Dr. Anil Nanda

Dr. Anil Nanda

A world-renowned neurosurgeon will head up a neurosurgery department serving two New Jersey medical schools.

Dr. Anil Nanda, who was the chairman of LSU Health’s Department of Neurosurgery until last fall, will be chairman of a neurosurgery department shared by Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey School of Medicine starting July 1.

He will also have a role in the RWJBarnabas Health system, which entered a partnership with the two medical schools last year.

A source familiar with the decision said a search committee selected Nanda over two finalists who are already on the faculty at Rutgers.

Thursday, Nanda shared details of his new position in a farewell letter posted on Change.org, the site where supporters started a petition calling for his reinstatement.

"I’ve had a wonderful twenty-seven years in this community and state and I feel privileged to have served for so many years. Time changes everything," he said in the letter.

He also announced his planned move during an American Association of Neurological Surgeons annual meeting in April. Nanda's staff members have also alerted patients considering surgery about his planned departure.

medical schools, although details of the position haven’t been finalized.

Both New Jersey medical schools, operated by Rutgers University, are undergoing a transition similar to the one LSU Health Shreveport faced in 2013 when former Gov. Bobby Jindal privatized Louisiana’s nine publicly operated charity hospitals.

In 2017, Rutgers signed an affiliation agreement with RWJBarnabas Health to manage clinical operations, including teaching hospitals affiliated with the medical schools. RWJBarnabas – the largest private employer in New Jersey --has promised to invest millions of dollars in the medical schools.

Last October, LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali removed Nanda as chairman of the neurosurgery department.

Nanda is a tenured professor with LSU Medical School in Shreveport and retained his faculty position. He also continued treating patients and performing surgeries before cutting back his patient load as he prepared to leave for New Jersey.

Several faculty members called on Ghali to reinstate Nanda and even appealed to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, but Nanda was not reinstated.

Dr. Brian Willis, interim chairman of the LSU Health neurosurgery department, along with patients and other faculty members, confirmed that Nanda has shared plans to move to Rutgers.

Nanda became a professor when the LSU Health neurosurgery department was formed in 1995. Before that, he served five years as the chief of neurosurgery, then a section of the Department of Surgery. In the spring of 2002, Nanda successfully obtained accreditation of a neurosurgery residency program at LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, the first such program to be approved in the five preceding years.

"LSU Health Shreveport extends our appreciation to Dr. Nanda for his years of service and wishes him the best in his future endeavors”, said Lisa Babin, an LSU Health spokeswoman.

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