After being placed on administrative leave for making an anti-law enforcement remark, RWJBarnabasHealth executive Michellene Davis returned to work this week after CEO Barry Ostrowsky posted a statement on the company’s Facebook page saying the organization had completed an internal review and determined that she should return to her post.
Davis was criticized for a comment that she posted on Facebook about plans for arming police officers at schools in Fair Lawn. “Who is going to train them not to shoot black children first?” she wrote.
In his statement, Ostrowsky said he is “confident that Davis remains the proper executive to lead the Social Impact and Community Investment practice for RWJBarnabas Health.”
Said Ostrowsky: “Since last Wednesday, I have heard from many of you – employees, community leaders, members of law enforcement, physicians, educators, elected officials and citizens of New Jersey – expressing your thoughts around a statement made by one of our leaders, Ms. Michellene Davis.
“While I do not plan to address the specifics around the actions of Ms. Davis in this communication, I will say that I do believe the apology for her initial statement to be sincere. It has never been a question that RWJBarnabas Health is indebted to the law enforcement community and those officers who work to make our communities safe each day. The issue of violence in our community is real and the toll that has been taken – particularly in our urban communities – is reflective of a true public health crisis.
“I believe this, Ms. Davis believes this, and members of law enforcement with whom I have spoken believe this. It is from this position of commonality that we should and must start, if we are to move forward as a state and health system.”