RWJBarnabas Health recognized for COVID-19 relief efforts

WEST ORANGE, NJ — RWJBarnabas Health, the largest academic health care system in New Jersey, has been recognized by Jersey Cares as the recipient of its 2021 Pandemic Corporate Partner of the Year Award for its efforts to provide relief and assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are honored and humbled to receive the Pandemic Corporate Partner of the Year Award from one of our most esteemed partners, Jersey Cares,” RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky said. “In a time when so many have felt helpless, the one action we all can always take is help one another. We are committed to doing everything we can to bring relief to our communities and their most vulnerable residents, and to support local businesses.”

Throughout the pandemic, RWJBarnabas Health has conducted efforts and forged partnerships to provide relief to vulnerable communities, individuals and businesses. Notably, the system partnered with Jersey Cares and The Common Market to provide more than 86,000 fresh meals to individuals struggling with food insecurity. The majority of the meals were provided to individuals who were most at risk for poor outcomes if they contracted COVID-19 and, therefore, were in quarantine — especially seniors and those with preexisting conditions — as well as local food banks. Having a long-standing presence and partnerships in their communities, the social impact leaders at RWJBarnabas Health performed the essential work of identifying and working with local agencies to support the relief efforts.

“RWJBarnabas Health’s commitment to building a diverse team of partners to address emergent needs during the pandemic was unparalleled in its creativity and effectiveness,” Jersey Cares President and CEO Brian Dean said. “By helping to create a partnership that provided more than 86,000 farm-fresh meals to individuals who were struggling with food insecurity while simultaneously ensuring the survival of small family farms in the tristate area, RWJBarnabas Health ensured that multiple community members who were adversely impacted by the pandemic were able to survive.”

The meals — including fresh foods, such as eggs, milk, yogurt, bread, fruits and vegetables — as well as healthy recipes, were primarily distributed to individuals and food pantries that expressed a need and a desire to help others. Additional products, including clothing, personal care items and diapers were also provided.