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Health Care Power 50 A-H

Kevin Ali

Kevin Ali, CEO, Merck's NewCoWith three decades of pharmaceutical commercial experience at Merck, Ali was named the CEO of NewCo, a global biopharmaceutical leader in women’s health formed as a spinoff from Merck. He brings extensive knowledge of the industry’s customers, therapeutic areas and subsidiary operations to lead the creation and expansion of NewCo. Ali has held a number of leadership roles within Merck, most recently heading its enterprise portfolio strategy initiative where he was responsible for evaluating the company’s transformation of the its Human Health operations, including a greater focus on strategic priorities. Before that, Ali was president of MSD International, where he was responsible for the management of all commercial markets outside the U.S. These markets serve 96 percent of the world’s population, and over half of Merck’s pharmaceutical and vaccines revenues. He has also had global responsibility for the company’s Diversified Brands business, a portfolio of mature products that plays a critical role in serving the needs of customers and patients around the world.

Jackie Baras

Jackie Baras will serve as LGBT health navigator for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Baras in September was named as LGBT health navigator for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the New Brunswick-based RWJBarnabas facility. In this new role she serves as representative and liaison for RWJUH’s LGBT patients and employees as well as works with the hospital and its leaders to ensure the delivery of services. She also focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, innovation, education and identification of referrals from the community. A player in getting RWJUH’s first LGBT business resource group – PROUD (Promoting Respect, Outreach, Understanding and Dignity) – off the ground, Baras has a history of working with hospital leadership. At RWJUH Somerset she helped to establish the PROUD Family Health Center, the first hospital-based LGBT clinic in the state. Baras also serves as quality nurse manager for PeriOperative Services; lead group facilitator of the PROUDLY ME education and support group; group facilitator for the PROUD Community Advisory Council; and co-chair of the PROUD Business Resource Group at RWJUH.

Joseph Barone

School of Pharmacy Acting Dean Joseph Barone

Barone is a professor and dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. He served as chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration for 24 years, before taking on the role of acting dean in October 2011, and was appointed the ninth dean of the school in September 2013. Barone also serves on the state Health Planning Board and formerly chaired the executive committee of the New Jersey Medical Emergency Disaster Prevention and Response Expert Panel. In 1984, he founded the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program which has graduated more than 1,000 post-doctoral fellows and was recently expanded to include physician post-docs who will train with the pharmacy post-docs. This program is the only one of its kind in the United States and attracts trainees from all over the country to train and ultimately stay in New Jersey.

Jeff Brown

Jeff Brown, head of NJ Department of Health medical marijuana program.

Two years ago, Jeff Brown entered uncharted territory when he became the state’s assistant health commissioner overseeing the medicinal marijuana program. New Jersey’s program had existed since 2009, but looked nothing like it does now: Gov. Phil Murphy was explicit about his plans to expand the program, and Brown was to oversee all of it. Under Brown, the regime has grown by nearly 60,000 patients to date. On paper, the number of alternative treatment centers licensed to dole out the medicine has doubled, though physical evidence of that has been much slower to develop. The Department of Health has been saddled with lawsuits from both the 2018 and 2019 alternative treatment center review process, the latter of which is still on hold due to a court-ordered stay. However, Brown reportedly told the 2018 awardees in late 2019 to get their act together and serve patients quickly, and they’ve listened, allowing the DOH to grant five of the “new six” permits to put plants in the ground. More plants in the ground means more patients can be served, and with 3,800 patients signing onto the program per month, a larger canopy is necessary. Since Brown stepped into his role, the state’s canopy has quintupled from 45,000 plants to 260,000 plants.

