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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset Introduces New Gynecologic Oncology Program at the Steeplechase Cancer Center

New Program and Services Build on the Hospital’s Commitment to Enhancing Patient Cancer Care

August 5, 2014

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Nearly 84,000 women each year are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and 29,000 die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an effort to significantly enhance patient cancer care for Central New Jersey residents, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are expanding their Gynecologic Oncology Program to the Somerset campus of RWJUH at the Steeplechase Cancer Center.

The new Gynecologic Oncology Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset will take a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of and clinical research on cancers of the female reproductive system, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, vulvar, fallopian tube, primary peritoneal, endometrial cancers, in addition to gestational trophoblastic disease, vulvar, vaginal or cervical dysplasia and complex benign surgical conditions.

The program is a unique partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and it will bring an experienced team of specialized physicians, led by Darlene G. Gibbon, M.D., who will provide a full-range of treatments utilizing state-of-the-art techniques.

The Gynecologic Oncology Program at the Steeplechase Cancer Center will offer a full spectrum of care, including diagnosis, surgery, radiation oncology, chemotherapy, psychosocial services, genetic testing, palliative medicine, hospice care, educational programming and support and counseling each step of the way, in order to provide the highest quality and most efficient care for the patient. Steeplechase Cancer Center patients will now have access to highly-specialized treatment techniques offered through Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, including brachytherapy, an advanced cancer treatment also known as internal radiotherapy, minimally-invasive and robotic techniques for faster recovery times, access to the latest in clinical trials and translational research, and precision medicine to customize individualized treatment therapies for patients with gynecologic malignancies.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Cancer Program in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and private physicians in the community was only one of two in New Jersey to earn a national ranking by U.S. News & World Report in its 2014-15 list of America’s Best Hospitals.

“A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients and their families, and we want to be sure that we are providing every patient with the very best care and access to the most advanced, proven treatment techniques,” said Stephen K. Jones, President and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson Health System. “As a result of the merger that took place on June 1, we are very eager to expand the great care provided by the medical staff at the Somerville campus, and one of our first priorities is the implementation of this new program to improve cancer care, providing our female patients with access to world-class specialists.”

“The Gynecologic Oncology Program will be a perfect addition to the already robust scope of care we provide at the Steeplechase Cancer Center and will increase the quality of care provided to our patients battling gynecologic cancers,” added Kathleen Toomey, M.D., Medical Director of the Steeplechase Cancer Center. “Having the program in Somerville will allow for ease of access to some of the best gynecologic oncology physicians in the country and the latest clinical trials and treatment options available, bringing quality care and support closer to home.”

For more information, please visit . For a referral to a physician at the Steeplechase Cancer Center, call 800-443-4605.

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the most comprehensive health care delivery system in New Jersey, treating over 3 million patients a year. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH in New Brunswick and Somerville, RWJUH- Hamilton, RWJUH- Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital (Children’s Specialized Hospital), a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and four accountable care organizations. 

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s second largest private employer – with more than 32,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for its outstanding quality and safety.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, N.J.  Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care, including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH(  As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care.

As a Level I Trauma Center and the first Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties.  The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.

Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJUH Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center.  The Joint Surgery Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is ranked no. 19 in Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2015 rankings for “50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work” and also is recognized by the magazine in its “Top 10 Best in Class: Succession Planning and Accountability.”