Community Benefit in Action

What does community benefit look like in action?

In addition to free and discounted care and training the next generation of nurses and doctors, hospitals and health systems are out in their communities working to improve health and wellness. Events like dental clinics, healthy food distribution, wellness screening, educational programs and support groups all are part of the contributions healthcare providers make to their communities. Scroll through our photo gallery to see examples in your neighborhood!

Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center provides on-site blood pressure, diabetes screenings and nutrition education with healthful recipes from a registered dietitian. They make referrals to outpatient adult centers and to other community resources, such as food banks, soup kitchens in the area and outpatient detox/rehab facilities.

Deborah Heart and Lung Center plays a key role in the community, especially for their neighbors directly adjacent to the hospital. In addition to sponsoring the apartment complex as a Summer Feed site through the Food Bank of South Jersey, and adopting families to provide holiday meals and gifts. The hospital also sent more than 50 youngsters off to school with the “right stuff” through the Hospital’s Backpack Drive.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset holds free cardiac and concussion screenings for young athletes. The hospital’s Cardiology Department has screened more than 900 students since 2009, conducted by the hospital’s cardiologists, nurses and sports physical therapy staff.

Team members from Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Medical Center, Edison, ‘Painted the Mall Pink’ in October to recognize Breast Cancer Month and raise awareness of the importance of yearly mammography screening. Members from various care transform lines were also on hand to educate shoppers on ways to stay healthy and perform some basic health screenings.

St. Mary’s General Hospital phlebotomist draws blood sample for a prostate/PSA screening held at the Hospital, in Passaic, for the Annual Senior Care Health Fair. St. Mary’s General hosts a variety of free health screenings and programs year-round for the community, and includes their popular “Senior Link” program which has close to 2,000 members in the surrounding Passaic, Bergen and Essex county area.

For the past two years, Shore Medical Center has host free Senior Socials the third Wednesday of every month. For the first 30 minutes, attendees enjoy coffee, tea and snacks, socialize and play various games for prizes. The second 30 minutes, they listen to a presentation or do an activity that is health and well-being related, including the benefits of exercise with a Chair Zumba class, breast cancer awareness, healthy cooking for the holidays and even identify theft protection.

The Parish Nurse Team from Cape Regional Medical Center performs health screenings for the community alongside physicians at the hospital’s annual Home & Health Show.

Union County Sherriff’s Officers participate in a Wellness Workshop led by Penn Medicine Princeton House Behavioral Health. Michael Bizzarro, PhD, LCSW, director of first responder treatment services, provides workshops around the state to first responders, helping them to recognize signs of mental health problems and substance abuse in each other. This makes our communities’ first responders more resilient, so they can continue taking care of us all.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway works with the local food pantry in Rahway to provide diabetes testing, education and counseling, as well as diabetes-appropriate foods for distribution. The hospital has enhanced its efforts this year by holding a healthy food drive for the pantry, as well as providing diabetes lunch-and-learn programs.

Team members from Palisades Medical Center Physical Medicine Department recently participated in a community outreach event for seniors at Grace Church in Jersey City. The team presented a falls prevention seminar followed by balance testing and education for seniors on how to stay safe in their homes and in the community.

Jefferson Health New Jersey’s Corporate Wellness Program offers a variety of free, informative wellness services to local businesses and organizations. Jefferson partners with organizations throughout the South Jersey area, specifically Gloucester, Camden and Burlington counties, to provide employee needs assessments, on-site employee wellness sessions, preventive health screenings and on-site health education.

The Counseling and Testing Site, located at the Jersey City Medical Center Greenville Ambulatory Care Center, is a program allowing Jersey City Medical Center to provide free HIV and STD screenings, health education, workshops and referrals to thousands of individuals each year. The program has been able to expand through adding services in the hospital emergency room and all over Jersey City with a mobile van.

Community Medical Center in Toms River offers the youth Healthcare Learning Collaborative and recently hosted members of Unity Pride, a community-based organization in South Toms River. Students visited the hospital to learn about the wide variety of occupations available in healthcare, as well as the educational paths for those careers. Students toured the hospital and met with staff from the lab, food services, radiology, infection prevention, human resources and security.

In May 2017, Virtua launched a mobile farmers market program to address food insecurity in local underserved communities, ultimately serving 7,000 families with 30,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. The objectives of the Mobile Farmers Market are to provide those in need with high-quality, low-cost produce to promote healthy eating options; incorporate health education about the connection between eating well and reducing chronic disease; and to reduce food insecurity and hunger.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center partnered with the West Essex YMCA to develop a community garden in 2016. Harvest a Healthy Kid 2017 was an event to promote healthy eating utilizing fresh produce from the community garden including 200 students and staff from Edison Middle School in West Orange. The garden serves as an educational tool for the school and a source of produce for community members.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick’s Project Inspire blends dance, physical activity, cooking classes and healthy nutrition instruction to help Latino youths who are at risk for diabetes make healthy lifestyle choices. The program is offered at the RWJ Fitness and Wellness Center in New Brunswick.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey’s Annual Alma Beatty Health and Wellness Fair was held Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, with representatives from more than 40 of the medical center’s departments. The Health and Wellness Fair is named after the late Alma Beatty, community affairs vice president at NBIMC for more than 30 years, who founded the event as a commitment to promote healthy lifestyles in the community.

The Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Child Care & Learning Center at Hackensack University Medical Center had Dr. Ihor Sawczuk, president of the medical center, read Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go to the pre-school classes in celebration of Read Across America Day. The students, ages three to six, even made Dr. Seuss inspired hats to wear during their visit with Dr. Sawczuk and the Cat in the Hat.

The Valley Hospital held a men's health event at the Mount Bethel Baptist Church in Ridgewood where men completed screenings for pulmonary function, sleep apnea risk, blood pressure and depression. In addition, attendees were able to make appointments to have heart screenings and prostate cancer screenings completed.

Since 1948, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation has been committed to giving back to our communities, supporting a wide range of activities and organizations related to our work in stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, neurologic disease, cardiac recovery and cancer. In 2017, Kessler Institute raised more than $25,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life events, our annual Triumph of Human Spirit celebration and other activities.

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center partners with local organizations to bring wellness to their community, patients and employees. This includes free mammograms, vascular, lung and prostate screenings, pictured here.

Recently physicians from MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and Cooper Heart Institute met with first responders and their families at the Hi-Nella Fire Company to discuss important health topics such as lung cancer, lung cancer screening, heart disease and prevention. This program was part of Cooper’s Helping Our Heroes community outreach efforts, which also offers convenient preventive and wellness exams.

The Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey family joined forces with American Recreational Military Services to show love and support to the New Jersey military personnel who are presently deployed. The team collected food, chocolates and some additional items.

Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey sent a team to support their local community and clean the beach. They partner with New Jersey Clean Communities for the annual beach clean up day.

Blackwood residents Carlee Mott, 8, and her 3-year-old sister Nola Keys were two of dozens of Kennedy Family Health Services pediatric patients who received free book bags on in August as part of its “Helping Hands to Health” Back-to-School Book Bag Giveaway. A total of 400 book bags containing school supplies for kids from pre-K to high school were distributed to young patients at both Kennedy Family Health Services locations in Somerdale Square and Washington Township.

AtlantiCare opened its Pantry at the Plex at the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City in December 2016. Contributions from the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch and other community groups, and donations to the AtlantiCare Foundation from AtlantiCare staff, have helped AtlantiCare provide more than 73,000 pounds of healthy food to the community as of March 1, 2018 through this nutrition initiative.

The Kids Marathon is an annual event presented by Penn Medicine Princeton Health to raise awareness of the damaging health effects of childhood obesity and offer kids in pre-K through 8th grade a fun way to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives. Participants run, walk or roll 25 miles on their own over 10 weeks and then come together on a weekend in June for 1.2-mile run to complete the distance of a marathon.

For the past 14 years, Hunterdon Healthcare has held a Baby, Tot and Kid Fair. This community event helps educate new families on services offered throughout the healthcare system to support their growing family. In addition, community services are also part of the fair including local child care centers, children's activities, music schools and more to further support the development of a child.

The Center for Latino Health at Clara Maass Medical Center provides health information and screenings for more than 100 community residents who attend the Annual Three Kings Day Celebration hosted by the Three Kings Day, Inc., and the Honorable Luis A. Quintana, councilman at-large, Newark Municipal Council, in January at the Essex County College Gymnasium in Newark.

In November 2017, Inspira Health Network helped introduced the Wellness on Wheels (WOW) mobile unit, which serves individuals and families of all ages, enabling them to access care and referral information for additional dental or medical services in one location that is convenient to those most in need of services. The fully-equipped, state-of-the-art mobile health and dental center was purchased and retrofitted through donations provided by Gateway Community Action Partnership, CompleteCare Health Network and Inspira Health Network.

Early childhood nutrition and literacy are key issues identified in the community health needs assessment for Mercer County. Staff from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton facilitate a preschool nutrition workshop at Mercer Street Friends.

Community Health Department staff from Morristown Medical Center shared the importance of healthy dental habits with preschool students at the Head Start Community Program of Morris County.

Chilton Medical Center celebrates the success of its Walk with a Doc program where participants walk through Willowbrook Mall with a local physician each month. The crowd always learns something new and is active throughout the talk.

Michele Ali, director of food and nutrition services for Trinitas Regional Medical Center, presented “Let’s Make Eating Simple,” a nutrition talk about why it’s important to establish healthy eating habits and how to add more vegetables, fruits and whole grains to the diet while limiting processed foods.


  • Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center
  • Deborah Heart and Lung Center
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset
  • Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Medical Center, Edison
  • St. Mary’s General Hospital
  • Shore Medical Center
  • Cape Regional Medical Center
  • Penn Medicine Princeton House Behavioral Health
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway
  • Palisades Medical Center Physical Medicine Department
  • Jefferson Health
  • Jersey City Medical Center Greenville Ambulatory Care Center
  • Community Medical Center in Toms River
  • Virtua
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • The Valley Hospital
  • Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation
  • Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and Cooper Heart Institute
  • Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey
  • Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey
  • Kennedy Family Health Services
  • AtlantiCare
  • Penn Medicine Princeton Health
  • Hunterdon Healthcare
  • Clara Maass Medical Center
  • Inspira Health Network
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Chilton Medical Center
  • Trinitas Regional Medical Center