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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - SJH Receives $180,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

SJH Receives $180,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Join Statewide Learning Network to Improve Cardiac Care for Minorities

VINELAND, NJ (July 20) – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced that South Jersey Healthcare has been selected to participate in a new statewide initiative to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in New Jersey by improving care for African Americans and Latinos with heart failure. New Jersey Health Initiatives: Expecting Excellence in Cardiac Care will provide SJH up to $180,000 over two years to participate in a learning network to share and apply best practices for treating patients with heart failure.

South Jersey Healthcare is one of 10 hospitals chosen by RWJF from across the state to participate in the new cardiac care program.

“As the largest provider of health care in the region, South Jersey Healthcare takes the challenge of cardiac health seriously,” said Chet Kaletkowski, SJH President and CEO. “Our dedication to providing comprehensive cardiology services of the highest quality has earned us national recognition for clinical excellence. This exciting opportunity will allow us to build upon our success by bringing best practices in cardiac care from a national program to our health system, while working to reduce health disparities among our minority populations.”

The two-year, $3.5 million statewide initiative essentially replicates – in concentrated form – an existing national RWJF program, Expecting Success: Excellence in Cardiac Care, in New Jersey.  The New Jersey program has four objectives:

  • Improve cardiac care for African Americans and Latinos in New Jersey
  • Develop effective strategies and models for improving the quality of cardiac care
  • Encourage the spread of such strategies and models to other areas of care
  • Communicate lessons learned to policymakers and health care providers

“The Foundation has always recognized that we have special responsibilities to our community and to our state,” said Pamela S. Dickson, deputy group director, health group, at RWJF. “We are bringing this new cardiac care program to New Jersey for three reasons: to ensure that minority residents here benefit from proven best care concepts; to encourage the testing of innovative health care ideas in our home state; and to help build health and health care expertise in New Jersey.”

NJHI: Expecting Success will collaborate with the national Expecting Success program to share and apply best practices to reduce health disparities in cardiac care. In New Jersey, studies show that African Americans have higher death rates than whites for both heart disease and stroke. In addition, preventable hospital rates in New Jersey for heart failure and angina are highest among Latinos. Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization.

While African-American and Latino populations represent 29.4 percent of the New Jersey’s population, in Cumberland County they represent nearly 40 percent.

 “By participating in this new learning network, South Jersey Healthcare has a wonderful opportunity to apply best practices from a national program to improve cardiac care for minority patients,” said Gretchen Hartling, NJHI co-director. “We are excited to have SJH as a partner in this important new endeavor to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in New Jersey.”

The new cardiac care learning network will be administered by the Quality Institute of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), which will convene quality improvement sessions with national experts and assist participating hospitals in developing their own plans to improve heart failure care. NJHA will monitor each hospital’s progress and provide a forum for the 10 hospitals to share lessons learned and model best practices.

The 10 hospitals that have been awarded grants under NJHI: Expecting Success are:

  • AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County
  • Christ Hospital, Jersey City, Hudson County
  • Cooper Health System, Camden, Camden County
  • East Orange General Hospital, East Orange, Essex County
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, Essex County
  • Palisades Medical Center, North Bergen, Hudson County
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, Paterson, Passaic County
  • South Jersey Regional Medical Center, Vineland, Cumberland County
  • Trinitas Hospital, Elizabeth, Union County
  • UMDNJ-University Hospital, Newark, Essex County

SJH is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country.  As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with diverse groups of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.