New Jersey NEWS

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Receives American Hospital Association Equity of Care Award

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick, NJ, has been named winner of the 2015 Equity of Care Award from the American Hospital Association (AHA). The award is presented annually to hospitals or care systems that are noteworthy leaders and examples to the field in the area of equitable care, demonstrating a high level of success in reducing health care disparities and promoting diversity in leadership and staff within their organization.
RWJUH was recognized as one of two top-performing hospitals in healthcare diversity and inclusion out of the nation’s more than 5,000 hospitals. The award was presented this week at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Francisco.

“These hospitals are a testament to the tremendous efforts underway to eliminate health care disparities and promote diversity at the local and national level,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. The honorees represent what can be achieved to ensure care is provided equitably to all and signifies where we, as a health care field, should strive, he added.

"With our efforts expanding throughout the Robert Wood Johnson Health System, we are even more committed to living diversity as a value – modeling it internally, among our employees and patients - and externally,” said Stephen K. Jones, FACHE, President and C.E.O. of RWJUH and the Robert Wood Johnson Health System. “As RWJUH and the RWJ Health System become part of the national discussion for diversity and inclusion in healthcare, it gives us more opportunity to gain momentum and make an even bigger impact. We could not have achieved this without our employees’ invaluable contributions, so we can all be proud of this recognition from the AHA.”
RWJUH Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President (Diversity & Inclusion) Ryan Parker described this as a tremendous achievement. “It showcases that every individual in our organization understands that everyone deserves a fair chance to lead a healthy life and is committed to helping our patients and neighbors in the diverse communities that we serve achieve that,” he said. “Receiving this award is a true testimony of our employees’ and leaders’ commitment to embrace and operationalize diversity and inclusion, as we work to improve the health and wellness of all populations under the Triple Aim model.” 
RWJUH was recognized for its commitment to addressing health inequities through its REAL Data Integrity LEAN Six Sigma Project. Identifying opportunities for improved care has resulted in an increased use of interpreter services and an associated decrease in hospital readmissions, specifically heart failure, by 30 percent. In addition, RWJUH looked at transitional care for low-income patients to close the gap between patient discharge and follow-up visit to a primary care physician. The hospital’s efforts resulted in a reduction of its overall 30-day readmission rate from 13 percent in 2013 to five percent in 2014.
RWJUH’s focus on diversity and inclusion has extended beyond clinical care to employee resource groups and leadership. The initial four BRGs supported its Latino, Asian, and Black employees and young professionals.  Today, it has increased its BRGs to include groups for women, veterans and LGBTA. And since 2012, the hospital increased its leadership diversity from four percent to 38 percent minority representation and the hospital board’s diversity is at 22 percent.

About Robert Wood Johnson Health System

The RWJ Health System boasts four acute care hospitals: RWJUH in New Brunswick and Somerville; RWJUH- Hamilton and RWJUH- Rahway and a national leader in pediatric rehabilitation: Children’s Specialized Hospital, as well as five fitness and wellness centers and many retail ambulatory facilities. Patients have access to exceptional women’s and children’s services and expert cancer, cardiac, emergency, neurology, stroke, trauma and pediatric rehabilitation care in addition to comprehensive health and wellness programs.