Completing its acquisition of Trinitas Regional Medical Center in the fall brought the number of acute care hospitals under the RWJBarnabas banner to a dozen. That’s on top of four children’s hospitals, multiple outpatient facilities, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, a free-standing behavioral health center and the state’s largest statewide behavioral health network. And they’re all under the purview of Ostrowsky, who has led the system – and built it into $5.5 billion giant – since 2016 as president and CEO.
In 2021, RWJBarnabas held its place on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, spearheading the creation and operation of one of the state’s six vaccine mega-sites in June, which was able to accommodate up to 5,000 patients per day. The system launched a second mega-site at the end of the year in Bridgewater. To date, its provided more than 520,000 vaccinations across New Jersey.
Over the summer, shovels hit the ground to begin work on RWJBarnabas’s and Rutger Cancer Institute’s $750 million cancer facility. Upon completion, the Jack & Sheryl Morris Cancer Center will be the only free-standing cancer hospital in the state. Elsewhere in the city, work has begun on the $665 million, 550,000-square-foot New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub, which RWJ has ties to through its academic partner, Rutgers. RWJ is also growing its existing facilities. In the fall, the system received what it said is the largest donation to a hospital in New Jersey history: a $100 million gift that renamed Saint Barnabas Medical Center to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center. A $3 million donation, meanwhile, will help bring a new planned campus to Monmouth Medical Center in Tinton Falls.
Through Ostrowsky’s leadership, RWJBarnabas Health has expanded efforts to address equity and systemic racism, and promote an antiracist culture throughout the organization and the communities it serves, with initiatives like its Ending Racism Together program. Ostrowsky is also at the head of a system-wide endeavor to promote healthier living for its employees and its communities. The Social Impact and Community Investment (SICI) initiative, which he founded, utilizes RWJBarnabas’s resources to equitably improve long-term well-being and quality of life in the Garden State. The system also strives for inclusion within its ranks, prioritizing the hiring and elevation of executives with diverse backgrounds to its leadership team. It was named a Best Employer in New Jersey by Forbes for 2021. At the time, Ostrowsky characterized the recognition as “confirmation of our commitment to providing a supportive and inclusive working environment for all our employees, especially throughout the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In December, he was named to a panel put together by Gov. Phil Murphy to explore curbing the rise of health care costs in New Jersey. That same month, with the governor’s launch of the New Jersey Health Care Cost Benchmark Program, RWJBarnabas signed onto the associated stakeholder compact.
Ostrowksy has also raised RWJBarnabas’ public profile through partnerships with a variety of prominent institutions and organizations, like Rutgers University sports. Among several active memberships, Ostrowsky is co-chair of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and serves on the boards of PSEG, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Public Media NJ Inc.