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CEO of New Jersey’s Only Public Hospital Sets Path for the Future While Debuting New Logo

In the coming days, residents of the City of Newark and surrounding communities will receive a copy of A Letter to the Newark Community: The Future of University Hospital in their
mailboxes. This letter, addressed directly to the community we serve, encapsulates University Hospital’s path for the future, developed by President and CEO Shereef Elnahal as an outgrowth of the institution’s Strategic Plan, which was developed by the hospital’s Board of Directors in June 2019.

As the Hospital and the City of Newark rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, the debut of this vision provides a roadmap that will guide University Hospital through a combination of operational and financial changes, capital investment, and deeper community engagement. Concurrently with the release of the detailed vision, University Hospital has debuted a new logo and branding for the institution.

“As we emerge from twin crises — one, a global pandemic, and the other, a new reckoning with systemic racism as a public health crisis itself — University Hospital finds itself at an important time in our history,” said Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA, President and CEO. “Our hospital is a front-line institution battling the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked, we responded to the patient care needs of our community, and University Hospital’s vital role as a public institution shone more brightly than ever. Now, it is time for us to focus even more intensely on recommitting University Hospital to the goals of the Newark Accords, and prioritize the community’s short and long-term needs above all else.”

With this launch, University Hospital has emphasized its new vision statement as its guiding star – Partnering with our communities, University Hospital improves health for generations to come. To deliver on that vision, the hospital’s road map includes:

Building the Foundation of Quality, Safety and Reliability – University Hospital must retain its laser focus on continuous improvement in all aspects of quality and safety. Newark and our surrounding communities simply deserve a hospital that treats its patients with dignity and respect. To that end, University Hospital will utilize more robust reporting, shared governance and quality management at the bedside, while ensuring that the hospital is staffed to meet patient needs while maximizing the efficiency of staff on all shifts.

Invigorating a Financial Sustainability Strategy – As a public, safety net hospital, the institution continues to depend on Medicaid, Medicare, and Charity Care reimbursement to fund
operations. In order to ensure financial sustainability, the Hospital will address its approach to capital funding and allocation, improve its revenue cycle, and continue to monitor and decrease
expenses. To that end, University Hospital is proud to have improved its financial performance significantly over the last year, improving its revenue, responsibly reducing expenses, and
enhancing its Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation and Amortization (EBIDA) margin.

Renew its Commitment to Public Health – The state of public health in Newark demonstrates that University Hospital, as currently structured, must realign its approach to addressing the unique healthcare needs of the community. The healthcare problems in Newark are compounded by both longstanding and emerging challenges, including behavioral health issues and a level of poverty rooted in years of systemic racism. Facing causes that are rooted in social issues, including trauma and toxic stress, University Hospital must take more ownership in tackling
these public health challenges before they lead to emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Leveraging Strengths in Research, Education and Innovation – University Hospital must leverage its strength as New Jersey’s most comprehensive academic medical center. It serves as the site of care for some of the world’s expert physician scientists in key specialty areas, and everything from basic science discovery to clinical and translational research occur right on the hospital campus. The hospital’s Board and leadership team also recognize the painful history of racist medical experimentation on Black Americans, and that our institution must work with
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School to ensure those mistakes do not repeat themselves, and rather, that all clinical research must adhere to all modern ethical standards, and be participatory
alongside the community. With those important principles in mind, University Hospital can also leverage its academic environment to commercialize innovation. Because University Hospital is
the clinical site that enables these discoveries, it should maximize opportunities to generate royalties, establish ventures or joint ventures, or own equity in collaborating ventures, and use
any and all proceeds to reinvest in the growth of services for our community.

University Hospital’s Health Village – To provide the level of health we seek to achieve for the Newark community, our healthcare delivery system must evolve and begin to coordinate
efforts with government and community partners to solve social, root-cause issues that affect our community’s health. To that end, University Hospital envisions a welcoming, accessible space
for patient-centered and efficient care delivery. It sees a village surrounding the hospital that can provide wrap-around services, supportive housing, and programmatic efforts that address clinical needs, skills training for entry-level employment, and a physical address from which patients can begin a process of rebuilding and thriving. A patient “discharged” from University Health Village would walk away with the tools to thrive.

Ushering in this period of forward-thinking and change, University Hospital has officially launched a new logo and brand. This new graphical identity is the product of close discussion and consultation with both the University Hospital workforce and members of the community. This logo, which debuts with the hospital’s letter to local residents, will begin to appear throughout the hospital and the community in the coming weeks and months.

“As we begin to embark on a brighter future, our new logo and branding is the initial step in our renaissance and in recognition of our enduring commitment to the people of Newark and the region,” continued Elnahal. “We are grateful for the engagement of many members of the community and our workforce in developing the new and modern face of University Hospital. We promise that the new logo and branding are harbingers of great things to come.”

“We recognize that these are lofty goals and will require systemic changes to the system of healthcare in America in order to be fully realized,” concluded Elnahal. “This vision will form the motivation that drives our Board and our Leadership Team. It will take time and incremental successes to realize our vision, but we remain committed to University Hospital, the City of Newark and the people of our community.”

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