Health Equity

at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Mission

To ensure the delivery of equitable, person-centered, and culturally sensitive care to our diverse populations and create a workforce culture of equity and inclusion.

Vision

To create a culture of equity and inclusion and eliminating health disparities by increasing access to care and transform the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve one person at a time.

Overview

In alignment with RWJBarnabas Health System’s mission to improve the health of the diverse communities of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a comprehensive academic medical center in New Brunswick, NJ, is well positioned to address disparities in care spanning well beyond its primary and secondary service areas. With the innovative approaches in tertiary and quaternary services that attract the state’s diverse populations, we are particularly intentional in scoping various strategic priorities that will address the needs of our diverse communities. As such, expanding our services with a commitment to cultural humility and sensitivity is a reality that cannot be ignored.

In honoring our commitment to our communities, we established a comprehensive model of Organizational Equity that outlines our strategic efforts to support our patients, community, and workforce. This model crosscuts all of our organizational priorities to improve the health of the diverse populations we serve. Our organizational model consists of three pillars:

  1. Health Equity
  2. Workforce Equity
  3. Community Impact

As an anchor institution, RWJUH is steadfast in its commitment to refine its Organizational Equity efforts spanning beyond the various determinants of health, with an emphasis on healthier communities by increasing access to care, while ensuring an inclusive care delivery model that is patient-centric, culturally sensitive, and equitable to all and a workforce culture that is equitable and inclusive treating everyone with respect and dignity.

Health Equity

The Health Equity structure focuses on access to care for the underserved population, care optimization through population-specific navigation services, a better understanding of the social determinants of health that are specific to our patient utilization, and operational initiatives to address disparities in care and outcomes.

Access of Care

This initiative includes but is not limited to increasing access of care to our underserved populations while coordinating and facilitating follow-up appointments upon discharge through our collaborative efforts with our Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Care Optimization

Understanding the demographics of our hospital utilization in comparison to the communities we serve, care optimization consists of three population-specific medical programs and one specialty program, which is in collaboration with CINJ. Unique to RWJUH Health Equity program, this initiative focuses on the communities outlined below, which have been carefully selected based on feedback from the community through our Health Equity Advisory Council. Such programs address the needs, lack of access, and ensure a navigation model that will enhance care delivery and outcomes. The programs assist patients by making medical appointments, arranging transportation, assisting with filling out forms, identifying and addressing social determinants of health, and providing interpretation/translation. With a specific emphasis on addressing disparities through language support and other health disparities, our navigators build trust and adopt a mindset of cultural humility to treat our community the way in which they want to be treated. The following focus areas are our medical programs that cater to the unique needs of each community:

Focus Areas:

  • African American Medical Program – with particular emphasis on the African American/Black community in our regions, this program is designed to address the inequities that have long plagued the Black community addressing the disparities that affect the Black community.
  • Breast Care Connectionsa unique breast health program designed specifically to guide women through the breast health process.
  • Chinese Medical Program 華人醫療服務部 – with key focus on addressing language barriers and increasing access and navigation to the Chinese community in our regions.
  • Su Salud Medical Program Programa Médico Su Salud – this program is designed to provide navigation services including language support services, ensuring an organizational culture that is culturally sensitive to the LatinX/Hispanic community, particularly for patients with limited English proficiency.

Clinical & Operational Alignment

We aim to ensure that outcomes are equitable across all aspects of care irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, ability/disability status, religion, and or any other attribute that outlines an individual’s uniqueness.

To optimize culturally and linguistically person-centered and equitable care at our facility, health equity has been strategically embedded as a key element of our care delivery model to address disparities in care and outcomes for the diverse communities we serve. Our efforts include, but are not limited to, improving our collection of Race, Ethnicity, and Language (REAL) and Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity (SOGI) data to strengthen our efforts in outlining key intervention programs. Such data will be analyzed in every aspect of care delivery, assessing different key measures including quality, patient experience, and readmissions.

Workforce Equity

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission

At RWJUH, we are committed to treat everyone with respect and dignity while appreciating and embracing the differences as well as the similarities that exist among us so that RWJUH continues to provide high-quality, equitable, culturally competent, patient-centered care to its diverse patients and communities.

Team Engagement

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts are woven into the fabric of everything we do. In alignment with our aim to create an inclusive culture where everyone is treated with respect and dignity, our employees are engaged through our business resource groups (BRGs) with the executive sponsorship from our senior leaders. Generally, BRGs can provide support for colleagues, promote career advancement, and enhance cultural sensitivity in the work environment. But, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, they have proven to be so much more. These efforts empower our employees, enrich the patient experience, and engage the communities we serve, supporting RWJUH’s efforts to eliminate health disparities.

Community Impact

As an organization, we acknowledge the importance of engaging our community to best understand their needs. In collaboration with the RWJUH Community Health Promotions team, we are engaging members of our community through a Health Equity Advisory Council to gain insights on how we may best serve our community. To support our community engagement efforts, we ensure representation and direct feedback from community leaders through our advisory councils, community events, and growing community relationships. In alignment with our core mission to hire local, invest local, and buy local, we are working with internal and external stakeholders to adopt a comprehensive supplier diversity model that is reflective of our community.




Patient Stories

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