protocols.[19]

The research achievements from the Institute received both praise and criticism. The works have raised some concerns about ethical issues in this field including a possibility that a child may have genes from more than two adults and the usage of human embryos.

Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division[edit]

The Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center combined is one of the most active transplant programs in the United States with more than 270 cases annually[20] making them one of the 15 founding members of Coalition of Major Transplant Centers (MTC).[21]

The division performed the first paired kidney exchange in New Jersey at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 2005.[22] Over time, it has performed many kidney transplants and exchanges including complex multihospital kidney exchanges. In 2018, the center's kidney exchange program completed the 23-link transplant chain, becoming the longest single-hospital kidney transplant chain in the United States.[23]

The division also provides education programs such as the first live kidney transplant operation broadcast to a public audience in the UK at Dana Centre in 2007.[24]

Burn Center[edit]

The Burn Center at Saint Barnabas was established in 1977. It is the only certified burn treatment center in New Jersey[25] and the only center in New Jersey that meets the verification criteria of the American Burn Association.[26] The center is equipped to treat pediatric through geriatric burn patients with 12-bed intensive care unit, 18-bed burn step-down unit, and two hydrotherapy suites. Outpatient department provides specialized burn care for patients who do not require hospitalization. The center treats 400 patients annually.[27]

The center also provides education and outreach programs through sponsorship from Saint Barnabas Burn Foundation which was established in 1987. Free clinical education programs are prehospital care, emergency department & hospital programs, and nursing school program. Community outreach programs include classroom programs designed to enhance science and health curriculum, juvenile firesetter intervention program, and a mobile trailer that recreates a home environment to educate children about fire safety.[28]

The Burn Center and its staff were discussed in the book titled After the Fire: A True Story of Friendship and Survival by Robin Gaby Fisher – a Pulitzer Prize finalist in a story about the survival of the two most burned victims in the Seton Hall fire in 2000.[29]


The pathology department has among the oldest continuously accredited CAP laboratories in the US, having been accredited since 1964.[30] Over 6 million clinical tests, 23000 surgical specimens, and 7000 cytology specimens are processed annually. The department also has an accredited ACGME residency program in pathology and is a member of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.

In 2015, Quest took over operations of the laboratory.[31]


Saint Barnabas Medical Center offers residency in Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radiology, Pathology, Podiatry, and Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery with more than 150 positions.[32] The Medical Center is affiliated with New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey; New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and St. George’s University in St. George's, Grenada.


Saint Barnabas Medical Center was ranked the 13th best hospital in the United States by AARP Modern Maturity Magazine for quality of care for adults at acute care hospitals in major metropolitan areas.[33] It also received high scores for its specialties from U.S. News & World Report: the 2nd highest score in New Jersey for Neurology and Neurosurgery; the 3rd highest score in New Jersey for Kidney disease; and the 4th highest score in New Jersey for Cancer, Gynecology, and Urology.[34] In 2009, HealthGrades – a leading independent healthcare ratings organization – ranked Saint Barnabas Medical Center high in women's health quality with one of only 15 hospitals nationwide to earn both the Women's Health and Maternity Care Excellence Awards for 2009/2010.[35]

Notable achievements[edit]

  • In 1997, the world's first baby was born as a result of cytoplasmic transfer performed by The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas Medical Center.[36][37]
  • In June 2004, Saint Barnabas Medical Center delivered a 23-week-old twin boy with weight of 320 grams. The boy was hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for five months.[38][39] He was one of the smallest premature births in New Jersey to survive. He also holds the record as one of the world's smallest boys known to survive.[40]
  • In January 2009, Dr. Stuart Geffner performed the world's first all-robotic kidney transplant at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. The same team performed eight more fully robotic kidney transplants in the six-month period after the first.[41]
  • In March 2009, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital performed the world's second multihospital six-way kidney transplant chain.[42] The first was performed by The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City four weeks earlier.[43]


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  5. ^ NJ residents worried about hospital closings, The Star-Ledger, February 20, 2008 - accessed July 11, 2009
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  19. ^ Research at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Archived 2009-12-07 at the Wayback Machine, IRMS - accessed July 11, 2009
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  21. ^ Major Organ Transplant Centers Announce New Coalition, Medscape Medical News, January 14, 2000 - accessed July 11, 2009
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  36. ^ Designer Babies - Human cloning is a long way off, but bioengineered kids are already here, Washington Monthly, March 2002 - accessed July 11, 2007
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  43. ^ JOHNS HOPKINS LEADS FIRST 12-PATIENT, MULTICENTER DOMINO DONOR KIDNEY TRANSPLANT, Johns Hopkins Medicine, February 16, 2009 - accessed July 11, 2009

Coordinates: 40°45′49″N 74°18′18″W / 40.7636°N 74.3049°W / 40.7636; -74.3049