SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Seton Hall University and Hackensack University Health Network have named Dr. Bonita Stanton, a nationally recognized expert on pediatric medicine, as the founding dean of their new school of medicine, which is slated to open in fall 2018. She is expected to begin her new role in March.
“Whether working with low-income populations in the United States, women and children in Bangladesh, migrant workers in China, or rural youth in Africa, Dean Stanton’s calling has been to bring the healing and compassion of health care to the world’s most vulnerable peoples,” Seton Hall University President A. Gabriel Esteban said in a release. “Working with major universities and hospitals, as well as the World Bank, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, she exemplifies the servant leadership spirit that is a profound part of our mission at Seton Hall. It is with great honor that we name Bonita Stanton as the founding dean of our school of medicine.”
HackensackUHN’s leadership is equally pleased with Stanton’s appointment.
“We proudly welcome Dr. Bonita Stanton as the founding dean of our new medical school,” Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of the HackensackUHN, said in the release. “Our rigorous search yielded outstanding candidates from across the nation. President Esteban and I are confident that Dr. Stanton with her outstanding background and accomplishments will lead this school of medicine to become one of the finest in the United States, while maintaining our shared tradition and mission to educate the physicians of tomorrow in a groundbreaking, collaborative environment.”
Stanton graduated from Wellesley College and Yale University School of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at Case Western Reserve and her pediatric infectious disease fellowship training at Yale University School of Medicine.
For the past four years Stanton has served as vice dean for research at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Previously, she served as the Schotanus professor and chairwoman of the Department of Pediatrics at Wayne State; pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center; and chairwoman of the Department of Pediatrics, West Virginia University. Earlier in her career, she was a faculty member and division chief of general pediatrics at University of Maryland School of Medicine. For five years, she lived and worked with her family in Bangladesh, where she served as a health consultant to the World Bank and the International Center for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, and as director of a community-based research and service program designed to help women and children in the slums of Dhaka.
An author of more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, Stanton has served as an editor of the “Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,” along with many other journals and books. Among many local, national and international advisory roles, she was a member of the advisory board of the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center and was president of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs.
“The partnership between Seton Hall, a nationally renowned university with a programmatic emphasis on high-quality inter-professional care, and HackensackUHN, a health care delivery system of great size, stature and innovation, sets the stage for the transformation of health care delivery, research and education in New Jersey, with implications for the nation and throughout the world,” Stanton said in the release. “I am honored and delighted to accept the opportunity to lead the development of an integrated education, research and care delivery system at a new school of medicine with such visionary partners.
“My career has focused on improving health outcomes for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographic location,” Stanton continued. “I share the widespread concern that U.S. health care costs are among the highest in the world, but our health outcomes are only fair in comparison with all nations and poor in comparison with our socioeconomic peer nations. Extensive research speaks to the importance of delivering preventive and curative care with a far greater emphasis on community-based services, reserving our tertiary hospitals for technologically complex procedures and treatments and the very ill.”
In June 2015, Seton Hall and HackensackUHN signed a definitive agreement to form a new, four-year school of medicine.