RWJBarnabas Health Works to Make NJ Communities Healthier
Steve Adubato goes on-location to The North Ward Center to speak with the Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at RWJBarnabas, Michellene Davis, about RWJB’s commitment to making NJ communities healthier by developing Social Impact and Community Investment practices.
"We are pleased to be joined, once again, by our good friend Michellene Davis, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of RWJBarnabas Health. Good to see you. You too. Michellene, the initiative I want to talk to you about is called the Social Impact and Community Investment Initiative that your organization is a part of. And it has something to do with why we're here today, we're actually doing a program here in Newark at the North Ward Center, dealing with police minority relations, one of the many very community oriented dialogues and initiatives that you're a part of. Talk about it. Oh, absolutely. So really excited to author the Social Impact and Community Investment practice for RWJBarnabas Health. Steve, this came, really, out of the visionary of our president and CEO. I cannot ever help but smile when I think about him. Barry Ostrowski, as you know, is an individual who fully understands that as a healthcare institution, that at the breadth and width of RWJBarnabas Health, that we would be remiss if in fact we attempted to ever think that we were just supposed to be in a community but not of that community. As a result... What's the difference? Oh my goodness. Well, the difference is that... that you simply do what it is that you have to do, right? So what we know is that we are there in order to render high quality clinical care to the people who come through our door. But what if we decided that we were gonna go outside that door? Hmm. And that we were not simply going to go outside the door to do health screenings, which is incredibly important. At health fairs and other venues. But what if we began to literally look at, well, what are the social determinants that cause you to be a patient of ours in a chronic manner, right? So if, in fact, you are an individual who consistently comes in through our ER, or who we consistently see for a variety of things, perhaps we need to have a conversation around, "What are the other things that are going on in your life? And how can we better assist you in managing through this lifetime, by ensuring that we have connected the right collaborative partners, and shored up the right resources, to make certain that we're addressing certain things?" Let me give you an example. So we can talk about the fact that, well, the thing that costs us the most in healthcare is poverty. And then throw up our hands and go away. Right? Or we can take a look at the fact that actually..."