Happy 19th Birthday RMANJ!

40 years of IVF

Nineteen years ago today, RMANJ was born in Morristown, NJ.

With a small, dedicated and ambitious few colleagues, Dr. Paul Bergh, Dr. Richard Scott and Dr. Mike Drews broke off from Saint Barnabas Hospital, now known as Saint Barnabas Medical Center, in Livingston, New Jersey, and decided to start their own fertility clinic.

They picked up everything they owned from the old space – computers, medical equipment, research –grabbed a few loyal colleagues who yearned to start something new, and never looked back.

The plan was to open a fertility clinic free from the bureaucracy and administrative pressures of a big hospital, and one that focused on one thing: patient success. A big part of that vision was the freedom to conduct research, and the RMANJ founding partners were dedicated to making it happen.

So they did. They opened a small clinic in Morristown on October 1, 1999, and called it Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ). That first month they had more than 1,000 patients come in for treatment.

“We just wanted to be the very best there was out there,” Dr. Bergh said of the decision to open RMANJ. “That philosophy has continued to drive us.”

Now, 19 years later, RMANJ has ten locations across the state, and is one of two flagship centers of IVI-RMA, the biggest infertility network in the world. You can say there’s a lot to celebrate – including the loyal RMANJ team members who decided to quit their job, pack their desks, and follow the founding partners to start something they believed in 19 years ago.

One of them was Renee Johnson, a Finance Department Professional Trainer in Basking Ridge who counts her 19 years with the company this year. Here are her anniversary thoughts.

rma nj employeeWhat is your most vivid memory of October 1, 1999?

Being a part of a dream that the partners envisioned, with no thought of whether I was going to have a job in the next ten months. I remember that first day was hectic and exhilarating – I was downloading endless data into a computer in this large room in Morristown that was originally a storage room. There were about eight old wooden/steel desks lined against the walls of the room, and there were four finance ladies, myself included, all cramming away in there. We learned a lot about each other sitting in such close proximity!

What is your favorite thing about the year that just passed at RMANJ?

Watching the new extension to the Basking Ridge building be built from the ground up – it was an experience I’ve never witnessed in all my life. Usually when a building is being built, it’s surrounded by blind gates blocking your view, but here we were able to see the progress from start to finish at every angle, and now, to be sitting in the new building, it’s really awesome.

What do you wish for RMANJ in its 19th year?

To continue making an impact in peoples’ lives, both patients and colleagues, because people make up the world around us.

What are you most proud of about this company?

Being so visible across the globe. No matter where I go, there’s always someone I meet who knows about RMANJ. No matter how discreet I am about where I work, someone always asks what I do for a living, and when I answer that I work for an infertility company, their response is always “RMANJ.” It’s incredibly humbling.

Another team member that has been with RMANJ from the start is Merry Dutkevitch, a Nurse Administrator in the West Orange practice. Here are her anniversary thoughts.rmanj employee

What is your most vivid memory of October 1, 1999?

I remember the first day at RMANJ as if it were yesterday. I was a little scared but mostly excited. My most vivid memory was the nurses’ office. It was an empty room with the exception of a line of 6′ tables as our computer desks with our boxes of files on the floor. Everyone assumed multiple roles that day to care for the patients that followed us from Saint Barnabas. Dr. Bergh, Dr. Drews and Dr. Scott led us calmly through our first day like captains on a ship. At that time, I had known and worked with Dr. Bergh for over a decade and I knew what his vision was for the future. I felt we were at the start of something big… and look at us now! I couldn’t be more proud of such a wonderful organization making couples’ dreams of becoming parents come true.

What is your favorite thing about the year that just passed at RMANJ?

The nursing team-building event we had during the spring. We all met to improve the way in which we deliver care to our patients and streamline patient education material and documentation. 

What do you wish for RMANJ in its 19th year?

Continued success and advancement in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

What are you most proud of about this company?

Our success rates, our groundbreaking research and the outstanding care we give to our patients. 

RMANJ, you’ve made a big different in the lives of thousands of people – from patients, to employees to the babies you help bring into the world.

Happy birthday!