Tough job: Aronson named CEO of association representing long-term care industry in N.J.

Andrew Aronson has been named the new CEO of the Health Care Association of New Jersey — the largest trade association representing the state’s long-term care industry — the association announced. He will assume the position Feb. 1.

It may be the most challenging association job in the state.

The state’s long-term care facilities have come under incredible scrutiny and criticism since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as thousands of residents have succumbed to the virus. There have been numerous calls for investigations.

In the role, Aronson will represent an industry that serves 60,000 residents and employs a diverse and vibrant workforce of 70,000 statewide.

Aronson is a veteran New Jersey health care law attorney. He started his private law practice in 2000 after having served as both a legal specialist in regulatory affairs and the director of long-term care licensing and certification for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

“With the global pandemic still raging, and, as our aging population continues to increase, New Jersey has never relied more heavily on our effective and resilient long-term care industry,” Aronson said. “I am honored to be named the president and CEO of the Health Care Association of New Jersey and proud to represent our members. I look forward to working with all of New Jersey’s stakeholders to promote high-quality care and advocating for the development of policies that support such care.”

HCANJ advocates for economic and regulatory policies that promote access to quality care and enhance quality of life for residents in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities.

As CEO, Aronson will represent the association’s diverse membership — nonprofit and for-profit nursing homes, assisted living communities and facilities for individuals with disabilities — and serve as its spokesman. He also will act as a liaison with the association’s national affiliates, the Washington D.C.-based American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

Aronson’s appointment was confirmed by HCANJ’s executive board Dec. 30. He will replace Stuart H. Shapiro, who has served as the association’s interim CEO since October 2020.

“Andy has served HCANJ as a highly engaged and informed board member and has represented many of our members in his private practice,” said Executive Board Chair Kevin A. Stagg, chief financial officer at Christian Health Care Center. “His professional experience, qualifications and accomplishments, and knowledge of the issues are what led to his appointment, and I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of the state’s long-term care industry.”

Aronson has earned high marks from his industry colleagues for his advocacy efforts throughout New Jersey.

Ari Stern, CEO at Autumn Lake Healthcare and HCANJ member, said: “At this critical moment, there is no doubt in my mind that Andy will bring the strong, visionary leadership that’s required to propel HCANJ to the next level. Andy and I have been working together for the past 14 years, and he’s been a great asset to the Autumn Lake team.”