The news of a teaching hospital on the site of the former Newcomb Hospital is in the papers today. Instead of Touro College heading up the school, developer Tony Danza has enlisted the UMDNJ. Hopefully the UMDNJ is now flying right after the tumultuous scandals that rocked the place under previous administrations.
“This would be a branch campus of the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford,” said Tom Cavalieri, the school’s dean, who also took the tour. “Students that are here would spend their four years here. The commonality would be some shared services as far as faculty and administration. But it would operate as a freestanding campus.”
Developer Tony Danza has partnered with Archetto Construction of Vineland to acquire the site and create preliminary design plans.
However, I am not quite comfortable with Danza taking the lead on this project. I still wonder about the connection between Lou Magazzu and Rabbi Neustadt. Neustadt, a Brooklyn resident if you recall, donated $5,000 to Lou’s failed NACo slush fund. We understand that there is a connection between Neustadt and Touro College. We know there is a connection between Danza and Touro. We know that Touro was initially involved with this project.
Doctors and developers joined forces Thursday to launch plans for a health care center and medical school within the former Newcomb Medical Center.
Passaic County real estate developer Tony Danza said he worked for two years to form a coalition of experts in clinical practice, long-term care and medical education who now intend to set up services inside a
$70 million medical condominium.
“We fought, we struggled, but we’re now at that point,” said Danza on Thursday.
He introduced Jay Sexter, a founder of three medical schools in conjunction with New York-based Touro College, which plans to launch a school of osteopathic medicine within the complex.
You might ponder, what is the problem? Cumberland County will benefit from a teaching hospital. I won’t argue that point. Anything that provides employment for skilled labor and high tech jobs is a net positive for the county. And we have an added benefit of state of the art health care. This can only be good.
It is the politics behind it that are of concern. Is Touro College at all involved in this? If they are out of the picture, then this will be a net gain. However, if they are involved, one could expect even more scandal in the future, such as the 2009 audit of the Orange Regional Medical Center.
In a letter from DiNapoli’s office to State Education Commissioner Richard Mills and James Ross, president of the Higher Education Services Corporation, Touro owns the state $3.1 million that it was overpaid “because school officials certified 16 students as eligible for 21 Tuition Assistance Program awards.”
The auditors came up with that figure after testing the accuracy of the 29,349 TAP certifications the school awarded for the three-year period ended June 30, 2006, by reviewing a statistical sample of 150 randomly selected awards.
Based on the disallowed grants, DiNapoli’s audit recommends the Higher Education Services Corporation recover the $3.1 million from Touro.
Touro plans to develop a college for physical therapists, advanced nursing degrees and other allied medical professions.
The college would be part of a project by New Jersey developer Tony Danza, who plans to buy the ORMC Horton campus and redeveloping it into a multi-purpose health related facility to include aside from Touro, a nursing home, full medical college and student housing.
Baron was convicted on most of the 36 charges and faces up to four years in prison when sentenced by Justice Thomas Farber on July 13. Prosecutor Jonathan Lenzer said he will recommend up to 16 years.
The 36-year-old Baron was Touro’s admissions director at its Manhattan School of Career and Applied Studies. He was one of four Touro officials accused of accepting thousands of dollars from six students and non-students.
Or perhaps the most bizarre story – that of Jim McGreevey’s gay lover, Golan Cipel extorting McGreevey to allow the college to open a teaching hospital in Hackensack.
Touro’s earlier attempts to expand into New Jersey were sidetracked by scandals. In the summer of 2004, its major financial backer, Charles Kushner, was arrested on federal charges that included hiring a prostitute in a scheme to tamper with an FBI witness.
Weeks later, the college found itself in the middle of the Gov. James E. McGreevey-Golan Cipel affair. Cipel, one of the school’s paid advisers, reportedly offered to keep his sexual encounters with McGreevey secret if, among other things, the governor let Touro open a medical school.
So what does this all mean? I fervently hope that this project at Newcomb Hospital is all on the up and up. We hope that Touro College is not involved simply due to their history of walking a thin line insofar as the law is concerned.
And I still want to know the connection between Lou and Rabbi Neustadt, the $5,000 gift to Lou’s imaginary PAC, Neustadt and Touro, and the deal that was announced last year.