(PRESS RELEASE) Immigrant Workers and the State’s Healthcare System

By Rebekah Schhroeder, November 29, 2023

The Garden State Immigration Policy Institute, an ongoing collaboration between the NJBIA and the New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition, measures the impact of immigrant labor on the state’s healthcare industry with “Exploring the Vital Role of Immigrants in the New Jersey Health Care Sector,” a free webinar on Tuesday, December 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For more information or to register, see the page for the event on the NJBIA website, njbia.org/events/immigrants-nj-healthcare-sector.

The event proposes a solution to the worker shortages found throughout the healthcare sector, noting that “immigrants already contribute to the availability and quality of care in our state.” But how can these institutions start or continue to hire immigrant workers while finding ways to adapt, accommodate, and support members of this community in the workplace?

Figures from public policy, healthcare, law, and other expertise will weigh in on key questions, including which fields currently rely on immigrant labor, how the state would function without such assistance, how incorporating these workers could improve the country’s low medical doctor-to-resident ratio, and the nuances of sourcing domestic labor following the “great resignation” of 2021, a term referring to the significant increase of employees who departed their positions in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Attendees will hear from experts both local and national, such as speakers like Mo Kantner, the senior director of policy and research at the American Immigration Council; Cecilia Esterline, the immigration research analyst at the Niskanen Center; and Paul Feltman, the deputy executive director for global talent policy and programs for World Education Services.

The panelists include Lydia H. Albuquerque, an assistant professor in the department of nursing at William Paterson University, and Stacey A. Simon, a partner at the Newark-based firm Meyner & Landis, LLP, who practices immigration law with a focus on issues related to employment.

Nancy Fitterer is the president and CEO of the Home Care & Hospice Association of NJ, a Cranbury-based organization she joined following an eight-year tenure in the New Jersey Office of Attorney General, where she served as the chief of staff for two previous state attorneys general.

Laura Atkinson is the vice president and chief human resources officer for St. Peter’s Healthcare System, a network of healthcare service providers including Saint Peter’s University Hospital, both of which are headquartered in New Brunswick.

Panelist Omna A. Syed is a senior policy analyst for the NJ Hospital Association. The health policy researcher and advocate is a social service professional at the NJHA, which is based in Princeton and described as “a not-for-profit trade organization committed to delivering support and services to the state’s hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare providers.” According to its website, NJHA affiliates share the “collective goal of providing quality, affordable, and accessible healthcare” to state residents.

The conversation will be moderated in part by Kyle Sullender, the executive director of Focus New Jersey in Trenton, “an independent research non-profit conducting timely, innovative, nonpartisan economic and workforce research to support sound public policy in New Jersey” that assesses economic trends, education, and workforce development.

Another moderator is Rachel Rosenthal, a member of Bloomberg’s editorial board who currently covers healthcare and edits Bloomberg Opinion. According to her Bloomberg Opinion biography, prior to her current position, “she covered markets and economics for the Wall Street Journal.”

Rounding out the group is Katherine Kish, the executive director of Einstein’s Alley, a Central Jersey economic development initiative designed to champion the region’s technology industry by fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem centered on research, innovation, and sustainable development.