Health care leadership academy welcomes 2nd cohort

The New Jersey Healthcare Executive Leadership Academy, targeting the next generation of leaders in New Jersey, has launched its second cohort.

The six-month program is a partnership between the Medical Society of New Jersey, which has taken the lead, the New Jersey Hospital Association and New Jersey Association of Health Plans.

Program director Sneha Marlene Kalayilparampil has previously said the academy is somewhat like a think tank, with Seton Hall University in charge of the curriculum and organizing guest speakers.

When the program was first announced at the end of 2016, MSNJ aimed to have 30 leaders — 10 candidates from each of the trade groups — but fell short, with 25.

This year, that number is 18.

ROI-NJ has obtained the names of the second cohort:

  • Robyn Agri, physician at St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center;
  • Amina Ahmed, chief of hospital medicine and post-acute care, Summit Medical Group;
  • Reginald Blaber, president of Lourdes Health System;
  • Victoria Brogan, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at NJHA;
  • Chrissy Buteas, CEO and president of the Home Care & Hospice Association;
  • Dominick DiRocco, director of government affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey;
  • Marjorie Forgang, senior director of clinical operations at WellCare Health Plans;
  • Amy Frieman, corporate medical director of palliative care services at Hackensack Meridian Health;
  • Marilyn Gordon, market medical director at UnitedHealthcare;
  • Florence Kariuki, clinical design lead at Horizon;
  • Debra Koss, member of the board of trustees at the New Jersey Psychiatric Association;
  • Danielle Leone, social work supervisor at RWJBarnabas Health
  • Lori Leotta, vice president of national client partnerships at Beacon Health Options;
  • Charles Markowitz, medical director of rehabilitation at RWJBH;
  • Michael Ruiz de Somocurcio, vice president of payor and provider collaboration at Regional Cancer Care Associates;
  • Lisa Rush, director of clinical operations at Horizon;
  • Linda Savino, president of hospice and advanced care programs at VNA Health Group;
  • Puneeta Sharma, medical director of palliative care at Valley Medical Group.

The academy aims to foster better relationships and communication between the three major sectors of health care that typically don’t get chances to mix at other professional conferences or events, according to MSNJ.

This is achieved by focusing on some of the biggest problems in the state, such as end-of-life care, and getting the various parties to brainstorm ways to address them.

The first cohort also focused on end-of-life care. This new group will be focusing on the recommendations from that group and working on implementation, according to MSNJ.