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Dr. Sue Walsh On Building A Culture of Health in JC

2018-04-30T16:23:16-04:00February 15th, 2018|

From the desk of Dr. Susan Walsh, FACP; Vice President Population Health, Jersey City Medical Center-RWJBarnabas Health

Dear Jersey City Community,

Welcome to the healthierJC website. Each month we hope touse this blog to bring you information that makes your journey to health easier, more successful and with a little fun thrown in. We want our friends, families, neighbors and all in our community to understand how small changes and some help from your healthierJC partners can make a big difference in how you feel every day.

Some of these changes begin with you, but we’d love to help!   Stop smoking, drink moderately if at all, stay away from modafinil street drugs, eat healthy and move more.  All easy to write or prescribe (I’m a doctor!), but harder to do.  So small steps and goals work better than major life changes.  Try cutting your cigarette use in half or google the NJ Quitline for great ideas and services in our area.  Addiction? Try ReachNJ.  Diet, exercise? Watch our website for fun activities and community discussions around fruits and vegetables and our delicious farmers’ market. 

But there are other reasons why we don’t always get as far on the health journey as we’d like.  There’s a new big buzz phrase: Socioeconomic Determinants of Health, SEDH for short.  These are all the things that get in the way when we make the choice to get healthier.  Common ones are no time for appointments, no transportation to care, no insurance or no money for a visit, offices closed when you get home from work, no supermarket close by, stuck at home because you are disabled, having problems with rent or mortgage, homeless, lonely, childcare issues, education and job issues, legal problems.  We all have some barrier to care that we have to figure out.  This can be a busy executive who works in NYC and never gets home in time for getting checkups and adult vaccines.  Or a single parent who needs to use the emergency room for a child’s bad cough as the doctor’s office is closed.  Or someone with diabetes who has been staying at various friends’ houses and it’s hard to keep medication refrigerated.  Or maybe just someone whose Uber didn’t arrive in time for the dental appointment.  It’s not about rich or poor, old or young, citizen or not; though jobs and money make it much easier to solve the SEDH problems. It is about using the team approach to tackle problems and figure out solutions. 

One first step is to go to for your issue (Transportation? Food?  Legal help?  Job? Housing?) and put in your zip code.  You should see a list, with instructions, on help nearby.  Sometimes just a phone call away.

Need a helping hand that’s more personal?  Let us know.  There are people in your community waiting to help you get through what can be a confusing system of care.  For example we have healthcare navigators here at Jersey City Medical Center, and there are community workers at your Department of Health. In the coming months, we are going to use this space to introduce you to the many smart, funny and passionate people that live and work besides you.  Welcome to our website!  Dr. Walsh