Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Receives Grant from Bank of America to Support the Human Dimension Program at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine   

Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Receives Grant from Bank of America to Support the Human Dimension Program at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

January 26, 2024

Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Receives Grant from Bank of America

Funding to advance health equity in Paterson, New Jersey and educate the next generation of health care professionals by leveraging partnerships with community-based organizations

Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous $100,000 grant from Bank of America aimed at advancing health equity in Paterson, NJ and supporting the education of the next generation of physicians participating in the Human Dimension program at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. 

“We are truly grateful for Bank of America’s generous grant, which will foster the next generation of compassionate physicians and empower them to make substantial strides in advancing health equity in Paterson,” said Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “Hackensack Meridian Health is the largest, most comprehensive health system in New Jersey, and we are committed to improving the health and well-being of all of our residents in this great state. Philanthropic support from our corporate partners, like Bank of America, allow us to make a significant impact in the communities our medical students serve.” 

Opened in 2018, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s unique curriculum fosters teamwork and a humanistic focus on community wellness through its Human Dimension program. The school integrates the biomedical, behavioral, social and health systems sciences in the context of the patients and communities, with a focus on underserved cities across New Jersey, like Paterson. 

“Our Human Dimension program at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine teaches our students how to be compassionate doctors, capable of integrating the social determinants of health into their practice to achieve health equity with a focus on prevention as well as curing illness,” said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., president and dean, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “Moreover, this humanistic approach during their medical education provides our students with a critical first step in understanding the professional culture of health care - and how resilience and empathy can strengthen it.  We are so pleased to have Bank of America’s support and know that their generosity will help shape our physicians of tomorrow.”

Since 2018, the School of Medicine has worked with residents and communities in Paterson.  Through the Human Dimension program, future doctors become involved in all aspects of the family’s life to better understand the social determinants of health that contribute to poorer health outcomes, identify unmet needs and help families navigate community resources. Medical students have cared for more than 300 Paterson families, engaged with 120 community partners, completed 55 community health projects benefiting more than 8,000 Paterson residents and established 21 current community health project task forces. By doubling the number of medical students paired with individuals and families in need, the School of Medicine will serve a greater number of Paterson residents year over year, increase health literacy and support the connections needed to improve the health and well-being for patients, regardless of their socio-economic status or level of education.  

Paterson is the largest city in Passaic County and serves as the county seat. According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey dated July 1, 2022, the most recent data intake, the total population was nearly 157,000, representing about one-third of the population of the county. Per the 2020 Passaic County Needs Assessment, health care concerns ranked third highest due to the lack of medical professionals who accept Medicaid and concerns about inequities in accessing medical services, including language barriers, and lack of culturally competent, affordable health care. 

“Bank of America recognizes the importance of supporting our healthcare systems and networks as they provide critical resources to underserved communities,” said Alberto Garofalo, president, Bank of America New Jersey. “Addressing these barriers will help our communities move forward and realize true economic mobility." 

To learn more about Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine or to make a gift, contact Sheila Wolfinger, executive director of development, or visit GiveHMH.org/SchoolofMed.

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