The first few weeks of March 2021 brings a succession of sad one-year anniversaries. The first case of COVID-19 in New Jersey. The first death. The first emergency declaration. So it’s an appropriate time to look back at what happened a year ago, what’s happened since and what we can expect over the next 12 months. And few health care professionals experienced those first few weeks of the pandemic quite like Dr. Shereef Elnahal. As the CEO of University Hospital in Newark, Elnahal witnessed some of the worst manifestations of the outbreak in a vulnerable community. For this edition of NBIZ Conversations, Editor Jeff Kanige spoke with Elnahal, who is also a former state health commissioner, about his reflections on the past year and some of the recent developments that are providing hope after the long lockdown. “If I had to project based on what I’m seeing on the ground and the data we’re seeing, hopefully, if we get enough people vaccinated, if we don’t see some of these variants dominating and causing an uptick in cases — if those two conditions end up being true, then the summer should look a lot better than it did last summer,” he said. Watch the full interview HERE.