HMH HUMC Joint Commission Certification
HMH HUMC Joint Commission Certification

Hackensack University Medical is First in US to Earn Health Equity Certification

Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) is the first hospital in the country to earn a Health Care Equity Certification from The Joint Commission.

The academic flagship hospital of Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), the certification indicates the extensive efforts by HMH to address and improve healthcare equity across its network. 

“Our team members at Hackensack Meridian Health are dedicated to providing safe, equitable care to all of our communities. Achieving health equity is one of our network’s top priorities,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer, Hackensack Meridian Health in a statement. 

The Road to Becoming Certified

To become certified, The Joint Commission requires health systems to have formalized structures in place to improve health equity across their facilities and serve as community collaborators to address areas of need. Organizations seeking this designation must collect, analyze, and act on data points relating to:

  • Patient care 
  • Patient communication 
  • Socioeconomic information
  • Staff education 
  • Recruitment, retention, and other policies

‘… a testament to our team members’ dedicated commitment’

“The Joint Commission’s Health Care Equity Certification is a testament to our team members’ dedicated commitment each and every day to providing outstanding, compassionate care to all of our patients,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president & chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center and president, Hackensack Meridian Health’s North Region. 

“New Jersey is one of the nation’s most diverse states, and this certification validates our long-standing efforts to eliminate health disparities and elevate the standard of care. We look forward to building upon this recognition to continue enhancing patient care for all,” Sparta added. 

Putting Equity at the Forefont

“Our commitment to fostering an environment rooted in equity is at the forefront of what we do at Hackensack Meridian Health,” said Avonia Richardson-Miller, EdD, MA, CDE, senior vice president and Chief Diversity Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health. 

“We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to make our hospitals more inclusive for our patients and team members, and we will continue to build initiatives that support and represent all communities we serve,” Richardson-Miller added.

Onsite Review

To earn the certification, HUMC had to undergo a rigorous onsite review, where a team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated over 40 program-specific standards and a range of data points, including:

  • Three quality and/or safety measures for priority clinical conditions by sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., cardiovascular outcomes, cesarean birth rates for nulliparous women with term, singleton baby in vertex position [NTSV], hospital-acquired conditions, pressure injury rates, etc.)
  • Comparison of the race, ethnicity, and languages spoken by staff and leaders to the race, ethnicity, and languages spoken by the community
  • Employee opinion survey/culture of safety survey results stratified by race, ethnicity, and language information
  • Health Care Equity performance improvement plan

Hackensack Meridian Health invited members of its senior leadership team, administrative teams, and clinical care leaders to participate in the certification review. 

The Joint Commission

Hackensack University Medical Center holds 30 other Joint Commission certifications, which is the most of any hospital in the country.

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and healthcare programs in the United States.

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.

The network has 18 hospitals and more than 500 patient care locations, which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers, physician practice locations, and a fitness and wellness center.

With more than 35,000 team members and 7,000 physicians, Hackensack Meridian Health is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy and committed to the health and well-being of communities throughout New Jersey.

  • Hackensack University Medical Center is the only New Jersey hospital with the #1 adult and children’s hospitals
  • Hackensack Meridian Health has two hospitals ranked in the top 10 – Hackensack University Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center
  • Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is a Top 50 Rehabilitation Hospital in the nation for the fifth year in a row
Cindy Capitani is the Communications & Content Manager at the Meadowlands Chamber. Send press releases and inquiries to