The New Jersey Healthcare Executive Leadership Academy welcomed members of its Class of 2019, on Jan. 24, its third class of health care executives since the academy’s inception in 2017.
Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey and Dr. Aakash Shah, medical director at New Jersey Reentry Corp. and an emergency physician at Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School served as the featured speakers and guest faculty for the kickoff session.
The goal of NJHELA is to build collaborative leadership skills among physicians and executives from both hospitals and health insurance companies.
“Physicians, payers and hospitals each have their own unique perspective when it comes to health care issues in New Jersey,” said Larry Downs, CEO of the Medical Society of New Jersey in a statement.
“Collaboration is key when working to improve health outcomes for patients. NJHELA gives these three groups the opportunity to come together, understand one another and, ultimately, develop solutions that will make a real difference,” said Downs.
NJHELA is a cooperative undertaking among MSNJ, New Jersey Association of Health Plans, and New Jersey Hospital Association in coordination with academic partner Seton Hall University with grant funding provided by The Physicians Foundation and the Institute of Medicine & Public Health of New Jersey.
For the past two years, the program focused on improving care at the end-of-life, with members developing and formally presenting projects that highlighted different aspects of this important issue. Final presentations showcased how the three industries – physicians, hospitals and health insurance – could work cooperatively together to both address and improve this statewide health care issue.
This year, NJHELA will be focusing on combating the opioid crisis here within the state.
“Contrary to stereotypes, New Jersey’s opioid crisis isn’t isolated to our cities. The data shows a growing map of New Jersey communities at high risk in this expanding public health crisis. It will take a collaborative approach and creative problem-solving to address this challenge, and that’s what NJHELA brings to this dialogue,” said Cathy Bennett, president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association.
“We look forward to seeing the innovative thinking that comes from this latest cohort of healthcare leaders,” said Bennett.
“We are building something special here in New Jersey through this program that benefits not only the participants of the leadership program, but also the larger health care system in New Jersey,” said Ward Sanders, president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans. “We look forward to pointing our joint energies towards combating the opioid crisis.”
The members of the 2019 class include:
- Dr. Eric Alcera, associate corporate medical director, Hackensack Meridian Health
- Dr. James Baird; attending emergency medicine physician, assistant medical director of emergency department, Team Health Northeast; Jefferson Health
- Dr. Laura Balsamini; national vice president, Pharmacy Services; Summit Health Management
- Dr. Edith Calamia; chief medical officer, NJ, E&I, M&R; UnitedHealthcare
- Rachel Corus; director, Behavioral Health; Horizon Health/CarePoint
- Dr. Mary Ditri; director, Professional Practice; New Jersey Hospital Association
- Dr. Brian Freed, interventional pain management, Summit Medical Group
- Dr. Kennedy Ganti; primary care physician, physician informatician, chair Advisory Committee – OneHealth NJ; Medical Society of New Jersey
- JoAnn Karcic, behavioral health programs, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- Dr. John Kulin, CEO, The Urgent Care Group
- Michael Litterer, director of prevention and recovery, RWJBarnabas Health
- Sarah Lynn Geiger, vice president, New Jersey Association of Health Plans
- Ravi Maharajh, program manager, Rutgers Health – University Behavioral Health Care
- Dr. Steven Orland, physician & partner, Medical Society of New Jersey
- Tracy Parris-Benjamin, clinical design liaison, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
- Kenneth Rodenbaugh, Southern Ocean Medical Center – Hackensack Meridian Health
- Gloria-Ann Seel, senior director of addictions, AtlantiCare
- Dr. Ramon Solhkhah; chair, Department of Psychiatry and corporate medical director, HMH Behavioral Health Care Transformation Service – Hackensack Meridian Health
- Jill Squiers, government relations manager, AmeriHealth New Jersey
- Ishani Ved; director, Performance Improvement Analytics & Quality; Saint Peter’s University Healthcare System
- Dr. Peter “Tucker” Woods, CMO, Christ Hospital – CarePoint Health