After joining the facility on Rehill Street in Somerville in 2015 – and leading it through its merger with Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Barnabas Health 14 months later – Anthony Cava is set to retire from his position as president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset after this year.
Chief Operating Officer Patrick Delany will succeed Cava as chief administrative officer for the location, RWJUH Somerset announced May 16, with Cava’s retirement effective Jan. 2, 2023.
“Tony Cava guided RWJUH Somerset through a transformative time in the hospital’s 123-year history, driving significant growth and expansion of the hospital’s services to meet the community’s needs,” said RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region Executive Vice President Bill Arnold, who also serves as president and CEO for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “We are grateful for his vision and leadership, particularly during the unprecedented challenges we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Of Cava’s replacement, Arnold continued: “Patrick Delaney has worked side-by-side with Tony for the past seven years and brings a broad knowledge and passion for health care operations and business development. He will continue to build on the hospital’s tradition of clinical excellence, positioning it for future growth and ensuring that Central New Jersey residents have access to the highest quality medical care.”
A registered pharmacist, Cava has more than 35 years’ experience in health care administration. While at the head of RWJUH Somerset, the hospital became the first in New Jersey to offer primary care services to the LGBTQ+ community with the opening of the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center in 2017.
And he’s overseen renovations to nearly every part of the campus. That incudes a three-year cardiology renovation and expansion that upgraded the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, its 60-bed Cardiology Pavilion and Cardiac Diagnostic Testing Services. The facility also boasts a new Same Day Surgery Center, Rehabilitation Services Department and saw renovations to its Maternity Pavilion, Radiology Department and Behavioral Health Unit. Updates are ongoing at the Eating Disorders Unit.
RWJUH Somerset has received high marks for patient safety under Cava, garnering seven consecutive A grades from the Leapfrog Group. In 2021, the hospital said it earned Healthgrades 2021 Patient Safety Excellence Award for ranking in the top 5% nationwide for patient safety. In 2021, the hospital was recognized for three consecutives times as a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nursing Credentialing Center.
Cava’s successor, Delaney, joined RWJUH Somerset in March 2015 as administrative director of operations, just a couple of months after Cava’s start. He was elevated to vice president of operations in 2016, and ultimately to COO in 2020.
Delaney oversees the hospital’s ambulatory services and support areas, including Laboratory, Pharmacy, Radiology, Rehabilitation Services, Maintenance, Food and Nutrition, Environmental Services, Patient Transport, Security, Construction Services, Emergency Management, Pastoral Care and Volunteer Services. According to RWJUH, he has worked closely with Cava in overseeing operations at the facility, and improvements there. This summer, construction will begin on a two-story vertical expansion to house the Orthopedic Center of Excellence.
In addition to overseeing the operational response to COVID-19 – including screenings, testing and vaccination clinics – Delaney also helped lead RWJUH Somerset’s transition to the Epic electronic health record system last year. His experience includes leadership positions at Bayshore Community Hospital, where he served as senior manager of operations, business manager for the Diagnostic Imaging/Women’s Center and physician liaison for surgical services for Bayshore and Riverview Medical Center.