NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — They don't call it the Health Care City for nothing.

Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson-Barnabas Health officials announced today in New Brunswick that the two institutions are teaming up to launch what they claim New Jersey's “largest academic health care system.”

The partnership will focus on “high-quality” patient care, cutting-edge research and premier medical education, adding up to an effort that officials hope will “transform and advance health care” in the state, according to an announcement from the two institutions.

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Unlike a merger, this partnership will see Rutgers and RWJ-Barnabas remain separate entities, with their own faculty, according to the release. But Rutgers will offer some services to RWJ-Barnabas, and the new academic health care system will be led by a joint committee for strategic planning and oversight, according to the announcement.

The agreement creates a three-pronged team of RWJ-Barnabas, which is the state's largest health care system, Rutgers and Rutgers Health Group, a faculty-run practice of 1,000 health care professionals employed by the university. This alliance is slated to spawn a 2,500-person-strong “multi-specialty” health care group.

Essentially, RWJ-Barnabas will manage the clinical end and Rutgters the academic and research arms, according to officials.

“The affiliation between Rutgers and RWJ-Barnabas Health to create the premier academic health care system in the state will accelerate the recruitment of world-class clinician-investigators to our health sciences faculty,” Rurtgers President Robert Barchi said in a statement. “It will also provide our students with outstanding clinical and research opportunities.”

The move also means RWJ-Barnabas will fund research and an expansion of the education system at Rutgers, Barchi said. That will affect the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, according to the announcement.

Together, the organizations plan to soon begin recruiting academics, researchers and clinical leaders to support the proposed partnership, according to the release. They hope to develop “centers of excellence,” making way for innovations, better education and improved health for community members.

“The foundation of this exciting, new partnership is built on the longstanding strengths and reputations of two great organizations,” Barry Ostrowsky, president and CEO of RWJ-Barnabas Health, said in a statement. “Together, we are solidifying our commitment to drive advanced research and invest in the health and wellness of the people in our communities throughout the region for many years to come.”