HMH leader Shah working as White House fellow

Dr. Aakash Shah, a director at Hackensack Meridian Health and a trustee at Integrity House, is working as a 2021-2022 White House fellow, the organization announced.

The White House Fellows Program is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Selection into the program is based on a record of professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills, the potential for further growth and a commitment to service.

In this role, Shah will work closely with and advise top officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The White House Fellows Program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials. The fellowship functions as a nonpartisan program maintained throughout both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Throughout the year, fellows actively participate in an education program that expands their knowledge of leadership, policy-making and contemporary issues. The mission of the White House Fellows Program is to encourage active citizenship and service to the country.

Integrity House CEO Robert Budsock saluted Shah.

“Aakash has been an incredible asset as part of Integrity House’s board of trustees, contributing his expertise and insights to help to advance Integrity House’s mission and to positively impact the lives of our clients,” he said. “In addition to his board leadership, Akash’s knowledge and guidance during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic were instrumental in helping us to establish procedures and protocols that helped to mitigate the spread of the virus in our residential programs.”

Integrity House is one of the largest not-for-profit providers of substance use disorder treatment and mental health services licensed in the state, with programs in Kearny, Newark, Secaucus, Toms River, Morris Plains and Paramus.

In addition to serving on the board of trustees of Integrity House, Shah is a practicing emergency room physician with the Hackensack Meridian Health system, where he worked on the front lines helping to treat some of the earliest confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Shah also serves as the director of addiction medicine and is the medical director of Project HEAL (a hospital-based violence intervention program) at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Additionally, he works closely with former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey as the medical director of New Jersey Reentry Corp. His work in those roles has received the bipartisan endorsement of five former New Jersey governors and resulted in several reforms, including the elimination of prior authorization requirements for medications to treat opioid use disorder.

Shah obtained his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, MBA and M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and earned his B.A. and B.S. from Ursinus College.