Health Care Power 50: L – Z

NJBIZ STAFF//March 28, 2022//

Health Care Power 50: L – Z

NJBIZ STAFF//March 28, 2022//

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Paul Marden

Marden has served as chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare in New Jersey since 2015, and in the fall assumed leadership of the Pennsylvania and Delaware markets. In this role, he leads the team responsible for providing commercial health care plans to businesses with up to 5,000 employees. Marden is on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey as well as Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. Marden is a regular speaker on health care, business leadership and health insurance.

Michael Maron

As the CEO of Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, Maron bore the full brunt of the pandemic’s early, most frightening days. The hospital was at the center of the first serious outbreak in the state, and it seemed then as though the health care system could be overwhelmed. That perception only deepened when Maron himself contracted COVID-19. He recovered and Holy Name mustered a strong response to the virus. Maron is now turning his attention to the post-pandemic future. One challenge will be handling the fallout from the departure of the hospital’s chief medical officer, a controversy that dimmed the glow from Holy Name’s triumphs during the pandemic. An internal investigation cleared Maron and he remains in charge – another feat of survival.

Anthony Mazzarelli & Kevin O’Dowd

Mazzarelli and O’Dowd are the co-leaders of Cooper University Health Care in Camden. After serving as chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, O’Dowd took over as co-president/CEO of Cooper University Health Care in 2018. Under his leadership, the Camden medical center has shown increases in patients and revenues. And that role became even more critical with the onset of the pandemic. His reputation for competence put him at the center of the response in his part of the state. Mazzarelli is also the associate dean of clinical affairs for Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Previously, he served as Cooper’s chief physician executive where he over-saw the physician practice, as well as quality/patient safety, and continuous process improvement efforts for the health system–the same topics he teaches within the medical school and residency programs. Together O’Dowd and Mazzarelli were instrumental in educating their community about the effectiveness and safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines. “Our team of doctors and educators will be scheduling sessions with a wide range of community groups and organizations to provide in-formation Camden residents can trust to make informed decisions, which will hopefully encourage more residents to be vaccinated,” Mazzarelli said.

Scott McBride

White collar criminal defense attorney and Lowenstein Sandler partner McBride represents pharmaceutical and medical device companies in internal investigations, Department of Justice investigations and legal disputes in New Jersey and elsewhere. He’s developed a reputation as an expert in health fraud and is now a sought-after speaker and panelist on the topic. Like several of his colleagues at Lowenstein, McBride spent time in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with time served as deputy chief of the economic crimes unit and as a member of the health care and government fraud unit.

Jack and Sheryl Morris

Jack Morris, a Highland Park native, has been in the real estate development business for more than 32 years. He founded Jack Morris Construction when he was 18, specializing in custom home-building. He now serves as president and CEO of Edgewood Properties Inc., which owns, operates and manages commercial and residential real estate around the country. But for the purposes of this list, he and his wife, Sheryl, are best known as benefactors behind what will become the the state’s first free-standing cancer hospital, from RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The 510,000-square-foot structure will be named the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center in recognition of the couple’s philanthropic leadership. “There is nothing that feels better or more gratifying than helping others in need,” Jack Morris said at a groundbreaking ceremony last June. “Cancer touches the lives of everyone – and we believe that people should not have to travel to New York or Pennsylvania to get great cancer care. It has been our vision, our hope and our dream to have the top cancer center in the nation right here in New Brunswick. Sheryl and I are so proud that we can play a role in helping to make this dream a reality.”

