Longtime AtlantiCare executive and CEO since 2016, Lori Herndon was tapped as the next chair of the New Jersey Hospital Association, a trade organization for the state’s hospitals.
Herndon started at South Jersey’s AtlantiCare as a staff nurse in 1983, according to her LinkedIn profile, rising through the ranks to become chief operating officer in January 2007, and then president and CEO in July 2016.
She’s been on the NJHA’s board since 2014. The organization hands down guidance for how hospitals should operate, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic. And they lobby for or against legislation or proposed state regulations that would affect the state’s hospitals.
Herndon succeeds Christian Health President and CEO Douglas Struyk as chair, who was the first in NJHA history to serve in the role from the post-acute/long-term care and behavioral health communities.
Her ascension comes as hospitals and other medical offices face deep staffing shortages and uneasily trek into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to sweep the globe, and I imagine it won’t be the last. In fact, history is filled with health crises that shaped our world,” reads a prepared statement from NJHA Chief Executive Officer Cathy Bennett.
Business groups like the NJHA have been wary about COVID-19 vaccine mandates for health care workers, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a White House mandate that workers at any medical facility that receives federal funding has to get the inoculation.
Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier this month that he was nixing the test-out option for health care workers, citing the high court decision. That means all workers at health care and high-risk, congregate settings in the state have to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Nonetheless, the governor and his administration have assured that the worst of the omicron wave, which drew record-high daily cases of COVID-19, has passed for New Jersey.
With Herndon as board chair, the full slate of NJHA 2022 board officers includes:
- Vice Chair Edward Condit, president and CEO, St. Mary’s General Hospital
- Treasurer Bill Arnold, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; president, Southern Region, RWJBarnabas Health
- Secretary Mark Stauder, chief operating officer, Hackensack Meridian Health.
The group’s new board members are: Paige Dworak, president and CEO, CareWell Health Medical Center; Amy Mansue, president and CEO, Inspira Health; Brian Sweeney, president and COO, Jefferson Health – New Jersey; and Dr. Steven Sheris, executive vice president and chief physician executive, Atlantic Health System.