Anthony Coscia

Tony CosciaA partner in the prestigious law firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, Coscia leads a team actively involved in the health care space advising significant New Jersey institutions with respect to corporate, financial and real estate transactions. This includes health insurers and several of the state’s largest hospital systems. In addition, he is counsel to developers working on a number of major real estate projects anchored around health care-related uses, which includes the proposed development of the New Jersey Cancer Institute in New Brunswick. He also represents some of the state’s largest financial institutions in connection with health care-related lending and capital markets transactions. Coscia is the chairman of Amtrak and one of three trustees of the Gateway Development Program Corp., the nonprofit managing the estimated $14.3 billion bridge and tunnel infrastructure project. Coscia has been a power player in the region’s, and the nation’s, transportation system since becoming chairman of Amtrak in 2013. But if Gateway does get going in earnest, the jobs and general economic activity it will throw off will translate into a huge new power center — with Coscia standing center stage. He also chairs its audits and finance committee. In addition, Coscia serves as chairman at SUEZ North America Inc. and is on the board of OceanFirst Financial Corp., Georgetown University and New Jersey Community Development Corp.

Michellene Davis

Michellene Davis, president-elect of Executive Women of New Jersey and executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of RWJBarnabas Health.

Davis, chief corporate affairs officer at RWJBarnabas Health and a prominent voice for the sprawling hospital system, served as chief policy counsel to former Gov. Jon Corzine, and has used that experience to work with elected officials to advance health care issues affecting the state. She was the first woman and person of color to serve as executive vice president at the former Saint Barnabas Health Care System and runs social-determinants program for RWJ Barnabas, working with community leaders to enhance the social conditions around the state to improve the health of residents. That has become increasingly relevant, as the Murphy administration eyes redevelopment that would benefit all residents and communities in the state, including through the notion of building healthy communities.

Joseph Devine

Joseph Devine, New Jersey president and chief experience officer, Jefferson Health; chair, Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce

Devine is New Jersey president and chief experience officer for Jefferson Health. A longtime leader of what until fall 2017 was Kennedy Health, Devine is an officer of the corporation and an ex-officio member of the Jefferson Health New Jersey Hospital Board of Trustees. Under his leadership, Jefferson Health – New Jersey has been named a “Top Workplace” by Philly.com five times. In 2016, then-Kennedy was the only hospital system in the United States honored as a Sepsis Hero by the Sepsis Alliance for its extraordinary sepsis detection and treatment program. Since 2014, Jefferson Health’s New Jersey hospitals have received annual awards from the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ network as top performing in the state for providing safe, high-quality, and effective patient care. In addition, Jefferson Health’s three New Jersey hospitals have each received numerous “A” grades in Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety ratings for their ability to prevent errors, injuries and infection. Most recently, Jefferson Health’s three New Jersey hospitals have been awarded the 2019 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. An active, visible leader, Devine has been honored repeatedly for his leadership and community outreach.

Lawrence Downs

Larry Downs, CEO, Medical Society of New Jersey.

As head of the largest organization of physicians in the state, Downs oversees an agency that advocates on how thousands of doctors in New Jersey would be affected by health policies, legislative and regulatory matters, health care quality improvement and public health matters. Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States, and publishes two journals: Journal of the Medical Society of New Jersey and the Transactions of the Medical Society of New Jersey. Downs is currently executive director of the Institute of Medicine and Public Health of New Jersey, and has served a variety of executive positions within Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the American Cancer Society’s New Jersey Division. As the largest group in the state representing doctors, the input of Downs and MSNJ President Dr. Marc Levine has been critical for a variety of health care issues and how they are likely to play out in the public and private sector. Those issues have ranged from the assisted suicide bill to opioid addiction and treatment, teen vaping-usage and, most recently efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

John Fanburg

John Fanburg, Brach Eichler.

During more than three decades of practice in health and hospital law, Fanburg has represented or represents some of the state’s largest medical societies: New Jersey Obstetrical & Gynecological Society, the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Center, New Jersey Orthopedic Society, and New Jersey Academy of Opthamology, just to name a few. Multiple major hospitals and medical groups look to Fanburg for his in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the health care business and for help positioning themselves correctly in the ever-evolving reform landscape. He wears many hats at Brach Eichler as the Roseland firm’s managing member, chair of its health care law group and co-chair of its cannabis practice. And Fanburg’s work is varied: from establishing outpatient health care offices and diagnostic imaging facilities to overseeing the establishment and transaction of hospitals and nursing homes, he’s seen as an expert in the field and known for excellence in transactions, perseverance in deal-making and strength in corporate and regulatory matters.

