NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) 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 on Friday 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. Our initial four BRGs supported our Latino, Asian, and Black employees and young professionals. Today, we have increased our 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.
In addition to the Equity of Care Award, RWJUH this year was ranked no. 19 in Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2015 rankings for “50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work” and also is recognized by the magazine in its “Top 10 Best in Class: Succession Planning and Accountability.
About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 965-bed academic medical center with campuses in New Brunswick and Somerville, N.J. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, joint replacement, and women’s and children’s care, including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH. As the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care.
A Level I Trauma Center and the only Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.
RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.
Both the New Brunswick and Somerset campuses have earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services have designated the New Brunswick Campus as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and the Somerset Campus as a Primary Stroke Center.
The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers and designated the Steeplechase Cancer Center at RWJUH Somerset as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Center. The Joint Surgery Center at RWJUH Somerset has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total knee and total hip replacement surgery.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is ranked no. 19 in Diversity MBA Magazine’s 2015 rankings for “50 Out Front Companies for Diversity Leadership: Best Places for Women & Diverse Managers to Work” and also is recognized by the magazine in its “Top 10 Best in Class: Succession Planning and Accountability.”
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