Glossary
SE - Structural Empowerment

SE 13: How the organization or nursing addresses the healthcare needs of the community by establishing partnerships.

Jersey City Medical Center’s Mission is “Enhancing Life.” Its mission is to provide the community excellence in hospital and health care services and programs to enhance community health. For further detail on Jersey City Medical Center’s mission, see OO1. The organization is committed to community by valuing the “Voice of the Customer.” “The Voice of the Customer,” includes the suggestions, recommendations, as well as the needs of our community members. It also represents the collaborative efforts that our leadership team has initiated to address our community needs. Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) holds an annual community meeting in the Fall. This meeting is a special time for the community to address the hospital Board of Trustees and administration leadership with concerns, comments and questions. During this meeting, the institution’s programs and objectives are shared. The most valuable time during this meeting is the dialogue period, which we use to establish partnerships with community members, community leaders, and former patients. (Please see Appendix SE13-A for further detail on the annual community meeting).

The organization was honored as the “Organization of the Year” by both the Jersey City Rotary Club and the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce due to our commitment to the safety and well being of our community, in 2011. The hospital was recognized for the outreach programs to the community including health fairs, screenings, free dental clinics, first aid training, senior citizen fall prevention programs, youth bike safety and infant car seat inspection programs and many other educational programs. Our Mission of “Enhancing Life” is evident as we care for our community through many programs that are nurse driven.

Partnering with the Community:

Nursing also develops partnerships with their community. Jersey City Medical Center’s nurses have been deeply involved in addressing our communities’ health needs. They conduct health fairs, safety and trauma prevention events, and a monthly community program called “Dinner with the Doctor.” As we continue to listen and respond to the “Voice of the Customer” we will continue to adapt our practices as we become one of the nation’s premier hospitals which serves our community. To see further details on Jersey City Medical Center’s commitment to community involvement, see SE11.

Our nursing staff is an integral part of the surrounding community. Our nurses provide education and screenings in the surrounding community. Marissa Fisher BSN, RN is the Injury Prevention Program Coordinator and remains the Safe Kids Hudson County Coordinator with Jersey City Medical Center as its lead agency. Ms. Fisher has developed strong relationships with the Jersey City Public Schools and continures to educate grade school children on pedestrian safety, booster seat safety and helmet use. In 2011, the Injury Prevention Program is teamed up with local new mothers’ groups to teach car seat safety. In 2009 Ms. Fisher in collaboration with the Medical Center developed a car seat inspection station. This station has replaced over 1000 care seats since its inception. (See Reference SE13A1 and SE13-A2 Community Education for further information on Injury Prevention Programs and other Community Education conducted by nursing).

Jennifer Jones MSN, RN, CNL, CEN Trauma Program Coordinator in collaboration with our Trauma Team, received a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (NJDHHS) Mental Health Division to begin a Family Assistance Support Team (F.A.S.T.); a volunteer-based program that helps the family members of trauma victims navigate the acute crisis phase of trauma. (See Appendix SE13-B for F.A.S.T grant letter).

The Cardiac Catheterization Department (CCL) participates in numerous community health fairs. They educate attendees about heart disease prevention and complications. They also extend their assistance internationally, by partnering with the Philippine Camiling Municipal Health Center, during the flood disaster in the Philippines by organizing a clothing and food drive. Regina O’Donnell BSN, RN, CCRN is the chair of the Professional Practice Nursing Council. This council has taken part in a successful community blood drive in spring 2011. Participation from the community totaled 63 registered volunteer donors.

The Emergency Department nurses have partnered with our community and are mentors for a child in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program sponsored by our neighboring Boys and Girls Club. (For further information on JCMC’s partnership with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, see Appendix SE13-C). They also demonstrated their support for the community by participating in the Alzheimer’s Walk of Hudson County. (For further information on the Alzheimer’s Walk, see Appendix SE13-D). During the holiday season, the spirit of giving was inspirational as a family was “adopted” from the Women’s Rising Shelter. Gifts were collected and donated to a deserving family, hoping to ease their hardship and share our holiday spirit. Over 200 coats were collected during the annual coat drive and distributed to those in need.

 GI Awareness Day
GI Awareness Day

The Endoscopy Department portrayed their community support by emphasizing colon cancer awareness. The Endoscopy Department held their annual GI awareness day in March 2011 with a record high turn-out from visitors and staff. (See announcement on GI awareness day in Appendix SE13-E1 and SE13-E2). The organization also participated in the Madeline Fiadini Foundation for cancer prevention. This foundation pays for colon cancer screenings for those individuals who are unable to afford payment.

