Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Caring for Our Communities: A Partnership for a Healthy Future

* Findings from a Community Health Needs Assessment for Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

About the New Brunswick Community Needs Assessment

  • The Community Needs Assessment is supported by a generous $249,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives Program
  • A total of six grants were issued, including the RWJUH and SPUH proposal
  • The purposed of the Community Needs Assessment’s is to identify critical health issues affecting Middlesex and Somerset County residents and plan future health initiatives to address them.

Information Collected Through

  • Bilingual telephone interviews with county residents
  • Bilingual focus groups
  • Interviews with key “informants” and partners such as local health departments and community-based organizations

Key Findings & Trends

Access to care & Health Information

  • Lack of trained medical staff and health care providers in areas such as cultural competency, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence and developmental disabilities
  • Multiple language and cultural barriers due to diverse population within areas surveyed; lack of providers who speak the languages of patient populations
  • Lack of health insurance
  • Emergency room overuse
  • Inconvenient medical office/clinic hours; lack of knowledge regarding navigation of health care system; long wait times for appointments

Healthy Behaviors

  • “Risky” behaviors identified (lack of seat belt use, binge drinking, smoking, lack of sleep
  • Increased tobacco use (especially among youths, the poor and uninsured populations)
  • Lack of HIV/AIDS testing
  • Overuse/inappropriate use of prescription medication; high incidence of prescription medication use by children

Disease-Specific Issues of Concern

  • Asthma
  • Mental health
  • Diabetes
  • Dental health services
  • Obesity (adult and childhood)
  • Cardiovascular disease

What’s next?

  • Integrate assessment findings into both health care systems’ strategic plans
  • Use information to target and develop new community outreach efforts
  • Address needs through development of key hospital services
  • SPUH and RWJ Health System will continue to meet jointly and with community partners to develop new programs that address priority areas
  • Develop joint programming among all partners to address diabetes, obesity, access to reliable health information and access to preventive health services/screenings
  • Expand existing outreach programs with the survey areas
Caring for Our Communities: A Partnership for a Healthy Future
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