Jersey City Medical Center names new chief medical officer

Jersey City Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, announced the appointment of Dr. Ije Akunyili as its new chief medical officer, effective Jan. 2. Akunyili is the medical center’s first Black chief medical officer.

“RWJBarnabas Health is proud to add Dr. Akunyili to its executive clinical leadership team. Her experience managing multispecialty physician groups in integrated health care systems will help support Jersey City Medical Center in providing comprehensive health care throughout the community,” Dr. Andy Anderson, executive vice president and chief medical and quality officer for RWJBarnabas Health, said. “She will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

“Dr. Akunyili has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and, as our chief medical officer, we look forward to creating a world-class experience for every patient at Jersey City Medical Center. I am confident that Hudson County will benefit in a great way from her leadership, and that her presence will have tremendous impact,” Michael Prilutsky, CEO and president of the medical center, said.

In her most recent role, Akunyili served as the regional medical director for TeamHealth, Northeast Group, where she had strategic, operational and clinical oversight of nearly 20 emergency departments, critical care and hospitalist service lines in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. She led an unprecedented fourfold expansion of service lines with a specific focus on medical services and access to care for underserved populations.

Previously, Akunyili served as the chair of emergency medicine at Waterbury Hospital, a Level II trauma teaching hospital. There, she was the change agent who led a dynamic team in dramatically reducing the lengths of stay, improving overall performance across multiple patient-centered metrics and increasing physician staffing. She was awarded the 2019 Medical Director of the Year Award for the impressive turnaround of the Waterbury Hospital Emergency Department.