NEC Facilitating Cooperation Between Medical and Research Institutions
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA
The NEC plays a role supporting the healthcare industry by providing convenient transportation for doctors, technicians, and students to travel from one medical facility to another. In this way, the NEC facilitates collaboration and increased consultation within the medical community and health care industry more broadly.
Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), a health science university that provides patient care through its hospital, conducts medical research, and trains healthcare professionals, is just a little over two miles and a short transit ride away from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Rail already plays a key role in connecting TJU to its suburban workforce and student body and by facilitating access to research partners in other parts of the Northeast Corridor, but improved rail access on the NEC would provide direct and tangible benefits for TJU. In addition to TJU’s partnership with the University of Delaware and its STAR Campus, the institution is starting several new educational, research, and clinical collaborations with partners located in the Northeast, but outside of Philadelphia, within the next three years. The University is seeking to create joint faculty positions across campuses and improved rail service would support individual faculty working in multiple locations. Students already rotate between sites for their clinical rotations and use rail where it is practical.
Rail connects Thomas Jefferson University with its partner institutions along the NEC. Source: Andy Gradel.
“One thing that restricts our collaboration is a lack of transportation choices as I-95 is very difficult for us to use. An efficient connection between our location and campuses and clinical locations in Delaware would be a real plus for a lot of us…If rail’s service quality increased our planning for collaboration would expand. Researchers working at different locations could easily move back and forth between locations and this would be a big help because there is only so much you can do with technology (phone and video). They could be in each other’s labs and meet each other’s staff. We would share faculty between sites as well. It would also be a tremendous bonanza for the region economically.”
— Dr. Michael J. Vergare, MD, Sr. VP, Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University