Robert C. Garrett is the co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, the most comprehensive health network in New Jersey.
Mr. Garrett began his time with Hackensack University Medical Center in 1981 and served as president and CEO of the Hackensack University Health Network from November 2009 through July 2016. Mr. Garrett dramatically expanded the network through a series of acquisitions, partnerships and affiliations. In July 2016, the network merged with Meridian Health creating one of the largest health care networks in New Jersey with 13 hospitals throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, known as Hackensack Meridian Health. The network has more than 4,000 beds and 6,000 credentialed physicians, 120 outpatient facilities and approximately 28,000 team members.
In December 2016, Hackensack Meridian Health made history by announcing a 10-year strategic partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to develop an exceptional network-wide standard of care and to enhance research and discovery in New Jersey. Together, Hackensack Meridian Health and Memorial Sloan Kettering will serve the most patients with cancer in the region. Many of their combined programs will be among the largest in the country with more than 800 clinical trials.
On May 2, the boards of trustees of JFK Health and Hackensack Meridian Health announced that the two not-for-profit health networks signed a definitive agreement to merge. Regulatory review could take up to one year. JFK Health is comprised of JFK Medical Center, a 498-bed hospital in Edison, NJ, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities and specialized treatment programs.
Hackensack Meridian Health has also partnered with Seton Hall University and in 2018 will open New Jersey’s only private medical school, a four-year program which will revolutionize physician training. The curriculum will emphasize collaboration and a holistic approach to care incorporating all spheres of a patient’s life with the strongest possible clinical training and state-of-the-art technology. The campus for the Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian School of Health is located on the former campus of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. in Nutley and Clifton and will also serve as a research hub, attracting scientists from our partnerships with Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and beyond. Mr. Garrett and his wife, Laura, contributed a $2.65 million endowment for the School of Medicine Dean, which launched total contributions of $15 million in support of endowments in 2017.
Always an innovator, Mr. Garrett also led the launch of a partnership with the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an affiliate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the state’s leading technology university. The Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. Several companies have already pitched ideas to improve health care – an incubator that’s typically only found in the nation’s leading academic centers.
These affiliations were in addition to the network’s already-established partnerships with: AllSpire Health Partners, the largest healthcare consortium of its kind in the country; CityMD (urgent care centers); CVS MinuteClinic; Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (cardiac); Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (clinical and academic affiliation); MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (bone marrow transplant program); NYU Langone Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Surgery; OMNIA Health Alliance (partnership with six health systems and Horizon BCBSNJ to develop tiered products); Summit Health Management (clinical affiliation); Uber (transportation); and United Surgical Partners International (ambulatory care centers).
Mr. Garrett also steered Hackensack University Health Network’s community health initiatives through HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Powered by the Giants in Maywood, NJ – one of the largest fitness and wellness centers of its kind in New Jersey. In 2017, Becker’s Hospital Review named Hackensack Meridian Health’s high-performing portfolio of accountable care organizations (ACO) to its list of 110 ACO’s to Know for the second year. The ACOs were selected for their quality and cost performance. HackensackAlliance ACO has nearly 575 affiliated physicians covering 85,000 lives. It has generated $33 million in savings on approximately 16,000 patients during its third year in operation, placing it 7th in the nation for total savings. Hackensack University Medical Center, the flagship hospital of the network, has nearly 8,000 employees and more than 1,600 physicians and is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. It has received some of the most prestigious designations and distinctions from the nation’s leading health care rating companies and was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2017 as New Jersey’s best hospital – for the sixth consecutive year – and the fourth best among New York’s finest.
Mr. Garrett’s leadership and strategic vision have garnered much professional praise. He was ranked #1 in the NJBIZ 2017 “Power 50 Health Care” list. He was also ranked on the 2017 “NJBIZ Power 100: The most powerful people in New Jersey business” list for six consecutive years. He was listed as one of the 2016 “135 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know,” and is also one of the “2014 500+ People to Know in Healthcare” according to Becker’s Hospital Review. In 2013, he was selected as a member of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, an invite-only council representing some of the most well-respected business leaders in America. He was the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Medical Executive Award, part of the prestigious Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Awards. Mr. Garrett has been honored by numerous organizations and agencies, and has been invited to participate at international and national events, such as the prestigious World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland; Becker’s Hospital Review’s Annual CEO & CFO Roundtable event; Healthgrades HealthShare Symposium; and Becker’s Hospital Review’s annual meeting. He has been featured on numerous television programs and within numerous national publications.
An industry leader and expert, Mr. Garrett has spoken at numerous conferences and events, including: NYU Stern Alumni Relations and the Stern Healthcare Association Conference; the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School’s Ethical Leadership Conference; Meadowlands Regional Chamber’s Thought Leaders Conference; the Association for Corporate Growth’s NJ Bergen Chapter event; and the New Jersey Bankers Association’s Economic Forum Conference. Mr. Garrett serves on the boards of the Bank of America Trust Advisory Board, Bergen Community College Foundation, Choose New Jersey, The Eileen Fund, The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, as well as the QualCare Board of Directors. He has also served on or is a member of: the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, New Jersey Hospital Association, Greater New York Hospital Association, and the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board.
Mr. Garrett received his Master of Health Administration from Washington University in Saint Louis, MO, and his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University in New York.