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University Hospital Enhances Trauma Care Services through Grant of Nearly $200,000 from Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ)

Vital Funds Directly Supported Enhanced Training, Education and Support for Trauma Center Clinicians and Staff

In an effort to strengthen the ability of University Hospital (UH) to save even more lives of the critically injured, the Hospital, in collaboration with the University Hospital Foundation, recently completed the disbursement of a nearly $200,000 grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ). The grant was directly invested in comprehensive training, education, and support for the at The Eric Muñoz Trauma Center at UH. The Hospital, the State of New Jersey’s only publicly funded acute care hospital and the principal teaching facility for Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, receives more than 3,500 visits to its trauma center each year.

“The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey has long recognized the importance of providing quality trauma support—quickly and professionally. We are proud to partner with University Hospital to ensure that the residents of Newark and nearby communities receive emergency care for their life-threatening injuries. This is not only saving the lives of trauma patients, but also reducing the secondary impact that trauma has on medical professionals and support staff,” said Michael Schmidt, Executive Director and CEO of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.

HFNJ’s funding addresses a gap in professional development and education that ensures all trauma patients receive care that will contribute to improved outcomes and increased survival rates. This investment in training and education has already had real impact.

The Eric Munoz Trauma Center at UH is the most academically active Trauma Center in New Jersey, treating the highest volume of emergency trauma cases in the state. The Hospital’s Level 1 designation, achieved through a rigorous accreditation process by the American College of Surgeons, signifies the hospital’s capability of providing total care for every aspect of injury – from prevention through rehabilitation, and covering all clinical services 24 hours a day.

In trauma medicine, every minute matters. Experts have coined the term “the golden hour” after a life-threatening injury occurs – meaning if bleeding is not controlled within one hour of the incident, survival rates drop significantly. Given the time it takes to call 911, for first responders to arrive, and then transport the patient, it is crucial that trauma teams – EMS, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists and many others – work as collaboratively and efficiently as possible.

Jess Backofen, Executive Director at the University Hospital Foundation, said that partners, like HFNJ, have a long-lasting impact on our community. “We are grateful to the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for their continued support. They’ve allowed University Hospital to create sustainable, life-saving initiatives that improve the health of our entire community,” she said.

Over the past few months, the UH trauma team has treated an unusually high volume of pregnant women arriving with life-threatening injuries, compromising the viability of their unborn babies. The speed and expertise with which the staff responded to these patients is the direct result of practicing procedures through training simulations. To further improve response times and increase health outcomes in the future, UH neonatologists and obstetricians are committed to joining future simulations.

“We experience a lot of tragic and terrible situations every day, and we take the time to learn from them, so we can save more lives. This grant will allow us to continue to improve the enhanced emergency care we offer to our neighbors each and every day,” says Katy Morello, University Hospital’s Trauma Program Manager.

Trauma center staff are only human, and research demonstrates that extreme trauma care cases have a negative impact on trauma center staff, manifesting in issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and burnout. Because it is perceived to be “part of the job,” trauma staff often suffer in silence. To support trauma staff emotionally and spiritually, HFNJ has also provided important funding for UH’s healthcare chaplaincy program, a proven intervention that mitigates the physical and emotional distress for trauma patients, their loved ones and the staff providing direct patient care in extreme emergencies.

About University Hospital
University Hospital is part of one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and is the ACSverified Level I Adult and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center for Northern New Jersey. Located at University Heights in Newark, University Hospital is a principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services across many medical specialties. For more information about University Hospital, please visit www.uhnj.org.

About The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey
The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey is an independent, endowed grant-making organization dedicated to reducing disparities in the delivery of healthcare and improving access to quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in the greater Newark, NJ area and the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest New Jersey. # # #

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