Herndon succeeds 2021 Board Chair Douglas Struyk, of Wayne, CEO and president of Christian Health. Struyk was the first chair in NJHA’s history from the post-acute/long-term care and behavioral health communities.
The official installation was held virtually during NJHA’s 103rd Annual Meeting, which also saw the appointment of new board officers and members.
“I am humbled and honored to serve our broader community and to work even more closely with hospital and health care leaders across the state,” Herndon said. “The theme of the NJHA meeting was ‘Building Health.’ This is very appropriate as we build back from COVID. ‘Building Health’ also aligns with what we live and breathe every day at AtlantiCare, where our vision is ‘Building Healthy Communities Together.’”
Herndon, a Brigantine resident who has served on the board since 2014, assumes the role at a time when the association and its members are continuing to care for New Jersey residents amid the ongoing pandemic while simultaneously addressing post-COVID challenges, including bolstering the health care workforce and addressing health equity in vulnerable communities.
NJHA’s road ahead from COVID will include a focus on support and resiliency of the health care workforce and “leading the discussion about how we deliver care and build staff pipelines to ensure caregivers have the team members they need,” Herndon said.
A former ICU nurse, Herndon also had this message reminding New Jerseyans of the contributions and sacrifices health care workers have made over the past two years: “There’s one last thing I want to address today, and that is kindness. Sadly, our team members have too often been on the receiving end of growing frustration and division in our society. I propose that we consider kindness as another social determinant of health. It is a fundamental human trait that connects us, and it may be the glue we all need in these trying times.”
In her remarks to members, NJHA CEO and President Cathy Bennett discussed 2021’s historic public health response and the transformative impact it will have on health care, the economy and society. New Jersey’s health care providers have already embraced that change with innovations in clinical trials, new treatments, building design and data science during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to sweep the globe, and I imagine it won’t be the last. In fact, history is filled with health crises that shaped our world,” Bennett said. “And, so, with crisis as catalyst, this is our time to contribute to our health care history. It’s inspiring to see the power of our health care community to comfort, to heal and to save lives. Each day we respond to this pandemic is also a step toward recovery.”
Under Herndon as board chair, the full slate of NJHA Board officers includes:
- Vice Chair Edward Condit, of Denville, CEO and president of St. Mary’s General Hospital.
- Treasurer Bill Arnold, of Florham Park, CEO and president of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and president, Southern Region, RWJBarnabas Health.
- Secretary Mark Stauder, of Bonita Springs, Florida, chief operating officer at Hackensack Meridian Health.
The following health care leaders also were appointed as new board members: Paige Dworak, of East Orange, CEO and president of CareWell Health Medical Center; Amy Mansue of Mullica Hill, CEO and president of Inspira Health; Brian Sweeney of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, president and chief operating officer of Jefferson Health – New Jersey; and Dr. Steven Sheris, of Livingston, executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atlantic Health System.