President’s Letter

The New Jersey Hospital Association brings together the healthcare community, doing so for more than a century, and represents a wide array of perspectives in the quest for good health. Our members are standalone community hospitals and large integrated healthcare networks, behavioral health providers, and providers of care to our aging population. They are community anchors from the very northern edges of Bergen and Sussex Counties to the shoreline of Cape May. They deliver care throughout our lifespan, caring for New Jerseyans’ minds and bodies, helping us grow, be, move and age.

Their diversity reflects the diversity of our state, and I am grateful for how our hospitals, behavioral health providers, rehab facilities, aging services, and home health providers recognize the special needs of their individual communities.

Culturally competent care can improve patient quality and care outcomes and is critical to meeting patient needs in our increasingly diverse state. Although science and data driven, New Jersey’s healthcare system recognizes that patients represent a spectrum of beliefs, customs, ethnicities, races and languages that shape care delivery. We have incorporated racial and ethnic data into reporting so that providers better understand their patient population. With that understanding, our healthcare system is prepared to meet patients in ways that resonate, understanding the importance of family dynamics on care decisions, acknowledging provider gender may influence patient comfort due to religious, cultural or personal preferences, or recognizing that patients may not ask for further explanations because of fear of provider judgement. Culturally competent care led New Jersey physicians and hospitals to incorporate doulas into prenatal, labor and delivery care for expectant mothers.

New Jersey is also a national leader in the number of healthcare facilities designated by the Human Rights Campaign as a Leader in LGBTQ Health Care Equality. We have worked with our members to develop inclusive policies, form alliances with organizations that promote health equity and hosted trainings for LGBTQ-friendly patient family engagement teams.

There are so many examples of how the healthcare community is made stronger by the diversity of our state that it would take pages to list them. But ultimately, they all point to the same thing. We are working together for the good health of all New Jerseyans.

In good health,

Cathy Bennett, President and CEO, New Jersey Hospital Association

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