From L to R: R. Barbara Gitenstein, TCNJ President, with Elizabeth Sheridan, John Castaldo, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs, and Megan Flanagan, Alumni Board President
VINELAND, NJ (May 20, 2014) – Elizabeth Sheridan, R.N., M.A., chief operating officer of Inspira Medical Center Vineland, was recently honored by The College of New Jersey with its prestigious Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has shown exceptional public spiritedness or concern for human welfare through philanthropic activities.
“It is such an honor to be recognized by the school that has provided my professional education,” said Sheridan. “This award is designed to recognize a single individual, but it is the great work of so many people that I have been privileged to work with over the years, that truly deserves the recognition.”
Sheridan joined Inspira Health Network 15 years ago and in addition to her role as chief operating officer of the Vineland-based medical center, she serves as chief nursing executive for the system’s Bridgeton, Elmer and Vineland facilities. Over her tenure with Inspira, Sheridan has led the development and implementation of various programs benefitting community members across Cumberland and Salem counties.
With the average per capita income at approximately $17,500, Cumberland and Salem counties are ranked the poorest and neediest counties in the state. Today, both counties also lead the state in childhood obesity, teenage pregnancy and have reported very high rates of cancer.
In 2013, Inspira provided Cumberland and Salem counties with more than $80 million in community benefit, some of which includes charity care, unpaid cost of Medicaid and Medicare, community programs, education and research. Over the years Inspira has received several grants which have aided the organization in its community services, including a $5 million federal grant to address teenage pregnancy prevention and a $300,000 state grant for childhood obesity programs. In addition, Inspira has implemented aggressive programs in cancer detection and treatment through free health fairs and screenings.
Most recently, Sheridan played a critical role in the development of Inspira’s COACH Nurse Program, in which nurses deliver food to the homes of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients who are at-risk of readmission. Partnering with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey Southern Branch and the hospital’s registered dietitians, food is delivered to each patient’s home to ensure a proper diet regimen and ultimately improve the nutritional choices and health of each patient. This program received national recognition from the American Heart Association for achievement of the only Community Innovation Award from New Jersey to Maine.
“These community benefits are just a few of the initiatives that complement the healthcare services we provide day in, and day out without regard to a patient's ability to pay,” said Sheridan. “As a nonprofit health network, Inspira is guided by the simple mission to provide high-quality health services that improve the lives of all we serve.”
Inspira Health Network is a charitable nonprofit health care organization formed in November 2012 by the merger of South Jersey Healthcare and Underwood-Memorial Hospital. The network, which traces its roots to 1899, now comprises three hospitals, four multi-specialty health centers and a total of more than 60 locations. These include outpatient imaging and rehabilitation centers; urgent care; numerous specialty centers, including sleep medicine, cardiac testing and wound care; home care and hospice; and more than two dozen primary and specialty physician practices in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
Together with its medical staff of more than 1,100 physicians and other care providers, Inspira Health Network provides evidence-based care to help each patient achieve the best possible outcome. Clinical and support staffs are focused on providing safe care in a safe environment. For more information about Inspira Health Network,call 1-800-INSPIRA.