Hospital association debuts NJHA Awards, honoring efforts during pandemic

The New Jersey Hospital Association has honored the efforts of its members during the pandemic with a new event, the NJHA Awards.

At a beachfront party held earlier this month, the NJHA honored 14 individuals and organizations for their service to the people of the state during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“It’s been almost 18 months since COVID-19 reached our shores,” NJHA CEO and President Cathy Bennett said in a prepared statement. “With a novel virus, you learn on the move. So, we did what we always do in health care; we faced the challenge head-on. It is ingrained in you — all of you — to care for others before yourselves, and we saw that spirit of self-sacrifice time and time again throughout the pandemic.”

NJHA Chairman Doug Struyk, CEO and president of Christian Health, announced the winners:

  • Distinguished Service: Kevin Slavin, CEO and president, St. Joseph’s Health, and 2020 NJHA chairman;
  • Lifetime Achievement, Leadership: Dr. Frank Vozos, RWJBarnabas Health;
  • Lifetime Achievement, Clinical Excellence: Dr. R. Phillip Dellinger, Cooper University Health Care;
  • Chair’s Awards: Alan Lieber, president, Overlook Medical Center, and vice president, Atlantic Health System; and Joseph Lemaire, president, health ventures, Hackensack Meridian Health;
  • Advocacy Action Award: Fred Hipp Jr., Virtua Health (presented posthumously);
  • Clinical Excellence: St. Joseph’s Health Laboratory;
  • Connect Award for Outstanding Communications; AtlantiCare;
  • Counselor of the Year: Thomas Flynn, senior vice president, legal affairs, Hackensack Meridian Health;
  • Diversity and Inclusion Champion: Atiya Jaha-Rashidi, chief equity officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, RWJBarnabas Health;
  • Emerging Leader: Maggie Pogorelec, director of care coordination and women’s and children’s services, Valley Health System;
  • Excellence in Patient Experience: Virtua Health;
  • Healthy New Jersey Award: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – Somerset;
  • Innovation in Elder Services: Pamela Garofolo, corporate manager, Tapestries Memory Care, United Methodist Communities.