The operator of two New Jersey nursing homes is partnering with the state’s largest hospital system, with both sides getting a little something out of the affair.

Roosevelt Care Centers — which includes two county-operated long-term care facilities— announced last week that it is partnering with RWJBarnabas Health, which is based in West Orange, NJ. The 11-hospital system will manage the two Middlesex County eldercare facilities, with an eye toward “expanding our existing system geriatrics quality initiatives to the nursing home environment,” president and CEO Barry Ostrowsky said last week.

On the flipside, Roosevelt Care will gain the use of new technologies more common on the hospital side, along with the latest advancements in care delivery, Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios told McKnight’s in an email.

“We know that developing partnerships with world-class healthcare providers like RWJBarnabas Health will ensure that our residents continue to have access to high quality, long-term care, while enabling Middlesex County to evolve its services to remain current and competitive,” Rios said. “With changes to healthcare nationally, this partnership with RWJBarnabas will allow Middlesex County to continue, and improve upon, the level of care our residents have come to expect.”

Officials did not release particulars of the agreement; they said they plan to negotiate the details in the coming months. Their hope is to have something finalized in the near-term, with RWJBarnabas taking over management of the 356-bed center in Edison and 180-bed center in Old Bridge by Jan. 1. The partners said in an announcement that there will be a “renewed emphasis” on more therapeutic activities, along with a “greater focus” on improving care for residents.

Rios offered nursing home leaders four lessons to act on from being involved in the endeavor. In his own words:

  1. Leverage experience and quality of your partner: The healthcare industry is rapidly changing.  We feel that a nationally renowned expert is better suited to quickly adapt to these ongoing changes to ensure the best care for the county’s residents. This partnership leverages RWJBarnabas’ experience to efficiently offer care while maintaining patient safety, satisfaction and quality of care.
  2. Strengthen your commitment to your residents: We believe that the residents will be better served by RWJBH because they have experience in understanding where the healthcare industry is going, where technology is going, and how that can benefit our residents. It also ties in with the county’s and RWJBH’s shared commitment to building a continuum of care across the lifespan.
  3. Stay involved: Creating new solutions allows us to have a voice in protecting our most vulnerable residents and ensures Middlesex County Freeholders can and will continue to be advocates on behalf of county residents.
  4. Protect your workforce: We are committed to providing high-quality care with a union workforce so long-term care residents know they will be cared for by professional caregivers. Existing unionized workers at Roosevelt Centers will be protected under terms of the partnership. We have a longstanding history of being mindful of our union workforce and being union friendly, and they have always reciprocated that respect and commitment to us.