The RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery Announces Partnership

With the City of Long Branch to Develop Action Plan to Reduce Disparities in Health Outcomes

City of Long Branch awarded CDC funding for action plan; to be developed and executed in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery and Monmouth Medical Center

Long Branch, N.J., November 16, 2021 – The RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) Institute for Prevention and Recovery (IFPR) announces a new partnership with the City of Long Branch and Monmouth Medical Center that brings community and clinical stakeholders together to address social determinants of health and health equity. The partnership will be funded by The City of Long Branch, one of 20 state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions across the country that was awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Closing the Gap with Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Accelerator Plans.

“Addressing health equity and racial disparities in the communities we serve by going beyond the four walls of our hospitals and increasing utilization of our outpatient services has been and remains a vitally important directive for the RWJBarnabas Health system as a whole,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJBarnabas Health. “We look forward to further building upon that goal in Long Branch through our involvement in this impactful project.”

"Thank you to RWJBarnabas Health for partnering with us,” said Mayor John Pallone, City of Long Branch. “As one of twenty award recipients, we are thankful for this opportunity from the CDC and look forward to the outcomes and impact this project will have on our community."

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Long Branch to develop this action plan which is an important first step in improving community health and health equity among those who are socially vulnerable in the communities we serve,” said Paul Alexander, M.D., MPH, Executive Vice President, Chief Health Equity and Transformation Officer for RWJBarnabas Health.

Leveraging its longstanding experience and capacity in community health-focused and coalition-based health equity work, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery will be funded by the City of Long Branch to convene a multi-sector Leadership Team of community and clinical stakeholders to develop an implementation-ready action plan that reduces disparities in health outcomes related to chronic disease and health inequities.

The strategic plan created through the project will address three SDOH priority areas including social connectedness, community-clinical linkages, and health care access and quality related to substance use disorder. At the end of the 12-month project period, the partners aim to achieve the following:

  • Increase collaboration and engagement among multi-sectoral partners
  • Implement the SDOH Accelerator Plan across multi-sectoral partners
  • Increase access to prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders
  • Increase access to social support services and promote community participation to improve social connectedness
  • Increase access to and use of preventive health care services to improve community-clinical linkages
  • Improve health and social outcomes for people experiencing health disparities and inequities
  • Increase community resilience to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations

“The Institute for Prevention and Recovery is committed to improving the overall health of the communities we serve by addressing the social determinants of health through the comprehensive programs we offer,” said Connie Greene, MA, CAS, CSW, CPS, Vice President, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery. “This project will build upon that mission by not only creating a decisive action plan but also leveraging an expansive network of like-minded community stakeholders all working together to reduce disparities in health equity.”

Together, leaders from the City of Long Branch, RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery, and Monmouth Medical Center will utilize cross-sector partnerships and local data to demonstrate how social connectedness, community-clinical linkages, and healthcare access and quality related to substance use disorder impact the target population, which includes residents living with the highest social vulnerability in the central portion of the city. The action plan will also generate community-wide strategies to accelerate health improvements.

“One of our top priorities is to effectively and efficiently meet the health needs of those in the communities we serve while enhancing their health and quality of life,” said Eric Carney, President and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center. “We are confident Monmouth Medical Center’s role in this partnership will enable us to further bolster our ongoing social impact work, allowing us to have a reach that extends outside our hospital doors to improve health outcomes and long-term well-being directly in the community.”

For more information about RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery programs, visit rwjbh.org/preventionandrecovery.

About the Institute for Prevention and Recovery

RWJBarnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery (IFPR) is a leader in creating the systems and services necessary to improve the health of communities throughout New Jersey. For over 30 years, IFPR has provided substance use disorder-focused prevention programs, nicotine and tobacco treatment, recovery support and innovative social care services that take a systems change approach to addressing social determinants of health and enhancing care delivery systems throughout RWJBarnabas Health and New Jersey’s communities.

IFPR is the largest provider of hospital-based peer recovery services in the United States and the largest provider of free tobacco and nicotine treatment services in New Jersey. For more information, visit rwjbh.org/preventionandrecovery.