Diana Candelejo Recognized by Modern Healthcare as One of America’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders

Ms. Candelejo Recognized for Her Leadership, Innovation, and Contributions to Advancing Health Equity at RWJBarnabas Health

Diana CandelejoWest Orange, NJ, March 23, 2023 – Diana Candelejo, Assistant Vice President, Economic Inclusion, Social Impact & Community Investment at RWJBarnabas Health, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders for 2023. This program recognizes the healthcare industry’s rising stars age 40 and under who contribute to a culture of innovation and help their organizations achieve and exceed financial, operational, and clinical goals.

In her role, Ms. Candelejo ensures that RWJBarnabas Health, through its anchor mission and economic inclusion projects, is a cutting-edge innovator, adapting to new realities impacting healthcare. She utilizes a racial equity lens to design initiatives, including local hiring, workforce development, local supplier diversity, and economic development investments, that will positively impact the overall well-being of the communities served by the health system. She is responsible for forging strategic alliances and ensuring that economic power and resources reach the local communities most in need.

The RWJBarnabas Health Social Impact & Community Investment practice (SICI) leverages RWJBarnabas Health’s broad range of assets to advance a culture of health and improve the quality of life for communities throughout New Jersey. It also serves as a driver of the system’s anchor mission to Hire Local, Buy Local, and Invest Local. SICI is rooted in ensuring health equity by advancing strategic policy change, combined with evidence-based and innovative programs that address the social, economic, and environmental conditions that have a significant impact on health outcomes.

“Modern Healthcare’s recognition of Diana as a Top Emerging Leader is a well-deserved testament to her passion and dedication to working to ensure health equity. She is an integral part of RWJBarnabas Health’s Social Impact & Community Investment practice, and helps power our strategic initiatives that address health disparities,” said Paul G. Alexander, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President, Chief Health Equity & Transformation Officer at RWJBarnabas Health. “Diana’s work has tremendously impacted the overall well-being of our communities, and serve as a model for other organizations seeking to effect positive changes.”

Ms. Candelejo previously served as Director of Anchor Strategy for RWJBarnabas Health and has championed community partnerships and advanced economic equity for the individuals, families, and small businesses that look to the system as a financial leader. She has furthered RWJBarnabas Health’s mission as an anchor institution, creating and encouraging efforts that stimulate local economies and address adverse social determinants of health.

Prior to RWJBarnabas Health, Ms. Candelejo worked with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), conducting research, and creating data visualizations for procurement strategies to engage local, minority, and women-owned businesses.

Ms. Candelejo is a graduate of Drew College and received her Master of Public Administration from the London School of Economics. She was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a 2022 Rising Star and named as a healthcare leader to know. Ms. Candelejo speaks frequently about the system’s efforts to elevate its communities’ well-being, and in November 2022, participated in a panel discussion about the impact of the Newark Anchor Collaborative’s racial equity framework at the 2022 Anchor Institution Taskforce (AITF) Conference at Penn Institute for Urban Research.

About RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, 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, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, three acute care children’s hospitals, Children’s Specialized Hospital with a network of outpatient pediatric rehabilitation 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, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 38,000 employees and 9,000 physicians– and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health launched an affiliation with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns 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.