RWJBarnabas Health launches systemwide initiative to combat racism  

RWJBarnabas Health launched a new, systemwide initiative Dec. 10 to address equity and systemic racism and promote an antiracist culture throughout the West Orange, N.J.-based health system and its surrounding communities.

The "Ending Racism, Together" initiative will focus on four primary areas: patient care, workforce, community and system operations. RWJBarnabas CEO Barry Ostrowsky in a news release said the efforts are "designed to ensure that we carefully review our policies and our work flow to improve health outcomes for Black people, brown people and all people of color."

Ending Racism, Together will use an evidence-based approach and quantifiable tactics to measure the success of the efforts across the four primary areas at the organizational, facility and individual levels. Deanna Minus-Vincent, senior vice president and chief social integration and health equity strategist at RWJBarnabas Health, will lead the new initiative.

"As a woman of color, I have seen the fluctuated interest in civil rights issues over the years. This time in America feels very different," Ms. Minus-Vincent said. "Here at RWJBH, we are tackling the longstanding, pervasive pandemic of racism, with all the passion and vigor that it requires. We are demonstrating that sheer desire from a small minority does not manifest change, it takes planning and a prioritized commitment, as well as leadership from the top, to create a sustained systemic culture shift."

RWJBarnabas Health comprises 11 hospitals, three children's hospitals, one medical school, 33 outpatient centers and 21 specialty centers, among other facilities.

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