Susan Feeney

Susan Feeney, attorney, McCarter & English.

Feeney is a leading attorney statewide representing hospitals and other health care facilities in property tax disputes. Her work has helped create a New Jersey property taxation landscape that allows hospitals, health care systems and other entities to operate cost-effectively and efficiently. She routinely litigates property tax appeals, including her representation of Hunterdon Medical Center before the state Supreme Court in a case against the Township of Readington, which resulted in a ruling that under the state’s property tax exemption statute, any medical or diagnostic service a hospital patient may require constitutes a core “hospital purpose” and that when an off-site facility provides such services, tax exemption requires an evaluation of the degree to which its activities are integrated with a hospital and supervised by hospital personnel.

Warren Geller

Warren Geller, CEO, Englewood Health.

Geller is president and CEO of Englewood Health, the health system comprising Englewood Hospital, the Englewood Health Physician Network, and the Englewood Health Foundation. Under his leadership, the organization has transformed from a community hospital into a leading tertiary health system. Since Geller joined Englewood Health in 2009, the system has increased patient volume and acuity and improved financial performance along with enhanced quality and safety outcomes, resulting in the designation as a Top Hospital for patient safety by the Leapfrog Group in 2014, 2015, and 2019. Geller has focused on community relations; modernized the hospital’s campus, facilities, and technology infrastructure; and strengthened key clinical programs. He has also helped lead the expansion of outpatient services and the health system’s integrated physician network, which now encompasses more than 450 providers across six counties. In 2019, under his leadership, Englewood Health signed a definitive agreement to merge with Hackensack Meridian Health. Once approved by regulatory agencies, this strategic move will accelerate Englewood’s ability to deliver innovative, compassionate care to patients when, where, and how they need it.

Alex Gorsky


Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson.

Gorsky was named CEO of Johnson & Johnson in April 2012 and chairman later in the year. Under his leadership, J&J continues to be one of the world’s most prominent pharmaceutical companies, though the past year has been marked by litigation over its production and marketing of opioids and a baby powder that allegedly contained evidence of asbestos contamination. The company insists that the powder is safe but Gorsky himself was ordered to testify in court during one of the powder cases. And last summer, J&J was ordered to pay damages in a case brought by Oklahoma authorities over the company’s marketing of opioid drugs. The cases have and will continue to test Gorsky’s leadership of a company that stands as one of New Jersey’s largest and most important corporate citizens.

Brian Gragnolati

Brian Gragnolati, CEO and president, Atlantic Health System

As president and CEO of Atlantic Health System and a recognized voice in the national health care conversation, Gragnolati is one of the most influential executives in the state. His clout extended across the nation in 2019 when he served as chair of the American Hospital Association, advancing key issues including innovation and the accessibility and affordability of care. Gragnolati’s AHA service continues as immediate past chair this year, maintaining his role in the organization and its 5,000 member hospitals and health systems, as well as the ongoing national health care debate. At Atlantic, Gragnolati oversees a workforce of 17,000 caregivers who serve more than half the state, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. Throughout Gragnolati’s tenure, Atlantic has continuously been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. He has built a diverse team of administrative, clinical and physician leaders who continue to garner national attention by embracing his patient-centric vision.

Tomas Gregorio

Tomas Gregorio, senior executive director for health care systems innovation at New Jersey Innovation Institute.

