NEWARK, NJ — On the surface, it’s just a simple logo change. But according to officials at University Hospital in Newark, it represents a much bigger paradigm shift at one of the busiest medical facilities in New Jersey.
Earlier this week, University Hospital kicked off a rebranding campaign with its new logo as the centerpiece. The campaign also included a “letter to the community,” which offers more details about a combination of operational and financial changes, capital investment and “deeper community engagement” at the facility, which also serves as the principal teaching hospital for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
Read the letter here.
Part of the hospital’s importance to the community has been highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic; the Level 1 Trauma Center has been serving as a frontline stronghold in the battle against the virus for months.
But the hospital’s importance to the City of Newark goes well beyond its pandemic response, administrators say.
“As we emerge from twin crises — one, a global pandemic, and the other, a new reckoning with systemic racism as a public health crisis itself — University Hospital finds itself at an important time in our history,” President and CEO Shereef Elnahal said.
Elnahal, the former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, said it’s time for the hospital to recommit to the goals of the Newark Accords, and prioritize the community’s short and long-term needs above all else.
It won’t be easy, he admitted.
“We recognize that these are lofty goals and will require systemic changes to the system of healthcare in America in order to be fully realized,” Elnahal said. “This vision will form the motivation that drives our board and our leadership team. It will take time and incremental successes to realize our vision, but we remain committed to University Hospital, the City of Newark and the people of our community.”
The 1967 Newark riots happened when racism reached a boiling point, yielding the Newark Accords, which rededicated @UnivHospNewark to its community.Today, we release our roadmap to meet that commitment.Our thesis: to meet our mission to improve health, we must destroy racism. https://t.co/HhV61aEE91
— Shereef *VOTE NOW* Elnahal, MD (@ShereefElnahal) October 13, 2020
Here are some of the highlights of the hospital’s letter to the community:
Building the Foundation of Quality, Safety and Reliability – “University Hospital must retain its laser focus on continuous improvement in all aspects of quality and safety. Newark and our surrounding communities simply deserve a hospital that treats its patients with dignity and respect. To that end, University Hospital will utilize more robust reporting, shared governance and quality management at the bedside, while ensuring that the hospital is staffed to meet patient needs while maximizing the efficiency of staff on all shifts.”
Invigorating a Financial Sustainability Strategy – “As a public, safety net hospital, the institution continues to depend on Medicaid, Medicare, and Charity Care reimbursement to fund operations. In order to ensure financial sustainability, the Hospital will address its approach to capital