The Medical Surgical Division was very proud to celebrate Shaun Barcavages, BSN, RN in his efforts and commitment to caring for the community beyond our immediate borders. A true testament to “Enhancing Life”, Shaun participated in “Project Hope” where he worked with local and international physicians caring for postoperative adult and pediatric patients who required surgical intervention for injuries sustained in the earthquake in Haiti.

The Outpatient Behavioral Health Services continues to focus on providing the highest quality of behavioral health care to residents of Hudson County. Our Adult and Children’s Services are always looking for innovative ways to expand the services based on the changing needs of the community. Our Integrated Case Management Services Team was able to secure housing for 9 homeless individuals in December through housing vouchers provided by the Division of Mental Health and Addictions Services. As we are aware that recovery is made much more difficult when one is homeless, we continually look for housing resources for our consumers. Our Child and Adolescent Services continue to surpass expectations and generate revenue that assists in our ability to continue funding new services. They are currently developing a day program for children and adolescents that are on Home Instruction from school due to mental health and behavioral issues. We will be able to assess and stabilize these issues and return the student to school to continue their education. This will potentially keep these students from being classified as Special Education students, affecting their future and recovery in many ways. The Psychiatric Emergency Screening Center’s Mobile Crisis Service and the Traumatic Loss Coalition continue to respond to traumatic events in the community in an effort to provide support in the aftermath of an event and helping to prevent long term affects through psychoeducation and referrals to supportive services as necessary. In the coming year, Behavioral Health Services will continue to respond to the needs of the community and has plans to expand our Adult Outpatient Services through a satellite office.

The Palliative Care team has addressed the communities’ needs on bereavement support. In 2010, Maria Adams RN, Cris Amato BSN, RN, CEN, MICN, David Kaplan LCSW, Nancy Pain MSN, APN-C, OCN, and Pam Saporita LCSW identified the need for a bereavement support group in Hudson County. They established the Bereavement Support Group that has proved to be essential addition to the services JCMC offers to the community. On the third Wednesday of each month we open our doors to grieving families. (For further information on the bereavement support group, see Appendix SE13-F). The success of this group is in large part due to the dedication of Ms. Amato, Nancy Chiocchi, MSN, PHD (c), Mr. Kaplan, and Ms. Saporita who all facilitate the monthly meetings.

We continued to reinforce our mission of Enhancing Life to the community and increased our educational outreach. Director of Community Outreach and Corporate Liaison Susan Lanning BSN, RN, is accelerating the popular “Dinner with the Doctor” series, not only in Jersey City, but also in neighboring areas. Topics have included “Heart Health, Breast Cancer Detection and Treatments, Epilepsy, Pulmonary Diseases, Diabetes, Innovative Treatments and Procedures in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Spinal Issues and Stroke Prevention”. (See Appendix SE13-G1 and SE13-G2 for “Dinner with the Doctor” announcements). Community attendance at these hour long sessions now averages between 85 – 100 people. The feedback has been positive and we plan to expand our reach beyond Hudson County. We also “took our show on the road” with a presentation by our lead cardiologist, Dr. Mary Abed about heart health. The seminar was held in the Jersey City Waterfront area but was also telecast to offices in Dallas, Chicago and San Diego. In November, we collaborated with The Liberty Science Center for the first time, and held a Women’s Health Symposium featuring a panel of expert physicians in the area of women’s health. (See Symposium announcement in Appendix SE13-H). Some of the topics included Heart Health, Osteoporosis and Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment Options. Sixty professional women from the community attended this interactive educational session. Susan continues to work with Waterfront Corporations. She works closely with their health centers to assist collaboration with the Medical Center’s and physician referrals.

Three additional financial institutions have partnered with JCMC and many of their employees are now utilizing our facility and physicians. We also reach out to our community through various support groups. Interest and participation in our groups continues to grow, which demonstrates the community’s need for these services. Our newest support group is the Healing Heart and Connecting Hands, which was started by one of our patients that experienced Cardiothoracic Surgery at Jersey City Medical Center. Jersey City Medical Center worked with Ms. Weiss to create monthly meetings, which are held at Jersey City Medical Center. The members of the Healing Heart and Connecting Hands support group are mostly people that have had Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical Center, but the meetings are also open to all patients with a cardiac history.

