RWJBH Volunteers Honor MLK With Service Week

An RWJBH employee and a participant at Team Walker test their paper airplanes. (Photo courtesy RWJBarnabas)

NEW JERSEY – RWJBarnabas Health recently commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a system-wide week of service.

RWJBarnabas Health partnered with JerseyCares to provide local volunteer opportunities, honoring both Dr. King’s vision and RWJBarnabas Health’s mission. From Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, about 400 RWJBH employees participated in volunteer projects.

The week consisted of 18 volunteer opportunities that focused on education, economic stability, neighborhood and built environment, and global health. Some volunteers served meals at a food pantry, others put together trauma relief kits, and others hosted nutrition and anti-bullying workshops, among other projects.

Ernani Sadural, MD, Director, Global Health, RWJBH, organizing hurricane relief donations at the Puerto Rican Action Board in New Brunswick. (Photo courtesy RWJBarnabas)

“We know that our dedication to serving the people of New Jersey must extend far beyond the care we provide within our walls,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health, “We must look closely at the communities we serve and identify the social determinants of health that are impacting our patient populations, so we can work to correct them. That is what this week of service was all about. It is about helping our communities and our neighbors by lending a hand and living our mission.”

“Healthcare is obviously our primary responsibility, but with that comes a lot of other responsibilities and at RWJBarnabas Health we care about people and our communities. It is important that we actively demonstrate that commitment and have a positive presence in our communities,” said Jack Morris, Chairman, Board of Trustees, RWJBarnabas Health.

Hospitals all over NJ volunteered to help causes that directly impacted their local community. From the northern regions to the southern, RWJBH volunteers engaged in various volunteer projects, including:

  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center employees volunteered at the Greater Life Center where they sorted and donated food items, painted the teen center and assembled shelving for the teen drop-in center
  • Clara Maass Medical Center employees volunteered at the Belleville High School to host a resume-building workshop and a personal finance workshop to prepare high school students for the next stage of their lives.
  • RWJ University Hospital Rahway employees volunteered with the Rahway Food for Friends Food Pantry where they assisted with meal preparation and distribution and also assembled Bundle of Joy kits to benefit families enrolled in the Food for Friends diaper program.
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center employees volunteered at the West Essex YMCA where they hosted a nutrition workshop and created nutritious “Garden on the Go” snack bags for children in the afterschool program.
  • Jersey City Medical Center employees hosted an anti-bullying workshop and a meditation workshop for students at the Team Walker afterschool program to promote the importance of kindness and mindfulness.
  • RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick employees volunteered at the Puerto Rico Action Board where employees organized hurricane relief donations, sorted through holiday toy donations to be used as gifts for children in the program and created welcome home kits for families.
  • Children’s Specialized Hospital employees packed trauma relief kits, complete with fun activities such as play dough and coloring books for the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum.
  • RWJ University Hospital Somerset employees assembled first night hygiene kits for the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP)
  • RWJ University Hospital Hamilton employees volunteered at Mercer Street Friends Preschool to teach students the importance of being healthy through a nutrition workshop.
  • Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center’s Southern Campus employees volunteered to assemble meal packs for local churches in Long Branch and Lakewood.
  • Community Medical Center employees volunteered with Unity Pride and Central Regional High School where they hosted a resume-building workshop and a personal finance workshop to prepare high school students for the next stage of their lives.
  • Behavioral Health Center employees packed first night hygiene kits, complete with personal care items and a handmade no-sew fleece blanket for Ocean Health Initiatives.
A Clara Maass Medical Center employee helps a student at Rafael Hernandez Elementary School on a project. (Photo courtesy RWJBarnabas)