WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Elected officials, members of local chambers of commerce, the League of Women Voters of the Montclair area, and residents of all towns in Essex County came together on Saturday morning at Crane's Mill in West Caldwell for the 5th Annual Meet the Mayors event. Barry Ostrowsky, President and CEO of Barnabas Health, was the keynote speaker and addressed the state of healthcare, the health care industry, and spoke about his vision for healthcare in the future. Barnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest integrated healthcare delivery system, annually providing treatment and services for more than two million patients, while employing over 20,000 people.
Ostrowsky joined Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1991 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. He served in the same role at Barnabas Health when the System was created in 1996. He assumed the title of President and Chief Operating Office in 2010 and his present title in January 2012.
Ostrowsky said, "Healthcare is at an interesting time." While noting that from a provider's viewpoint the healthcare act has been flawed, he said, "the principles will dominate healthcare going forward."
Ostrowsky discussed the current state of healthcare noting that the "fee for service" model is "unaffordable" and will "cripple" the healthcare system. He said we are moving toward "healthcare financed based on value...it's no longer going to be a healthcare delivery system based on people getting sick." "We need to take an interest in people's lives before they get sick....we're no longer going to concentrate on sickness care," Ostrowsky said.
He added that Barnbas Health and other healthcare providers "will explain how we can help you avert illness." Ostrowsky noted, "if we don't concentrate on keeping people healthy we won't have the resources to help everyone who gets sick."
Livingston Mayor Michael Silverman said, "Meet the Mayors is a wonderful event as all the local communities come together and get to meet and review what is going on in Essex County."
Mayor John Duthie of Roseland added, "It is great to mingle with the folks that are part of the community and meet with my peers and colleagues and address the issues of importance to all of us."
Government Affairs Committee Chair Denny Klein of Rand, Feuer & Klein, LLC, told TAPinto.net, "Once again we are thrilled to come together in Essex County with community leadership and business leadership to become better informed and involved. Events like this are what make Essex County great."
Sponsors of the event included ACIEM Studios, Barnabas Health, Brach Eichler LLC, PSE&G, Rand, Feuer & Klein LLC and Regal Bank. Media sponsors included TAPinto.net, Suburban Essex Magazine and Vicinity Magazine.