ROI Influencers: Health Care 2021 — Hospital Heroes, A to M

John Bonamo
Chief medical and quality officer
RWJBarnabas Health

The well-respected top doc at one of the state’s two biggest health systems, Bonamo is responsible for overseeing and directing the care from more than 10,000 physicians, residents and interns. He also was the point person when Barnabas became one of the first health systems in the state and country to mandate the COVID vaccine. “We think this is a real call to safety. People have strongly held beliefs, but we believe the safety approach trumps everything else. And that is why we felt we needed to do this.”

John Chovanes
Founding medical director/chief surgeon of military, diplomatic and field affairs
Cooper University Health Care

It’s not enough to just thank veterans for their service. Chovanes was recently presented with the Meritorious Service Medal from the Army for the establishment of the Army Medical Department Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training Program at Cooper, which provides opportunities for the Army’s elite medical professionals to work in the nation’s busiest trauma centers to sharpen their skills and support military medical readiness.

Regina Foley
Senior vice president, transformation/integration
Hackensack Meridian Health

She’s tasked with helping to transform the massive system as it adjusts to pandemic and post-pandemic operations. Most pressing, Foley has been in charge of all vaccination efforts — both internally and externally — an effort that dubbed her the “vaccine czar.” This task includes the system’s efforts to reach the highly skeptical and concerned underserved communities.

Warren Geller
Englewood Health

His impact at Englewood is far-reaching. Geller helped lead expansion of the physician network (it now has more than 500 in six counties) and the system is close to opening a new location in Journal Square — part of a plan to open more hubs in North Jersey. Englewood is one of only 30 hospitals in nation to earn Magnet Recognition for nursing five times — and was selected by Leapfrog to be the only hospital in country to win its Pandemic Hero of the Year award.

Frank Ghinassi
Senior vice president, behavioral health
RWJBarnabas Health

The impact of COVID-19 on behavioral health and addiction is just beginning to be realized. It’s the reason why mental health professionals such as Ghinassi were honored with the top spot in the 2021 ROI Influencers: Health Care list. Ghinassi is one of the top executives setting procedures for helping the most vulnerable in the state — and that goes for both patients and health care workers.

Lori Herndon

The new $38.3 million, three-story, 69,700-square-foot health care pavilion that is scheduled to open next fall is more evidence of the health system’s commitment to Atlantic City, as the federally qualified health center will feature family planning services, a maternal/fetal medicine program for high-risk patients and a perinatal clinic. The facility also will feature an urgent care center and a dialysis unit.

Les Hirsch
Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Long known as the top hospital in the state for maternity care, Saint Peter’s continues to be a leader in women’s health issues. It also is a national leader when it comes to best places to work. The hospital was one of four organizations — and the only one in health care — to receive a Teddy Award for its efforts to reduce workplace injuries. The New Brunswick-based hospital has signed a definitive agreement to integrate with RWJBarnabas Health.

Gary Horan
Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Perhaps the most experienced health care exec in the state — this is his 20th year as head of Trinitas, and he has five decades in hospital administration — Horan has helped Trinitas distinguish itself through the manner in which it takes care of its community, particularly the urban community in Elizabeth, and, of course, the vulnerable community. Hospital is in the process of integrating with RWJBarnabas Health.

Nizar Kifaieh
Hudson Regional Hospital

He is a symbol of success in the challenging Hudson County health care ecosystem. Over the past 30 months, Kifaieh has led the facility through a $10 million capital improvement (main lobby, maternity ward, patient rooms, a new pharmacy and operating rooms) while securing in-network status for all major health insurance companies, resulting in coverage for 95% of New Jersey residents.

Indu Lew
Executive VP and chief pharmacy officer
RWJBarnabas Health

Lew’s expert management of the pharmaceutical supply chain has drawn raves from everyone within the organization, as she has ensured patients in 25 divisions and two service lines received the care they needed. She has been essential to the success of the system throughout the pandemic by working to optimize the overall pharmacy and patient care environments.

Anthony Mazzarelli
Cooper University

Trained as an emergency room physician, Mazzarelli has had various roles at Cooper since his arrival in 1999. Prior to being named co- CEO, he was the chief physician executive, where he had oversight of quality and patient safety for the health system.

Audrey Meyers
Valley Health System

Longtime head of Valley Health System has steered it through the pandemic — Valley was one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the state — all while working toward the completion of a new facility, an $800 million hospital that will open in Paramus next year. The 910,000-square-foot hospital will feature 348 medical/surgical beds, 60 critical care beds, 11 operating rooms, six hybrid operating rooms and an emergency department with 70 treatment rooms.

Read the entire list: