Three years since a pandemic and a sociopolitical movement altered the public’s consciousness on racial justice, organizations and companies nationwide continue to incorporate diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives into the employee and customer experience. For health care organizations, addressing racial disparities has never been more important, or a greater focus by its leaders committed to the goals of a healthier population.
Englewood Health has long been committed to a health care experience centered on the individual patient. The past three years, however, have propelled this health system to recommit its focus on reducing health care disparities and fostering an inclusive workplace through innovative efforts.
In 2020 Warren Geller, Englewood Health’s CEO and president, was the first health care leader in New Jersey to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to encouraging diversity & inclusion within the workplace.
In the pledge, Englewood Health leadership agreed to provide equal access to vaccines, helping to mitigate risk factors for those most vulnerable to COVID-19; enhance and expand training programs for new and current employees focused on diversity & inclusion; and continue on the path to diminishing health care disparities, with the support of the organization’s newly founded Diversity and Inclusion Education Council.
“We are not naïve in thinking we can change deep-seated inequities easily or quickly, but any worthwhile effort takes time and commitment,” Geller said. “Over the last three years, I can confidently attest to the efforts from our leaders and teams across Englewood Health to continually do better and serve our communities more effectively and with greater empathy.”
Diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives developed at Englewood Health over the past three year includes: formation of the Diversity and Inclusion Education Council; fostering diversity & inclusion among employees; improving access to community-based care; and opening the Shirvan Family Live Well Center.
Founded in fall 2020, the Diversity and Inclusion Education Council brings together a cross-section of Englewood Health leaders, physicians and front-line staff, representing the diversity of its workforce. The council provides guidance to the health system’s leadership on two areas of focus: reducing health care disparities and enhancing diversity in the workplace.
To foster diversity & inclusion among employees, Englewood Health expanded content available on its employee education platform to include diversity & inclusion education and unconscious bias training. This training content was integrated into candidate interviews, employee performance evaluations and compliance coursework. Additionally, to attract local talent in Jersey City, Englewood and Fair Lawn, Englewood Health hosted hiring events throughout the year. The events were aimed at recruiting diverse candidates for essential roles across the organization.
Nestled in a suburban setting in the far northern reaches of Bergen County, Englewood Health has long been a destination hospital for the local region. Yet, its leaders understand that transportation barriers and patients’ schedules have necessitated new tactics to improve access. With a strategy of growing its services across the region, Englewood Health opened several important outposts in the past three years. The Englewood Health ZT Systems Outpatient Center at Jersey City, a 73,000-square-foot facility in the heart of Journal Square, opened in 2022, offering urgent care, primary care, specialty care, breast center services, diabetes care and advanced diagnostic imaging services. In addition to this facility, Englewood Health over the past three years also opened urgent care centers in Cresskill, Fair Lawn and downtown Englewood.
Finally, Englewood Health will open the Shirvan Family Live Well Center in the coming months in the heart of downtown Englewood. The center will focus on promoting the health and wellness of the community through free education and hands-on experiences and will engage community members of all ages in making healthier choices to prevent health problems or in response to chronic conditions.