Community Health Education at Somerset Campus
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset works to improve the health and wellness of our community. The hospital implements numerous initiatives to foster good health outcomes.
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) – Every three (3) years, the hospital in collaboration with various health care organization conducts a comprehensive needs assessment. This includes a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study among its adult community using the CDC BRFSS tool. The BRFSS is a National initiative, headed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that assesses the health status and risk factors among U.S. citizens. RWJUH Somerset secured Holleran, an independent contractor, to personalize the BRFSS tool to assess the needs of Somerset County. Over 2,000 residents participated in the survey. The results of the BRFSS and the executive summary from the needs assessment for Somerset County are attached.
Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) - A Community Health Improvement Plan is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems in a community. The plan is based on the results of Community Health Assessment activities, and is part of a community health improvement process. RWJUH Somerset, in collaboration with “Healthier Somerset” and the local health departments, developed the 2012 – 2015 CHIP that prioritizes the identified needs from the CHNA, captures baseline data and includes goals and objectives to improve health outcomes for the future. Please refer to the attached CHIP.
While the CHNA and the CHIP are regulatory requirements for the hospital and local health departments, these documents are vital to understanding and providing comprehensive health care services and preventing illness.
Healthier Somerset - Healthier Somerset is a coalition created to improve the health and well-being of everyone who lives and works in Somerset County. We promote healthy lifestyles through collaboration among our partners. Our strategic goals are to:
- Engage Somerset County in active participation in good health habits
- Increase access to choices that promote healthy lifestyles
- Promote policy changes that improve health
The mission of the coalition is to work collaboratively to improve the health and well-being of all who live and work in Somerset County. By sharing information and creating alliances among individuals and organizations who are working toward mutual goals, we can collectively increase our efforts to create a healthier Somerset.
RWJUH Somerset convened the meetings that led to the development of Healthier Somerset and is the lead organization and fiscal agent of Healthier Somerset. RWJUH Somerset actively participates in Healthier Somerset and holds key positions on its Advisory Board and taskforces.
Educational Seminars – Based upon the needs of the community, RWJUH Somerset provides a variety of health seminars to educate the community about healthy lifestyles and choices to promote wellness and prevention. These seminars are offered on various days and weekends and at various times, both morning and evening. Topics, include but are not limited to, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, sleep, orthopedic concerns, sports medicine, etc. The seminars are posted on the RWJUH Somerset web site and published in its newsletter.
Health Screenings – RWJUH Somerset will also offer health screening to improve the health and wellness of the community. Screenings are based upon health incidences within the community and need. Types of screenings, include but are not limited to, blood pressures, cholesterol, blood glucose, skin cancer screening, stroke, prostate cancer, etc. Community Health screenings are posted on Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s web site and published in its newsletter.
Fitness Classes – To reduce the incidence of chronic disease and combat obesity, RWJUH Somerset offers diverse exercise classes. The types of classes offered are based upon needs and health status and risk factors. Examples include Aquacize, Fit Bones, Yoga, Tai Chi, HealthHike Walking Program, Arthritis Foundation Exercise, Zumba and more. A medical clearance is required for all classes and is good for one year barring a change in health status. These classes are also posted on the web site and in the newsletter.
Speaker’s Bureau – Speaker’s Bureau is a free service available to groups and organizations of 25 or more individuals looking for a physician or health care professional to provide a presentation on a specific health topic. RWJUH Somerset offers a wide variety of topics. In addition, RWJUH Somerset sponsors the Magic Mirror Players (formerly known as the Mental Health Players), a group of volunteer actors who portray real-life issues through dramatic presentations that use improvisational and role-playing techniques. The Magic Mirror Players perform free of charge to organizations, schools, corporations and groups, and presentations are customized for the audience.
Corporate Outreach – To promote workplace wellness, RWJUH Somerset sends medical professionals to present a specific health topic to employees of small businesses or corporations. The hospital offers a variety of topics and can tailor presentations to employees’ needs. In addition, RWJUH Somerset sponsors the Magic Mirror Players (formerly known as the Mental Health Players), a group of volunteer actors who portray real-life issues through dramatic presentations that use improvisational and role-playing techniques. The Magic Mirror Players perform free of charge to organizations, schools, corporations and groups, and presentations are customized for the audience.
COMPASS – To meet the needs of caregivers as identified from the community needs assessment, RWJUH Somerset offers this resource and referral services. Caregivers and family members within the community may seek services for a loved one and may need some assistance. COMPASS provides free resource information and can aid caregivers with care planning for their loved one.
Healthy Smiles – RWJUH Somerset educates pre-K and Kindergarten students within Somerset County schools and daycares on dental health and proper brushing techniques. This grant-funded program reaches over 600 students annually.
Medication Assistance Program – To reduce incidences or chronic disease and to manage existing conditions, RWJUH Somerset offers the Medication Assistance Program (MAP). This program provides low, to no cost prescription coverage for patients in need. MAP connects underinsured patients with resources and access to affordable medications.
El Poder Sobre la Diabetes – El Poder Sobre la Diabetes is a 10-week diabetes prevention and management program for the Latino community. The program educates individuals on healthy lifestyles, concentrating on the importance of balanced meals, healthy Latin cooking, portion control and exercise.
For more information on any of these community services, please contact the Community Health Department at 908-685-2814.