RWJ Nurse Recognized as Diva for Work with LGBT Community

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Nurse Recognized for Eliminating Health Care Disparities in Underserved Populations

Jackie Jacalan-Baras, MSN, MBA, RN

TRENTON, N.J.—April 6, 2018—The Institute for Nursing, the foundation of New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), honored Jackie Jacalan-Baras, MSN, MBA, RN, quality nurse manager- perioperative services, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick for outstanding professional career accomplishments.

Baras, who received one of eight Diva & Don awards at NJSNA’s annual Gala, transformed the tapestry of health care in New Jersey by eliminating LGBT health care disparities through education, community collaboration, and volunteerism. She was instrumental in launching the first LGBT Business Resource Group called Promoting Respect Outreach Understanding and Dignity (PROUD) at RWJUH. She also established the PROUD Family Health in RWJ Somerset, the first hospital-based LGBT clinic in New Jersey and creating the Proud Transitions, a transgender family support group that is one of its kind in the state.

Baras was the main contributor to the first Health Equality Index application that established RWJUH as one of the leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.  She has recently launched “Proudly Me,” a Transgender EduPort (Education and Support) Program at RWJUH, where she serves as the lead facilitator.  Her personal experiences and story serve as an inspiration to the LGBT Community.

In addition to facilitating the support groups and various programs, Baras helped launch the first house-wide LGBT sensitivity training for 2,200 employees at RWJ Somerset in collaboration with Garden State Equality, an initiative that eventually has become a mandatory education and training throughout the RWJ Barnabas Health System. She has served as speaker, facilitator, navigator and trailblazer in both nursing and the LGBT community. She is a recipient of numerous awards in leadership, community outreach and scholarship.

Baras works as a Quality Nurse Manager for Peri-Operative services. She leads the Peri-Op team in actualizing patients’ goals by promoting safe quality care. In June 2016, Jackie and the Peri-Op team were featured in “Spotlight on Safety” in the New Jersey Hospital Association monthly updates.

She received her BSN from the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, MSN from Kean University and MBA from Strayer University.

She has many professional associations including New Jersey State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, Philippine Nurses Association of New Jersey, Business Resource Group – PROUD and Garden State Equality.

The Institute for Nursing Awards and Scholarship Gala recognized eight New Jersey Nurses as Divas & Dons at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.


The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents the interests of 125,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession. NJSNA, which was established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association. NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories. Its nonprofit foundation, Institute for Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants in addition to invaluable networking opportunities. For more information, nurses can visit or contact NJSNA at or (609) 883-5335.


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