University Hospital welcomes new exec leaders

University Hospital in Newark. ­— File photo

University Hospital on Thursday announced the arrival of two additional leaders to its executive team. The announcement follows the appointment by the board of directors of Ed Jimenez as the new CEO and president.

In early January, the hospital will welcome Maria Brennan as the new chief nursing officer and McKenzie Wilson as the new chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

“We are pleased to welcome these seasoned professionals to the executive leadership team at University Hospital. We have been on an incredible journey over the last several years to transform how we engage with our patients, team members and community, both in and outside of the clinical setting. We look forward to Maria and McKenzie sharing their fresh ideas and enthusiasm as we continue to pursue our mission to deliver exceptional care to every patient, every time,” Mary Maples, interim CEO and president of University Hospital, stated.

Maria Brennan. (Photso courtesy University Hospital)

Brennan comes to University Hospital after spending several years providing health care consulting services to various New Jersey and New York hospital systems and nursing agencies. She is also the former vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for Lourdes Health System in Camden, where she led the transformation of the health system into a high reliability organization.

Before Lourdes Health System, Brennan served as the chief nursing officer of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, where she led the regional medical center in attaining its third and fourth Magnet redesignations.

McKenzie Wilson.

Wilson joins UH from her position as counsel at Lowenstein Sandler LLP in Roseland. There, she handled litigation, counseling and administrative matters as part of the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense group. Wilson represented health care providers and other highly regulated clients in state investigations and federal and state regulatory actions, including close interaction with the New Jersey Departments of Health, Human Services and Banking & Insurance, as well as the Office of the Attorney General.

Before her time with Lowenstein Sandler, Wilson served as deputy chief counsel in the Office of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. There, she led a team of attorneys in the Governor’s Counsel Office and focused on a variety of issue areas, from Medicaid reforms to consumer protections and rental assistance programs. She also participated as a key member of the administration’s COVID-19 legal team, reviewing virus-related documents including directives, rule waivers, guidance and press releases across an array of state departments. Wilson was also integral in the implementation of the governor’s COVID-19 relief and recovery plan, including creating Executive Orders relating to reopenings, health and safety requirements, worker protections, school operations, hospital and health resource management, and fund transparency.

“I am honored to extend my public service in support of University Hospital. As we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, I have gained a unique perspective and a sincere appreciation for the role health care plays in our state,” Wilson said. “It is a privilege for me to become a part of the University Hospital family and join these health care heroes in serving Newark, the region, and our state as a whole.”