72 Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists and Health Clinicians from Horizon BCBSNJ Answer Governor Murphy’s “HealthCare Professionals Call to Serve”
“There are so many people in need. Frontline workers in all fields are so important to keeping our country going. I have a skill that is needed specifically on the health care frontline and I need to use that skill to help others. That is why I went into medicine in the first place. Normally I can do so much at Horizon BCBSNJ to help our health care partners provide excellent care, but now I can help the most by being on that front line myself.”
That is how Dr. Lisa LaCarrubba, a Medical Director at Horizon BCBSNJ responded when asked why she stepped forward to answer the “Healthcare Professionals Call to Serve” issued by Governor Phil Murphy on March 27, 2020. Dr. LaCarrubba is one of 72 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and clinicians who have volunteered and are awaiting deployment. She lives in Robbinsville now, but was born at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, a community that has been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
To support employees with medical training who wish to serve, Horizon BCBSNJ has expanded paid-time-off for volunteer service to provide those employees answering the Call with 40 hours of compensated volunteer time. While every Horizon BCBSNJ employee receives 8 hours of compensated time for volunteerism each year, the Company’s leadership quickly adopted the expanded policy in response to the Governor’s Call to Serve.
“New Jersey’s health care heroes are working around the clock on the frontlines and under incredibly stressful conditions. The Governor’s Call to Service recognizes the urgent need to support them, protect their well-being, and provide relief to prevent burn-out,” said Gary D. St. Hilaire, Horizon BCBSNJ’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting employees who want to put their medical training to work on the frontlines was an easy decision and we are incredibly proud of the way that they, and everyone at Horizon BCBSNJ, have responded in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Allen Karp, Horizon BCBSNJ’s Executive Vice President, Healthcare Management & Transformation, added, “Horizon BCBSNJ has always worked to support New Jersey’s hospitals and doctors with the tools they need to deliver the best care for our members, and our employees all share one thing in common: an unwavering commitment to not only care for our members, but also the health professionals they rely on.”
Mary Jones spent the early part of her career in hospital critical care units. The registered nurse from Cherry Hill, who has been with Horizon BCBSNJ for 18 years, summed up her decision saying, “I had been feeling like I needed to do something to assist. I believe it is my ethical, moral duty as an RN and I think these values are inherent in Horizon BCBSNJ’s values. I was greatly moved that this company I work for, and have come to love, is willing to extend more volunteer hours to serve this great state and the members we serve in it. I am currently making masks for health care personnel until the time comes that I am needed in the clinical setting.”