RWJBarnabas Health's Initative for Healthier Communities

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Barry Ostrowsky, president and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, who shares how RWJB’s social impact initiative is making communities healthier by partnering with organizations to help individuals break down major barriers to achieve wellness.

7/25/2017 #2064






"Welcome to One On One. I'm Steve Adubato. It is our honor to have back, once again, Barry Ostrowsky, who is president and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health. Good to see you Barry. Thank you. A pleasure to be here Steve. While we are both big Yankee fans as is our president Neil Shapiro, we'll put that off for a separate sports segment. I love it. Can't wait. But not everyone is doing as well as the Yankees as we're taping right now. That's true. Let me try this one. At RWJBarnabas Health, one of the things that we've talked about offline as well is, in fact, I have done executive leadership coaching and run some seminars within the system and I know that this concept of social impact is important. What is the Social Impact Initiative and where is it focused? It is very important and the truth of the matter is, Steve, this is really an opportunity for us to expand our mission. Historically, as you know better than anybody, healthcare delivery systems dealt with conventional healthcare and clinical services. But we also know, and we've studied it for more than 20 years that social determinants, frankly the elements of poverty for the most part, unemployment, lower education, food insecurity, bad housing, these are things that actually contribute to, and for the most part create, bad health in our communities. And so while we've concentrated on clinical care historically, we really haven't concentrated on these social determinants of bad health. For Barnabas, for RWJBarnabas Health, what we've now decided is our mission includes addressing these social determinants. Give me one example. Unemployment. We have, in vulnerable communities in Newark, New Jersey is in fact an example of that. There is chronic unemployment. People who would like to work don't have the education or training to get and hold a job so we believe it's our responsibility to take these people, train them, and offer them employment. Excuse me Barry, is that the Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp? Is that one of the examples? That's one of the examples of that. So, we just had our third graduation yesterday. What's it like? What was it like? There's not a dry eye in the house. These are people who have been chronically unemployed. Who desperately would like to provide for their respective families. Don't have the training necessarily to conduct an interview. Don't have the training to hold onto a position of employment. What we do is we take these folks. We put them through, as you say, boot camp. That starts with how to dress, how to speak, how to act in an interview session. And we guarantee them..."