Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

No. 8: Shereef Elnahal

Health Care Power 50

Elnahal is the president and chief executive officer of University Hospital in Newark, the state’s only public hospital, its largest safety net hospital and one of only three Level 1 trauma centers in the state. He assumed the role in July 2019, after having served as Gov. Phil Murphy’s commissioner of health.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO, University Hospital

With his statewide experience and public health background, Elnahal has offered a breath of fresh air for University Hospital and a new vision for the facility. Elnahal has overseen initiatives including a violence intervention program, the establishment of an Arrhythmia Institute, and a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Treatment & Observation Protocols program that has successfully reduced the average length of stay for babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome by more than 50 percent, from more than 42 to days to fewer than 20 days.

University Hospital has operated under state oversight for years. A December 2018 state monitor report found that the quality of treatment and health care at the Newark hospital deteriorated because of poor management and financial oversight. Elnahal was closely involved with state oversight on the health department’s side.

“I want to see the state’s only public hospital succeed for the patients who need care, for the broader community in Newark and for the frontline clinicians and employees who strive to provide the highest quality care every day,” Elnahal said in December 2018.

Write to the Editorial Department at