As senior vice president at the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT corporation, Gregorio has overall responsibility for the success and operation of programs helping the government and health care industry tackle the day-to-day problems faced by physicians, health systems, and payers as they seek to reconcile the seemingly conflicting goals of affordability, access and quality. Gregorio’s health care division has developed expertise in creating commercialized health care products and services after execution of federal- and state-funded experiments. His team’s work has already paid off with $175 million in savings over a five-year period on Medicare/Medicaid payments tied to improved health care outcomes. Working with Dr. Shereef Elnahal, then state commissioner of health — now president and CEO of University Hospital — his team was able to connect admissions, discharges and transfers (ADT) from all 71 hospitals in the state to track the activity of all 8.5 million New Jersey residents. As of March 9, all providers and payers in the state are required to connect and track their organizations’ ADTs. Gregorio previously served in various roles as a senior hospital executive and CEO, consultant and population health software executive for more than 25 years.

John Gribbin

John Gribbon, president and CEO, CentraState Healthcare System.

Gribbin is the president and chief executive officer of CentraState Healthcare System. Before joining CentraState in 2000, he was a founding member and served as executive vice president of Meridian Health System, and he previously served as president of The Medical Center of Ocean County. Gribbin’s extensive career in health care administration spans more than 40 years. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in 1974 and Rider University with an M.B.A. in finance in 1979. His numerous affiliations include: fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; member and past chairman of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Hospital Association; member and past chairman of the board of trustees of the Central Jersey Blood Center and chairman of the Hospital Research and Education Trust of NJHA.

Lori Herndon

Lori Herndon, AtlantiCare.

As president and CEO of AtlantiCare, Herndon is responsible for the health system’s strategic growth, operations and development. She leads more than 6,000 AtlantiCare staff, providers, and volunteers, who serve the community in five southern New Jersey counties. AtlantiCare, based in Egg Harbor Township, comprises AtlantiCare Regional Health Services including AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) with three locations — in Atlantic City, Pomona and Hammonton — other ambulatory care services, and AtlantiCare Physician Group; the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Solutions, an accountable care organization. Under her leadership, ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet-designated hospital and has been redesignated three times. ARMC Atlantic City Campus earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers in 2017 with redesignation in 2019. Also in 2019, Herndon led ARMC in earning the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for advanced certification for Inpatient Diabetes Care. Herndon joined AtlantiCare in 1983 as a staff nurse in critical care. She has served in executive roles for the system since 2007. Before her current role, she concurrently served as executive vice president, AtlantiCare, and president and CEO, ARMC.

Leslie Hirsch

Leslie Hirsch will be Saint Peter's interim CEO.

A seasoned health care executive whose career spans 40 years, Hirsch serves as president and CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick. Before joining Saint Peter’s in 2015, Hirsch served for seven years as president and CEO of Saint Clare’s Health System in Denville. He also previously served as president and CEO of Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, starting at Touro in August 2005, just one week before the city took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Before joining Touro, Hirsch served as president and CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. He also spent 14 years in Camden with The Cooper Health System beginning in 1988 as executive vice president and chief operating officer and became president and CEO in 1999. During his tenure in New Orleans, Hirsch played an active role in the city’s recovery efforts. He served as a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Public Health Task Force and twice testified before the U.S. Congress to advocate for the needs of New Orleans’ hospitals. Last year was a good one for Saint Peter’s, both financially and clinically. Saint Peter’s cared for 24,000 inpatients, including more than 5,400 newborns and had the highest recorded volume of 72,000 ED visits. Keep in mind the context: those results came amid consolidation in the hospital industry that left Saint Peter’s as the sole independently operated hospital/health system in Middlesex County.

Gary Horan

Gary Horan

Gary Horan has served as president and chief executive officer of Trinitas Regional Medical Center and its parent organization, Trinitas Health, since 2001. He has extensive experience in health care leadership among hospitals in both New Jersey and New York. Before coming to Trinitas he served as the president and CEO of Our Lady of Mercy Healthcare System in the Bronx and he has held senior leadership positions with New York University Medical Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York and JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey. He earned his BS degree in Economics from St. Peter’s University, Jersey City, and his MA degree in Healthcare Administration from the George Washington University, School of Government and Business. Horan serves on the board of the New Jersey Hospital Association and is currently chairman of the organization’s HealthPAC board.

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