The New Jersey Hospital Association handed out awards to industry leaders from across the state at the organization’s 101st Annual Meeting on Jan. 31.
NJHA’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award was presented to John DiAngelo, president and chief executive officer of Inspira Health. DiAngelo dedicated more than three decades to the health care industry, including two at Inspira Health. He became president and CEO of Inspira in 2014 and recently announced his retirement at the end of 2020.
The 2020 Health Care Professional of the Year award was presented to Dr. Meena Murthy, chief of the division of endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism; director of the Thyroid and Diabetes Center; and director of the South Asian Institute at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Murthy took the lead in partnering with the Shri Krishna Nidhi Foundation to develop the South Asian Diabetes Education and Resource Center at the Saint Peter’s South Asian Institute, a comprehensive prevention program providing education, screening, referral and support.
The NJHA Trustee of the Year award was presented to Marc Berson, chairman of the corporate board of trustees for RWJBarnabas Health. Berson spent more than 18 years as chairman of the board of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. He is the founder and chair of The Fidelco Group, a private investment owner-developer of residential, commercial, retail and industrial properties, and has used his expertise in the support the continued revitalization of the City of Newark.
NJHA made a pair of Special Recognition awards, commemorating the achievements of two pillars of the New Jersey health care community: Richard Keenan, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Valley Health System, and Gordon Litwin, partner at Litwin & Provence LLC, and chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health board of trustees.
NJHA, through its Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, also honored one acute care and one post-acute provider for Excellence in Quality Improvement, in recognition of the health care organizations’ advances in quality improvement and patient safety: St. Luke’s Warren Campus and Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
St. Luke’s Warren Campus addressed its growing concerns about C. difficile, an antibiotic-resistant infection of the digestive system, with a unique series of staff education tools. The “Stomping out Spores” team addressed the root causes of the spread of the infection, then implemented an interactive education experience called “Room of Horrors” that demonstrated the importance of hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, proper cleaning of equipment and cross-contamination prevention.
PACE encompasses federal programs designed to provide medical and social care in community settings to individuals who would otherwise need to live in long-term care settings. As a PACE organization, Inspira LIFE used its ability to consistently interact with patients to implement a program improving medication compliance among the diabetic population. Among its achievements, Inspira LIFE implemented a two-year study with 37 patients to help them better manage their diabetes—and saved an estimated $1.2 million in preventable health care costs.
HRET Community Outreach Awards
NJHA and its Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey recognize organizations that identify community needs and implement programs to serve those needs.
In 2020, the behavioral health resiliency recognition went to Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic for its work expanding access and innovating treatment options for people with
mental illness and substance use disorders. The newly formed partnership between HMH and Carrier is a pioneer in providing urgent care medically integrated with behavioral health.
For reducing disparities, the Virtua Health Foundation Inc. was recognized for the Virtua Pediatric Mobile Service program, which provides free services to children in underserved and impoverished communities in South Jersey. Practitioners provide services such as dental and developmental screenings, flu vaccinations and referrals to specialized services in settings where children ordinarily participate and are most convenient to families.
In the category of social determinants of health, Saint Peter’s University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital were recognized for their combined efforts to improve living conditions in New Brunswick through the Healthy Homes Project. The Healthy Homes Project uses a cross-sector approach to ensure that all New Brunswick residents live in safe homes that facilitate healthy living.