RWJBH rising star recognized by Modern Healthcare as a Top 25 Emerging Leader

Diana Candelejo, assistant vice president, economic inclusion, social impact & community investment at RWJBarnabas Health, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Top 25 Emerging Leaders for 2023, according to a recent announcement.

This program recognizes the health care industry’s rising stars age 40 and under who contribute to a culture of innovation and help their organizations achieve and exceed financial, operational and clinical goals.

In her role, Candelejo ensures that RWJBarnabas Health, through its anchor mission and economic inclusion projects, is a cutting-edge innovator, adapting to new realities impacting health care. She designs initiatives, including local hiring, workforce development, local supplier diversity and economic development investments, that will positively impact the overall well-being of the communities served by the health system.

She is also responsible for forging strategic alliances and ensuring that economic power and resources reach the local communities most in need.

The RWJBarnabas Health social impact & community investment practice leverages RWJBarnabas Health’s broad range of assets to advance a culture of health and improve the quality of life for communities throughout New Jersey. It also serves as a driver of the system’s anchor mission to “Hire Local, Buy Local and Invest Local.” SICI is rooted in ensuring health equity by advancing strategic policy change, combined with evidence-based and innovative programs that address the social, economic and environmental conditions that have a significant impact on health outcomes.

“Modern Healthcare’s recognition of Diana as a Top Emerging Leader is a well-deserved testament to her passion and dedication to working to ensure health equity. She is an integral part of RWJBarnabas Health’s social impact & community investment practice, and helps power our strategic initiatives that address health disparities,” Dr. Paul Alexander, executive vice president, chief health equity & transformation officer at RWJBarnabas Health, said. “Diana’s work has tremendously impacted the overall well-being of our communities, and serve as a model for other organizations seeking to effect positive changes.”

Candelejo previously served as director of anchor strategy for RWJBarnabas Health and has championed community partnerships and advanced economic equity for the individuals, families and small businesses that look to the system as a financial leader. She has furthered RWJBarnabas Health’s mission as an anchor institution, creating and encouraging efforts that stimulate local economies and address adverse social determinants of health.

Prior to RWJBarnabas Health, Candelejo worked with the Newark Community Economic Development Corp., conducting research and creating data visualizations for procurement strategies to engage local, minority- and women-owned businesses.