January 22, 2015

A Message from the President and CEO

James R. Gonzalez


I am happy to report that we have a good start with flu vaccinations this year. University Hospital has exceeded the 40% goal we set. This is good news. But we can’t stop until everyone gets the flu shot, and we have a way to go.

The flu season is in full swing in New Jersey. If you’ve already had your flu vaccine, you will have an orange sticker on your ID badge indicating that you’ve done your part. And if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to get your flu vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine is available free on campus, or you may choose to bring documentation that you received the vaccine from an off-campus location. Either way, you will receive an orange sticker for your ID badge.

You can get your free flu vaccine weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the hospital’s new Employee Health Center on A-level. Speak to your manager about other options; we will do everything possible to accommodate you. Although this year’s vaccine may not protect against some strains of influenza, if you do succumb to any strain after you are vaccinated, your symptoms should be mitigated.

Those in clinical areas who have not been vaccinated must wear surgical or procedure masks for the entire flu season. Clinical areas are anywhere patients are present or treated, including in-patient and out-patient services. This new policy is critically important.

Healthcare personnel who are not immunized can unintentionally expose patients and each other to seasonal flu, especially dangerous for vulnerable patients and staff. Each year, flu results in an estimated 226,000 hospital admissions and 36,000 deaths, so I am sure we all realize that annual flu vaccination is in the best interest of our patients and employees.

I urge everyone to consider this initiative seriously and to receive the flu vaccine promptly. I am confident that with your cooperation we will have stellar staff participation in the vaccination program for this flu season.
James Gonzalez
James R. Gonzalez, MPH, FACHE

If you or someone you know needs medical coverage or has questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), UH is holding two Open Enrollment Days.

Saturday, January 31, and February 7 and 14
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
C-Level, Room 203
(Financial Counseling Office)

New Websites Launched

Public Affairs is happy to announce that the Supplier Diversity and Volunteer Services
sections of the UH website are now up. Please refer to them for any information you may need.

UH Website

About The Hospital

Contact Us


Published by the UH Department of Public Affairs. Send suggestions for items to include in UH Now to baumme1@uhnj.org

The Five Ws of the Flu

flu bug

We’ve borrowed the “five Ws” of journalism—those famous building blocks of every comprehensive story—to explain why it’s so important to get the flu vaccine. We hope you’ll find this story compelling enough to take action, if you haven’t already.

Who needs a flu vaccine? The CDC says everyone who is more than 6 months old should get a flu shot. It’s especially important for people who have or are caring for someone with a chronic illness, like asthma or heart disease. People over 65 and pregnant women are also very vulnerable. If you’re allergic to eggs or have had an adverse reaction to the vaccine in the past, you should NOT get the shot.

What is in the vaccine? It is made of dead flu viruses, so you can’t get the flu from the shot. It does, however, enable your body to recognize the viruses and fight off the illness. The vaccine doesn’t protect you from all the flu strains, but it will lessen any case of flu you get.

When should you get the vaccination? As soon as you can! Flu season usually runs from November through early April, so if you haven’t gotten your flu shot, now is the time.

Where can you get it? The UH Health Center provides free flu vaccines to all employees. It is located in Room A-1020 and is open for flu vaccines weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can make an appointment at 2-3066, but walk-ins are welcome. If you are unable to get to the Health Center during that time, speak to your manager about other available options. You may also get your vaccination at an off-campus location, but you must take written proof that you received a vaccination to the Employee Health Office.

Why get the vaccine? The vaccine protects you and helps reduce the spread of the flu. Even if you’re super healthy, your coworkers, friends and family members may not be. Those in clinical areas who have not been vaccinated must wear surgical or procedure masks for the entire flu season.

You’re Somebody’s Type…

blood drive

…and that “somebody” needs your blood. If you’re an O positive, for example, your blood type is the most common and transfused most often. If you’re an O negative, your blood is compatible with all types and is known as the universal donor. Whatever your type, your blood is a lifeline for cancer and surgical patients, accident and trauma victims, dialysis patients and those with blood disorders like anemia, to name only a few.

University Hospital, RBHS and the American Red Cross are sponsoring a blood drive on February 17, from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., in the MSB Grand Foyer on B-Level. If you donate before 11:30 a.m., you’ll receive free bagels, and those who come later can enjoy a sandwich. There will be free giveaways from the American Red Cross, as well.

You can sign up online at www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. (Use sponsor code University Hospital.) For questions on eligibility, call 866-236-3276. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

There is no substitute for human blood, and somebody is always in need of a transfusion.

Annual Scholarship Being Offered


The African American Heritage Committee is once again awarding scholarships during Black History Month. Any full-time UH employee who is enrolled in an accredited health professions program is eligible to apply for one of three scholarships. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of study with a satisfactory grade, demonstrate financial need and have performed community service. You will also need to submit an application, two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay.

The deadline for applying is Friday, January 30. All applications and supporting documents should be sent to Kathleen Lawrence, SSB Building, 65 Bergen St., Newark, 07107. For more information, contact Ms. Lawrence at 2-8643 or lawrenkh@sn.rutgers.edu.

UH Goes to Washington

Bonnie Watson Coleman and Thaddaeus Diggs

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) and Thaddaeus Diggs, UH Director of Government Relations

Director of Government Relations, Thaddaeus Diggs, joined New Jersey congressional members for the swearing-in, which highlighted the beginning of the 114th Congressional Session. The visit was an opportunity for UH to strengthen existing relations with returning members and to form new relationships with newly elected members: Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-1) and Tom MacArthur (R-3) and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12). Mr. Diggs also interacted with several returning members and their staff representatives, including Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker; Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-6), staff members from the office of Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), William Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) and Tom MacArthur (R-3).

Changes in Public Affairs

Tiffany Smith

The Public Affairs Department bid farewell to Tiffany Smith this week, with our best wishes for success in her new position. Ms. Smith has been with UH for 16 years and for much of that time was our media relations specialist.

For the present time, all media calls or requests for advice should be directed to Stacie Newton at 2-8761. In her absence inquiries can be directed to Barbara Hurley at
2-3474. Requests for community outreach events, such as health fairs, hospital tours, etc., should also be directed to Barbara Hurley.

Please call or stop by C-1240 in the Cancer Center if you have any questions.