University Hospital Ranked in National Top 10 for Community Health Investment

New Jersey’s Public Health Hospital Earns Top Ranking in New Jersey in First-Ever National List To Examine Community Health Spending

The Lown Institute, a national nonpartisan healthcare organization, has distinguished University Hospital (UH) in Newark, the only public hospital in New Jersey, in its list of the Top 10 Hospitals for Community Health Investment in the U.S.

In addition to the national recognition, University Hospital is the only New Jersey hospital on the list to be recognized in the Top 10.

This recognition is acknowledgment of the fact that University Hospital, amongst other non-profit hospitals, applies a greater portion of its revenue and resources towards investing in care for those who need it most. A total of 3,641 hospitals were ranked on the national list, they were ranked specifically on charity care spending, spending on other community health investments and the proportion of patient revenue from Medicaid, which is considered a measure of the hospital’s commitment to taking care of low-income patients. The Lown Institute Hospitals Index is the first-ever national ranking to examine hospital spending on charity care and community investment. Data came from hospital cost reports filed with hospital tax filings and cost reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid from 2018.

Since that filing, University Hospital’s community health efforts have only accelerated. UH has worked to amplify its population health strategies by identifying and addressing patients and populations with health-related social needs through screening, referral and community navigation services. Tackling the complex social, behavioral and physical health needs of the community remains a strategic focus and drives the integration of health equity across all business operations.

Most recently, University Hospital has actively worked to vaccinate residents in Newark and surrounding communities against COVID-19, addressing disparities between them. University Hospital went into Newark neighborhoods to bring the vaccine to residents.

The hospital also held a Health & Wellness Festival in May, providing COVID-19 vaccines to those who were eligible. Also, screenings for blood glucose, colon cancer, blood pressure and vision were part of the Health and Wellness Festival.

The hospital also provided clinical oversight at the FEMA Megasite in Newark, and has been spearheading the State’s mobile vaccination efforts.

In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, University Hospital handled 83,122 emergency department visits, 15,572 inpatient admissions and 199,804 outpatient clinic visits. In addition, the Hospital continues to serve as the Regional Collaborator for Northern New Jersey to assist the State in managing the pandemic, along with partner Level I Trauma Centers in Central and Southern New Jersey, at the direction of the Department of Health.

“Since I arrived here more than two years ago, I told the Newark community that they will be prioritized in all of our necessary change efforts. We are delivering,” said Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA, president and CEO of University Hospital. “The Newark Agreements call for this hospital to do more than simply serve as a provider of health care in our community – and that’s what we are doing.

“We’ve worked with our group purchasing organization to increase our diversity spend, and found that we are among the top few hospitals in the nation on this front. We have concrete plans to hire and purchase more of what we buy locally. We have a health equity task force that is setting hard goals, timelines, and metrics on diversifying leadership, promoting from within, addressing implicit bias, and many other areas.” Dr. Elnahal said. “And we are invested in fixing the upstream, social determinants of our patients’ health issues, including a community health focused housing partnership with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

“There should be no doubt that at University Hospital community health is not just a part of what we do, but it is at the very core of our mission.”

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