Achintya Moulick

A trained neonatal cardiac surgeon, Dr. Achintya Moulick started as CEO of CarePoint Health – which encompasses Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Hoboken University Medical Center – in July 2020, amid an ongoing saga regarding the status and future of the Bayonne facility, oh yes – and COVID-19 (As of last October, the system had treated 22,000 patients for the virus). At the end of 2021, a pair of bills that sought to resolve issues surrounding the ownership of the Bayonne facility died with the end of the legislative session in Trenton, which could work in CarePoint’s favor. One would have slowed the process by which a hospital tenant could be evicted – Bayonne’s current landlord Hudson Regional Hospital has tried to push CarePoint out – while the other would have slowed down the system’s transition to nonprofit status. CarePoint, which employs more than 3,000 people in Hudson County, and Moulick embarked on that path in the fall. At the time, the CEO said the move would allow the system to continue to bring in additional clinical services and to partner with national organizations. To that end, Moulick and CarePoint started off 2022 with an agreement with Columbia University Irving Medical Center to expand care and access for a range of colorectal conditions. Over 2021, the system also opened a Women’s Pavilion in Jersey City and its Innovation Health Center in Bayonne, the latter an initiative that aims to improve patient experience by bringing together vendors, investors, startups and other partners to pilot novel applications and concepts.

Dean Paranicas

Under the leadership of Paranicas, president and CEO of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, the organization has expanded and elevated its well-established strong institutional standing and reputation in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and nationally. HINJ has become widely recognized and respected as a leading and influential life sciences voice, a “go-to” advocacy organization and a trusted partner of choice for national life sciences trade associations, peer state life sciences trade associations, state business organizations and other stakeholders. Paranicas has been a longtime key opinion leader and frequent commentator on issues that matter to New Jersey’s life sciences community, and he has often been an active industry representative to various boards, committees and panels to provide the industry’s viewpoint. On his watch, HINJ has reinforced the stature of life sciences as one of the state’s preeminent innovator industries and a leader of the state’s innovation community by expanding its reach to actively engage the greater life sciences community through peer state trade associations and the national life sciences trade associations. This effort has included driving distinctive multi-state educational and informational programming for members of Congress and their staffs, coupled with a range of programs in Washington and New Jersey designed to bring policymakers together with HINJ member companies and other stakeholders to reinforce the industry’s importance to New Jersey.

Donald Parker

A visionary leader with more than 45 years in the health and human services field, Parker serves as president and chief hospital executive at Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic; and as president of Hackensack Meridian Health Behavioral Health Care Transformation Services/Integrative Medicine. In those roles, he leads the largest nonprofit behavioral health system in New Jersey, and is essential to Hackensack Meridian Health’s mission to transform health care and serve as a leader of positive change. His accomplishments include helping to develop new treatment strategies for behavioral health, including acoustical stimulation to reduce aggressive behavior; wearable devices to predict patient relapses in advance; and new equine and healing art therapy strategies. He led the rebuilding of Carrier Clinic, creating more open space on campus for use in equine therapy, and led the opening of two new group homes for young women to assist in learning new independent living skills. Parker also assisted former Gov. Chris Christie in reversing a regulation that prohibited Medicaid patients from being placed in private psychiatric hospitals, and created three new patient units at Carrier focused on serving Medicaid patients. A frequent presenter at state and national conferences, Parker was invited to speak at the Royal College of Architects in London about creating healing environments for psychiatric patients.

Tom Polen

Franklin Lakes-based BD, one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world, works to advance the quality of health care by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the safe delivery of care. And leading that work is President and CEO Tom Polen. BD’s new Veritor Plus System, which received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA last year, can reliably test for COVID-19 and flu types A and B, making it a potentially game-changing technology. In 2021, BD also closed four acquisitions and released its inaugural Global Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) report, part of its pursuit of the company’s ESG strategy. Though its $5 billion in revenue in 2021 marked a 6% decline from the year before, maybe that’s a good sign—BD chalked up the difference largely to a decline in worldwide COVID-only testing revenues that fell to $185 million from $866 million in 2020, when the pandemic hit. In that year, BD secured a $24 million investment from the federal government to scale up U.S. manufacturing production of its COVID-19 rapid diagnosis testing kits. Looking ahead, the company’s spin-off of its Diabetes Care Business is set to launch on April 1. BD closed out 2021 by announcing the name of the new publicly traded entity – embecta – and its leadership team. “The Diabetes Care business can trace its roots back nearly 100 years to BD’s introduction of the world’s first specialized insulin syringe in 1924 and today is the leading producer of diabetes injection devices in the world,” Polen said. “We’re proud to see that shared legacy reflected in the new name.”

