Hackensack Meridian’s Flagship Hackensack University Medical Center Becomes First in the Nation to Receive The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity Certification   

Hackensack Meridian’s Flagship Hackensack University Medical Center Becomes First in the Nation to Receive The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity Certification

August 21, 2023

Hackensack Meridian is proud to announce its academic flagship Hackensack University Medical Center is the first hospital in the nation to earn a Health Care Equity Certification from The Joint Commission. The certification indicates Hackensack Meridian Health’s extensive efforts to address and improve healthcare equity across its network. 

“Our team members at Hackensack Meridian Health are dedicated to providing safe, equitable care to all of our communities. Achieving health equity is one of our network’s top priorities,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are honored to have Hackensack University Medical Center be recognized as the first and only site in the nation to complete this important certification from The Joint Commission, and we look forward to continuing to advance health equity for our patients.”

To become certified, The Joint Commission requires health systems to have formalized structures in place to improve health equity across their facilities and serve as community collaborators to address areas of need. Organizations seeking this designation must collect, analyze, and act on data points relating to patient care, patient communication, socioeconomic information, staff education, and policies on various topics, including recruitment and retention.

“The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity Certification is a testament to our team members’ dedicated commitment each and every day to providing outstanding, compassionate care to all of our patients,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president & chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and president, Hackensack Meridian Health’s North Region. “New Jersey is one of the nation's most diverse states, and this certification validates our long-standing efforts to eliminate health disparities and elevate the standard of care. We look forward to building upon this recognition to continue enhancing patient care for all.” 

“Our commitment to fostering an environment rooted in equity is at the forefront of what we do at Hackensack Meridian Health,” said Avonia Richardson-Miller, EdD, MA, CDE, senior vice president and Chief Diversity Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to make our hospitals more inclusive for our patients and team members, and we will continue to build initiatives that support and represent all communities we serve.”

Hackensack University Medical Center underwent a rigorous onsite review to receive the certification. During the visit, a team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated over 40 program-specific standards and a range of data points, including the following:

  • Three quality and/or safety measures for priority clinical conditions by sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., cardiovascular outcomes, cesarean birth rates for nulliparous women with term, singleton baby in vertex position [NTSV], hospital-acquired conditions, pressure injury rates, etc.)
  • Comparison of the race, ethnicity, and languages spoken by staff and leaders to the race, ethnicity, and languages spoken by the community
  • Employee opinion survey/culture of safety survey results stratified by race, ethnicity, and language information
  • Health Care Equity performance improvement plan

Hackensack Meridian Health invited members of its senior leadership team, administrative teams, and clinical care leaders to participate in the certification review. 

Hackensack University Medical Center holds 30 other Joint Commission certifications, which is the most of any hospital in the country.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and healthcare programs in the United States. 

Read more about the Health Care Equity Certification here.

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