Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert C. Garrett Co-Chairs National Coalition to Set New Safety Standards for Healthcare Workers

5/7/2021 8:00:00 AM

Health system CEOs sign Declaration of Principles to spark national movement for change

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most integrated health network, is proud to announce that CEO Robert C. Garrett is Co-Chair of the newly created CEO Coalition, which includes 10 health system executive leaders across the nation committed to improving safety, well-being and equity for all who work in health care.

The CEO Coalition announced the signing of a Declaration of Principles that sets a new standard of safety for the nation’s healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic brought new visibility to the selfless acts of courage and the fierce dedication of health care team members every day in how they care for patients and their loved ones. It also amplified the physical and emotional risks team members face, as well as systemic inequities. 

“I am proud to join this effort to ensure that our health care heroes have the tools, resources and support they need to thrive and feel safe,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are deeply committed to the support and well-being of our front-line teams who are the backbone of our organization.’’

The CEO Coalition’s Declaration of Principles expands the definition of safety to include safeguarding psychological and emotional well-being of team members, promoting health justice by declaring equity and anti-racism as core components of safety, and ensuring physical safety, which includes a zero-harm program to eliminate workplace violence, both physical and verbal.  

In addition to Mr. Garrett, the co-founders of the CEO Coalition and the co-authors of the Declaration are:

Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital 

Marc Harrison, MD, Intermountain Healthcare

Rod Hochman, MD, Providence 

Laura Kaiser, FACHE, SSM Health

Anne Klibanski, MD, Mass General Brigham

Wright Lassiter, MHA, Henry Ford Health System

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD, Cleveland Clinic

Johnese Spisso, MPA, UCLA Hospital System

Andrea Walsh, JD, HealthPartners

“This Coalition is driving meaningful action to protect the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of healthcare workers, while explicitly acknowledging that health justice is a critical component of safety,” said Bridget Duffy, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Vocera, a founding partner of the CEO Coalition. “We are committed to ensuring this work will influence health practice, policy, and funding to support and humanize healthcare for all.’’

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