Health Care Power 50
Halkitis is Dean and Professor of Biostatistics and Urban-Global Public Health at the School of Public Health at Rutgers and Strom is the first chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and the executive vice president for Health Affairs at the university.
Under their leadership, Rutgers has been active in all things COVID for the past year and change, with the creation of the Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, the nation’s largest study on health care workers exposed to COVID-19, and of course, the creation of the saliva test that’s made collecting a sample for the virus much easier for certain populations. And before the release of the vaccine, contact tracing was one of the only tools—besides PPE and social distancing—in New Jersey’s toolbelt to stop the spread of the disease, which has killed more than 24,000 people statewide.
The challenging task is one they’re still involved in more than a year after the pandemic’s onset — both were picked by the Murphy administration to run the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing program to isolate cases and prevent outbreaks.
During his six years at Rutgers, Strom has spearheaded the creation of an interprofessional faculty practice group, the Rutgers Health Group; established a formal partnership with RWJBarnabas Health to create New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive academic health system; and headed a major recruitment drive to bring biomedical researchers and clinicians to Rutgers.
In the past year under his direction, research awards for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, which includes Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and other schools, jumped from $296.5 million to $390.8 million, or 31.8%, from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2019.
Halkitis, a public health psychologist, researcher and educator, is the author of the 2019 book, Out in Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation. His 2013 book, The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience, is a 2014 Lambda Literary Award nominee. Both books received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Book Award in LGBT Psychology.
Halkitis is also the author of Methamphetamine Addiction: Biological Foundations, Psychological Factors, and Social Consequences, and lead editor of two additional books. He has written more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and appears frequently on television, radio, and podcasts. He is, for example, an almost nightly fixture on the NJ PBS broadcast NJ Spotlight News.d