Nurse Talk


Explore practical news and information for healthcare consumers and become more engaged in your healthcare today, from the nurse experts at NJHA.

Shannon Davila, RN, MSN, is the director of the Institute for Quality and Patient Safety at NJHA. She leads clinical improvement programs under the Partnership for Patients initiative. An infection prevention specialist, Davila was named a 2016 Hero of Infection Prevention by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Soniya Sheth, RN, MSN, CPNP, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. She also serves as a clinical quality improvement specialist for the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust.

Kathryn Burns Collins, RN, DMH(c), is interim chief administrative officer at the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a nonprofit affiliate of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Her work focuses on healthcare quality improvement, nursing innovation and advance care planning.


FEATURED ARTICLE

What’s a Hospital’s Role? The Answer May Surprise You

For more than a century, New Jersey hospitals have been the places where the sick and injured receive care. But you might be surprised to hear one of the key roles for the hospitals of today: Keeping people well.

Healthcare is no longer centered within the four walls of the hospital but out in the community. We know that what you eat, where you live, where you work and a host of other factors will have a much greater influence on your health than the time you may spend in a hospital. That’s at the core of a healthcare buzzword you may have heard: population health. Population health is a proactive focus on the well-being of the broader community.

Nowhere is that shift more noticeable than in the programs that hospitals are bringing to their communities. These “community benefit” programs exist all across the state, and to me – a longtime nurse – they’re what caring for people is all about. We’ve assembled a photo gallery of some of these wonderful programs in our 2018 Community Benefit report at www.njha.com/2018-community-benefit-in-action.

All told, New Jersey hospitals provided $2.9 billion in community benefit programs in 2016. (The 2017 numbers aren’t yet available.) These programs served more than 29 million people, helping them live their best lives.

Here are some examples of hospitals’ community programs:

  • In Atlantic City, a food pantry has delivered more than 73,000 pounds of healthy food to area residents.
  • In Camden, an outreach program with local firefighters provides screenings and prevention information for risks like heart disease and lung cancer.
  • In Edison, the hospital team helped “Paint the Mall Pink” to increase awareness of the importance of mammographies.
  • In Essex County, a community garden grows local produce and partners with Edison Middle School in West Orange to teach kids about healthy eating.
  • In Hackensack, visits to child care centers encourage reading and literacy.
  • In Passaic, a “Senior Link” program connects more than 2,000 seniors annually with health screenings and support groups, along with social activities like daytrips.
  • In Princeton, a 10-week fitness challenge in which kids log 25 miles of walking or running culminates in a 1.2-mile group run. Combined, it’s a marathon!
  • In Salem County, a “Wellness on Wheels” van makes health and dental screenings convenient and accessible.
  • In Somerset, free concussion and cardiac screenings for young athletes help them safely enjoy the activities they love.
  • In Voorhees and surrounding communities, a mobile farmers market served 7,000 families with more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce.
  • In Wayne, a mall walkers program offers a twist – a physician from the hospital joins the walkers, providing conversation and motivation for healthy living.

There are countless others, happening every day in your community. Please take advantage of them and join your local hospital as we move from illness to wellness.

Kathryn Burns Collins, RN, DMH(c ), is interim chief administrative officer at the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a nonprofit affiliate of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Her work focuses on healthcare quality improvement, nursing innovation and advance care planning.