Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Names Jackie Baras LGBT Health Navigator

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has named Piscataway resident Jackie Baras, MSN, MBA, RN, LGBT health navigator.

In her new role, Baras will serve as a representative and liaison for all LGBT patients and employees at RWJUH. As LGBT health navigator, Baras will provide governance and oversight to ensure that LGBT employees and patients are able to successfully navigate all available resources to address the full spectrum of her patients’ and employees’ healthcare needs.

A significant part of Baras’ role will focus on health promotion, disease prevention, innovations, addressing knowledge gaps and identifying community referrals while working closely with hospital and clinical leadership to ensure that healthcare services are coordinated and delivered seamlessly.

“I am both honored and excited to assume this new role,” Baras notes. “As RWJUH and other healthcare organizations recognize the importance of addressing the unique healthcare needs of the LGBT community, there is a tremendous need to build strong, coordinated networks among providers and community-based organizations which serve as advocates for the LGBT community. Many LGBT individuals may not be aware of the broad range of resources that are available and I am looking forward to connecting them with existing services and building partnerships to develop new programs that will meet the needs of this community.”

“By sharing her personal experiences and demonstrating a tireless commitment to providing the highest-quality healthcare services to the LGBT community, Jackie continues to serve as an inspiration to us all,” says John J. Gantner, president and chief executive officer of RWJUH. “Jackie was a driving force behind the first Health Equality Index application that established RWJUH as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.  I am proud to say that RWJUH New Brunswick has achieved this prestigious designation four consecutive years due in large part to Jackie’s hard work. Appointing Jackie to this role represents the next important step in our journey and we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead under her leadership.”

In addition to her new appointment, Baras also serves as quality nurse manager for PeriOperative Services; lead group facilitator, PROUDLY ME Education/Support Group; group facilitator, PROUD Community Advisory Council and co-chair PROUD Business Resource Group at RWJUH.

Baras has long served as a trailblazer and leader in the LGBT community. She has transformed the tapestry of healthcare in New Jersey by eliminating LGBT healthcare disparities through education, community collaboration, and volunteerism. Baras was instrumental in launching the first LGBT Business Resource Group called PROUD (Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding, and Dignity) at RWJUH, she worked closely with hospital leadership to establish the PROUD Family Health Center at RWJUH Somerset- the first hospital based LGBT clinic in the New Jersey and was part of the team that created PROUD Transitions – a Transgender Family Support Group, also one of its kind in the state.

Baras also worked closely with RWJUH’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion on several of the noted LGBT initiatives, including the Health Equality Index application that established RWJUH as a Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign. Earlier this year, Baras, with the support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and RWJUH’s PROUD Business Resource Group, helped launch “PROUDLY ME” – a Transgender EduPort (Education and Support) Program at RWJUH, where she serves as the lead facilitator.

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