We often acknowledge how our diets and exercise schedules affect our physical health; however, we sometimes neglect other elements of our day-to-day lives, like financial stability and living situations, which also greatly impact our well-being. In response, RWJBarnabas Health has implemented a “social impact initiative” in order to improve disadvantaged communities all across the state of New Jersey.
For this episode of One-on-One with Steve Adubato, show host Steve Adubato, PhD., sat down with Barry Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of RWJBarnabas Health, a network of independent healthcare providers based out of West Orange. Ostrowsky shared how this healthcare provider’s social impact initiative is making communities healthier by partnering with organizations to help individuals break down major barriers and achieve wellness.
Ostrowsky explained that RWJB’s social impact initiative is critical to impoverished communities across the state. There exist a number of elements in these communities that contribute to – and even create – bad health. “Social determinants,” such as unemployment, lower education, food insecurity and bad housing, can severely impact an individual’s physical health.
“So while [RWJB has] concentrated on clinical care historically, we really haven’t concentrated on these social determinants of bad health,” said Ostrowsky. “For RWJBarnabas Health, what we’ve now decided is our mission includes addressing these social determinants.”
One of the ways in which the organization is dealing with these social determinants is through the Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp, in which individuals who are chronically unemployed and struggling to support their families are trained on everything from how to dress to how to speak during an interview and become dependable workers. After these individuals complete their “boot camp,” they are provided a job by RWJB. With a 99 percent retention rate, RWJB has found this new program to be highly effective in creating further well trained, diligent, successful workers in the state.
To learn more about how RWJBarnabas Health is supporting communities across New Jersey, check out this edition of One-on-One with Steve Adubato.
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