Steve Rusckowski

Rusckowski has served as CEO of Quest Diagnostics since May 2012, leading the company’s transformation into a diagnostic information services powerhouse that turned in record financial performance in 2021. He championed a two-pronged strategy to accelerate growth and drive operational excellence — focusing on im-proving relationships with health plans and hospital health systems, and expanding faster-growing businesses in advanced diagnostics and consumer testing. He also drove Quest to be more inclusive, with a board of directors that today is made up of 50% women and two people of color. In 2020, Rusckowski spearheaded the launch of Quest for Health Equity, a $100 million commitment to reduce health disparities among the underserved in the U.S., particularly in communities of color. During his tenure, Quest’s revenues grew nearly 50% to $10.8 billion in 2021 while adjusted earnings per share more than tripled to $14.24. But after more than a decade as CEO, Rusckowski and the Quest board “determined that now is the right time to begin to turn the helm over to a new leader,” he noted, referring to Quest Executive Vice President James Davis, who will step into the CEO spot on Nov. 1. Rusckowski will continue to serve on the board as executive chairman through March 2023, and he praised Davis, noting “he has deep knowledge of Quest, the health care industry, and the corporate world, gained through more than 35 years of business experience. Jim is widely respected and will be a strong CEO.”

Gary St. Hilaire

As CEO of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, St. Hilaire led the commitment of the state’s largest health insurer to serving its 3.8 million members during the pandemic. Additionally, under his watch, Horizon successfully launched an innovative Medicare Advantage joint venture, Braven Health — with Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJBarnabas Health — to drive higher quality and more affordable health care. Other accomplishments include Horizon’s advanced behavioral health model of integrated care, and its Neighbors in Health program, a partnership with leading health systems and community health organizations representing one the nation’s largest and most collaborative efforts to address the complex social and economic factors that drive most health inequities. St. Hilaire also engaged Horizon’s 5,000-plus employees in creating the Pledge to Achieve Positive and Lasting Change, an employee-led effort to address health care disparities related to race, diversity and cultural awareness within its provider network, and diversity, equity and inclusion among its own workforce, leadership and suppliers.

Wardell Sanders

As president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans, a post he’s held for more than 15 years, Sanders is an expert on health care policy. Before leading the NJAHP, he worked in Trenton directing the two agencies regulating the individual and small group health benefits markets, the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program Board and the New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program Board, which together cover a million New Jerseyans. Last year, Gov. Murphy named Sanders to the Health Care Affordability Advisory Group. In December, the governor launched his health care cost benchmarking program, HART (Health care Affordability, Responsibility, and Transparency) with the signing of Executive Order No. 277. HART is the result of the work put in with Director Shabnam Salih and the Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency by stakeholders like Sanders. And according to the governor’s office, that work will continue as the program is rolled out. At an event for its launch the, Sanders described the state’s rising health care costs as “the greatest barrier to access to care for New Jersey residents.”

Kevin Slavin

Slavin is president and chief executive officer at St. Joseph’s Health, an integrated multi-hospital major academic health care system based in Paterson. He is responsible for the overall strategic, clinical, academic and operational functions of St. Joseph’s, which encompasses St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Visiting Health Services of NJ and numerous ambulatory and physician sites across North Jersey. In January, St. Joseph’s launched a clinical affiliation with Hackensack Meridian Health to expand cancer care in the region. Last November, the pair launched another clinical affiliation to bring a new location of the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, which has operated in Edison for 50 years, to Wayne. And, Slavin is part of a group working to help lower health care costs for New Jersey residents, under Gov. Phil Murphy’s Health care Affordability, Responsibility, and Transparency (HART) Program. Under his guidance, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center was the first in the U.S. to launch an Alternatives to Opioids Program (ALTO), an approach to acute pain management without the use of opioids. The program was the basis for the Alternatives to Opioids in Emergency Departments Act, which was signed into law in October 2018, expanding its use to hospitals nationwide. It’s no wonder, then, that he was honored as a health care executive of the year in the 2021 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards program.

