Nov 15, 2020 Saving More Lives

A Major Expansion and Renovation of Surgical Services Will Transform Patient Care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Hybrid operating room
New hybrid operating rooms, like the one shown here, will enable physicians to perform
both minimally invasive and open surgeries.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) recently began construction on a major capital project in New Brunswick, New Jersey that will take surgical care to the next level. It will enable physicians to perform the most complex surgeries using advanced robotic and imaging technologies, enhancing patient safety.

“RWJUH is committed to providing leading-edge technologies and state-of-the-art facilities to ensure optimal patient outcomes,” says John J. Gantner, President and CEO of RWJUH.

Groundbreaking on the first phase of the project took place in July. An addition will house new hybrid operating rooms (ORs)—surgical “theaters” equipped with medical imaging devices for minimally invasive procedures.

By combining imaging technology with traditional surgical devices, including surgical booms and other instruments, hybrid ORs allow physicians to perform both open and laparoscopic surgeries.

For patients, having a single surgery in a hybrid OR can result in a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.

The new building will also feature a 16,000-square-foot Central Sterile Processing Unit, which will be located near the operating rooms. The unit will increase the quality and efficiency of sterilizing, storing and preparing surgical equipment, devices and other items to prevent infection.

RWJ University Hospital Capital Expansion Plans

A rendering of the new Central Sterile Processing Unit

After the addition is complete, the existing ORs will be renovated.

The new ORs will be used by every service line at the hospital.

“ This ambitious expansion and enhancement project will meet New Jersey’s growing need for highly specialized surgical care for years to come,” says Gantner.

The project will result in the following:

  • State-of-the-art imaging technologies such as intraoperative MRI, ultrasound and “bi-plane” imaging, in which two rotating cameras provide detailed, three-dimensional images
  • Robotics, including the da Vinci robot, which will allow physicians to perform minimally invasive procedures and more complex cardiac, vascular and neurological surgeries
  • A larger post-anesthesia care unit, where patients can recover in private bays under the care of specialists

A Unique Moment in History

The RWJ University Hospital Foundation is raising $30 million to help fund the project.

So far, nearly $5 million has been raised thanks to generous donors, including Bob Campbell, former Vice Chairman at Johnson & Johnson, the RWJ Foundation, and the RWJUH Auxiliary, according to Mary Burke, Vice President of the Foundation.

Donor Bob Campbell, former Vice Chairman at Johnson & Johnson“It’s important that we continue to invest in the hospital, ” says Campbell. “Medicine never stops growing. It’s always changing. Those changes have to come from a leader, and that leader is Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.”

This project will lead to the creation of a new standard in surgery, which will enrich every aspect of patient care. It will also help the hospital recruit and retain top-notch nurses and physicians.

“Our goal is to provide surgeons and operating room nurses with the best facilities their field offers, elevating professionalism and pride,” says Gantner. “This project will enable us to attract and retain highly talented physicians and surgical support staff right here in New Jersey.”

“This is a unique moment in the history of RWJUH,” says Burke. “We are the leading academic medical center in New Jersey, and we are raising the bar. Philanthropic dollars will make the
difference between getting this project done and getting it done right.”

Leonard Yee and the da Vinci robot

Leonard Y. Lee, MD, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Professor of Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, with the da Vinci robot, which is used for minimally invasive surgeries.

To support the RWJ University Hospital Foundation, visit