Newswise — OCTOBER 19, 2020, Nutley, NJ – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is pleased to announce a new program to assist schools in getting their academic year started more effectively, amid the challenges of COVID-19.
In June, Hackensack Meridian Health launched the Reopening America: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Assist Program, which helps business owners and schools navigate the COVID-19 crisis and create a safe work environment for employees, customers and students. The program is tailored to meet the needs of any organization by offering three tiers of solutions that can fit any type, size and scale of business. These tiers include a hotline resource, weekly newsletter, on-site visits, and policy reviews and endorsement, among other benefits.
Hackensack Meridian Health and the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine understand the many challenges that school districts are facing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is why HMH has added on a new component to the “Reopening America: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Assist Program” called COVID SOS (Support Our Schools), an initiative developed by the HMSOM, as part of their Human Dimension Course Curriculum.
The new COVID SOS (Support Our Schools) initiative aims to provide expertise about opening, and opening safely, to select school districts in underserved communities who had previously partnered with the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s innovative Human Dimension program.
“The Human Dimension program allows our medical students to provide benefit to the individuals, families, and communities with whom they are partnering,” said Bonita Stanton, founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “Even during a pandemic, learning must go on. By helping school districts get their classes up and running, our medical students are also learning valuable lessons themselves.”
“Our goal has always been to partner with communities and provide help wherever it is needed. This is a vital way we can help the most vulnerable in these uncertain times,” said Carmela Rocchetti, M.D., director of the Human Dimension. “Re-starting local education effectively and safely in these communities is crucial to recovery efforts.”
Each of the schools will be paired with a Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Support Our Schools Task Force which will consist of eight medical students supervised by one of the school’s faculty physicians. Each Task Force will be trained in the latest in COVID-19 research and developments. The members of each task force will meet with school leadership approximately one a month. In addition to a personalized task force, school districts will have access to the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Faculty COVID Advisory Board which will host weekly Q & A sessions in order to provide real time support, as well as weekly scientific updates, and a dedicated phone line to maintain contact and updates.
The services provided by the COVID SOS experts include:
- Guidance regarding implementing COVID-19 guidelines
- Development and delivery of training materials for school faculty and/or staff
- Development and delivery of parent education series
- Development of materials specific to COVID-19, such as videos, visual aids, school website material, etc.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s program focuses on providing these reopening services to communities with whom they are already engaged through the Human Dimension program.
The Human Dimension is a three-year course focused on teaching future doctors the importance of the “social determinants of health” – including housing, food access and other standard-of-life factors. Pairs of medical students are matched with families and a community. The students come to know these individuals, families and communities very well—and in turn, the families and communities have become connected to the school. So far, nearly 150 families and 80 community partners have been touched by the program, in communities including Clifton, Nutley, Passaic, Paterson, Hackensack, Garfield, Bloomfield, West New York, Union City and groups spanning the State of New Jersey.
The Human Dimension also links to classroom-based activities and small group mentorship with a faculty mentor, providing students with the critical knowledge, skills, and supervision to enrich the real-world learning afforded to them through the Human Dimension experience.
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine won the prestigious NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association this past summer for the community contributions it made through the Human Dimension program – distinguishing it as just one of a handful of institutions across the country.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The School’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having four of its hospitals are among the top hospitals in New Jersey for 2020-21, according to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the health system has more top-ranked hospitals than any system in New Jersey. Children’s Health is again ranked a top provider of pediatric health care in the United States and earned top 50 rankings in the annual U.S. News’ 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.
Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
To learn more, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org.