Gary Small

Small wears a number of closely related hats. He is chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and serves as physician-in-chief for Behavioral Health at Hackensack Meridian. And inaugural H. Hovnanian Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Behavioral Health at Hackensack Meridian Health, which was created with a $3 million donation from its eponymous philanthropy. Small joined HMH in November 2020 and oversees educational programs and training, is responsible for his department’s clinical operations, develops and expands research and academic programs and develops and maintains quality initiatives. He also leads recruiting efforts for physicians within the behavioral health field. In an interview with NJBIZ not long after he arrived at HMH, Small said he was impressed by the health system’s commitment to behavioral health. “What drew me to psychiatry and mental health is how our minds and our brains affect our bodies,” he said. “And if you can take care of your brain, take care of your mind, that’s going to have tremendous impact on not only your overall health but your wellbeing and quality of life.”

Marco Taglietti

Three in four women will get a vaginal yeast infection in their life, so why haven’t pharma companies focused on addressing it? Taglietti leads pharmaceutical company Scynexis, which last year gained FDA approval for Ibrexafungerp, the first pill to treat vaginal yeast infections created in several decades. The pill, dubbed Brexafemme, will give millions of women each year another option for how to address the common and uncomfortable malady. The company expects an additional approval for prevention of recurrent vaginal yeast infections by the end of 2022. What’s more, Ibrexafungerp also performed well in trials at treating candida auris, a highly drug resistant and potentially deadly infection. In 2021, Ibrexafungerp was the first investigational antifungal agent with reported clinical data in patients in hospital settings with C. auris infections: out of 74 patients, 64 saw clinical benefits from Ibrexafungerp and 46 patients saw a complete or partial response. In 18 others, the disease stabilized.

Deborah Visconi

As head of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, Visconi oversees one of the nation’s largest public hospitals. New Bridge had spent years under state scrutiny, following reports by government agencies and media outlets about potential safety lapses. Visconi took the helm in 2017, when the beleaguered hospital was moving away from a for-profit management company and its prior title of Bergen Regional Medical Center. Since then, she’s dramatically ramped up New Bridge’s opioid, mental health and substance abuse treatment services, and veteran’s health care. The hospital has gotten nods for the quality of treatment to its LGBTQ+ patients. Overall, the effects of Visconi’s leadership have paid off: Last fall, the hospital earned an “A” grade from Leapfrog in its hospital safety ratings. On the heels of the pandemic, the child and adolescent mental and behavioral health inpatient care facility at Bergen New Bridge has been hit by “a bit of a tsunami,” Visconi told NJBIZ in 2022. In response, the facility launched the Hope and Resiliency Center, an adolescent intensive outpatient program, to address issues that don’t require inpatient care but do require a higher level of care and attention. In May, it also expanded its footprint with a new satellite location in Bergenfield. The clinical affiliate of Rutgers, has forged partnerships with other key health care players across the state, as well, such as the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the NJ Reentry Corp.

Dennis Wilson

Wilson joined Delta Dental of New Jersey and Connecticut in September 2013 as president and CEO. His holistic view on the link between oral health and overall well-being is helping to lead Delta Dental through an era of renewed oral health care leadership, transformation, and enterprise modernization, while continuing the organization’s 50-year legacy of serving families, businesses, dental professionals, and the community. Wilson’s commitment to building high-performing enterprises and support for healthier communities has led him to take on diverse corporate and community board appointments with Delta Dental Plans Association, DeltaUSA, Encara Inc., Healthentic Inc., Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Atlantic Health System, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and Paradigm Oral Surgery, a subsidiary of InTandem Capital Partners. Prior to joining Delta ,Wilson served as president of Coventry Health Care, an Aetna Company, where he managed five states that represented the highest total contribution to earnings among all Coventry regions nationwide. In addition to serving on the Delta Dental Plans Association board, Wilson is a member of DDPA’s executive committee and serves as immediate past chair of DeltaUSA’s board of trustees. He also serves as a vice president and trustee of the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation. Wilson currently serves as trustee and immediate past chair of Community Foundation of New Jersey ($700 million of charitable assets), trustee of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the NJCC Executive Committee.