Cardiologist Dr. Mohammad Javed and members of the Healing Hearts and Connecting Hands cardiac support group participated in a heart healthy cooking demonstration at the hospital.
Cardiologist Dr. Mohammad Javed and members of the Healing Hearts and Connecting Hands cardiac support group participated in a heart healthy cooking demonstration at the hospital.


Susan and the LibertyHealth Foundation are committed to improving the economic health of the hospital and raise money for important projects. For example, there are many areas where expansion is required in order to serve our community effectively. Some of these projects are several million dollars. In 2011, our Emergency Department saw a record 85,000 patients in a space that was built for 50,000 patients. The Emergency Room expansion is projected to cost $22,000,000. Financial efforts are a critical focus so that we can accommodate our growing community while maintaining the highest quality of healthcare, and continue our Mission of Enhancing Life.

In May 2011, the Nursing Research Council, in collaboration with the Quality and Safety Nursing Council, sponsored the 2nd annual “Research Fun Fair, as discussed in NK4, to enhance learning of the research process through games and interactive methods. The theme of the fair was “Teaching our Patients using Evidence Base Practice”. This year, the councils invited visitors and community members to learn about different evidence-based topics in health care, as well as offered free health screening to those in attendance. The event was a success with over 150 Medical Center employees and community members in attendance.

Enhancing Life team, were from left to right: Janice Kozzi MSN, RN, CNL, Jen Jones MSN, RN, CNL, Joseph Scott FACHE, CEO, Nicole Sardinas MSN, RN, CCRN, Mabel LaForgia MSN, RN, CCRN, and Zadith Colon, NJ Sharing Network Coordinator.

“Enhancing Life” team, were from left to right: Janice Kozzi MSN, RN, CNL, Jen Jones MSN, RN, CNL, Joseph Scott FACHE, CEO, Nicole Sardinas MSN, RN, CCRN, Mabel LaForgia MSN, RN, CCRN, and Zadith Colon, NJ Sharing Network Coordinator.

We have also partnered with the Sharing Network Foundation in order to promote the life-saving benefits of organ donation and transplantation. We have established the “Wall of Heroes” to honor all those who donated their organs to awaiting recipients. Last year, we supported the Sharing Network’s mission to continue to educate and increase public awareness on the importance of organ and tissue donation by participating in the “Race to the Top” 5 kilometer walk/run fundraiser. Our “Enhancing Life” team was among 18 New Jersey hospital teams that participated. 

/uploadedImages/SE13-imageB.jpgIn addition to supporting our community, numerous nurses have devoted their time, skills, and compassion to assisting international communities. One country that has been supported by our compassionate nurses is Haiti. Please see Appendix SE13-I for further missions which nurses have participated in.

Exemplar of Mission

“I am a seasoned registered nurse who for the past seven years has worked in the field of Infection Control. I also had years of previous experience in the Intensive Care Unit and Post-anesthesia. After hearing of the earthquake in Haiti, I decided I wanted to volunteer for a medical mission. With the help of some colleagues, I was put in contact with Project Medishare. This organization has been working with Haiti since 1994, and within 24 hours after the earthquake, they had set up a tent field hospital on the grounds of the Port au Prince Airport to begin treating victims of the disaster. This field hospital was my home from March 22-29 and again at the Hospital Bernard Mev from September 25-October 2, 2010.

We would arrive the first day at 8am, and after a quick tour, were given our job assignments. Because of my previous experience, I became the Recovery Room for the next seven days of those two tours. We worked 12-13 hours shifts with one meal a day (provided by the hospital), no hot water with only hand sanitizers, porta-potties, cold showers, temperatures of 95-100 outside and 85 inside the tents; not many supplies and far too many patients. But in my almost 40 years of nursing, I have never had more emotionally and physically exhausting but truly gratifying experiences as those.

Many of the patients that I cared for were amputees with wound negative drainage assistive devices (due to infection), skin grafts for burns and paraplegics with decubiti needing dressing changes and debridement. Unfortunately, the children were mostly the burn victims because people were either setting fires to get rid of garbage or they were cooking outside.

The operating room staff that I worked with was the most dedicated groups I have ever had the privilege to know. The patients and families that I cared for were so grateful for even the slightest kindness. It was very frustrating knowing one only had a certain amount of time to work there and that there was so much that still needed to be done. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The wonderful smiling faces of the people of Haiti, that I had the honor to care for, will stay with me forever.”

Submitted by Mary Ann Plaskon, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Control Practitioner