RWJBarnabas Health Launches Black Executive Alliance

The Black Executive Alliance

In photo: members of the newly formed Black Executive Alliance at RWJBarnabas Health pictured with Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health (far left) and Meika Neblett, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Academic Officer at Community Medical Center and Medical Director of the Southern Region (front center). Other members of the Alliance who are not pictured include: Darryl Terry, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Beth Israel Medical Center and Sean Baptiste, Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President of the RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group.

West Orange, NJ, September 1, 2021 – RWJBarnabas Health, the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, has further amplified its efforts to address equity and promote an antiracist culture throughout the organization and the communities it serves with the development of the Black Executive Alliance (BEA). As part of the system’s organizational and systemic culture shift to end racism, the BEA will actively contribute to the professional growth and personal development of executive-level African American and Black employees of RWJBarnabas Health and its affiliates. The BEA aims to focus on increasing the recruitment, retention, and elevation of Black people to executive roles in healthcare and to nurturing and guiding the current and next generation of leaders within RWJBarnabas Health and its surrounding communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, paired with recent civil injustices, has shone a very bright light on inequity and systemic racism, highlighting an even greater need for programs like the Black Executive Alliance,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer for RWJBarnabas Health. “As a component of Ending Racism Together, the Black Executive Alliance, we are committed to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion across our entire enterprise to create a national model for developing an antiracist culture. Ultimately, it is our hope that the Black Executive Alliance will be impactful, not just for its members, but for RWJBarnabas Health,” Mr. Ostrowsky said.

The group held its inaugural event on July 1 at Delta’s Restaurant in New Brunswick. The BEA currently has nearly thirty members and is led and organized by Meika Neblett, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Academic Officer at Community Medical Center and Medical Director of the Southern Region and Sean Baptiste, Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President of the RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group. Dr. Neblett also leads the Equity in Healthcare goal that is part of the system’s antiracism initiative, Ending Racism Together.

“It is our hope that members of the Black Executive Alliance will leverage their leadership roles to engage in and sustain necessary dialogue and diversity solidarity across the system by participating in panels and discussions, as well as by providing and suggesting resources to support causes that will impact and change policies,” said Dr. Neblett.

The BEA will serve as a resource for mentorship of Black young professionals within RWJBarnabas Health and the community as well as create a platform to enhance communication, encourage achievement, and provide an open forum for Black executives to share their lived experiences.

The Black Executive Alliance will serve as a communication vehicle, linking Black executives with each other for the purposes of resource sharing, career advancement and support. Together, the group will seek innovative ways to promote belonging, collaboration, and networking; develop recommendations to support RWJBarnabas Health’s goals for Ending Racism Together, to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion; and create a model for growing and developing Black leaders.

Ending Racism Together uses an evidence-based and data-driven approach to confront systemic and generational effects of racism that result in poor health, social, economic, and educational outcomes. Through a focused approach that addresses inequity for patients, the workforce, the community, and system operations, RWJBarnabas Health seeks to improve health outcomes, achieve equity, and eliminate disparities.

The Black Executive Alliance meets quarterly, or as needed, to discuss initiatives and upcoming events. Members of the BEA must be Black or of African American descent and an Associate Vice President level or above and must be employees of RWJBarnabas Health.

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, RWJUH in New Brunswick, RWJUH Somerset in Somerville, RWJUH Hamilton, RWJUH Rahway and Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston; three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and an accountable care organization.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 34,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health recently announced a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration will align RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

Contact:
Carrie Cristello
973-322-4642
Carrie.Cristello@rwjbh.org