NJHA announces 2024 Best at the Beach honors celebrating health care heroes

On July 11, the New Jersey Hospital Association will celebrate hospital and community efforts of those who work to create a healthier New Jersey at its 2024 Best at the Beach event, presented by Marquis Health Consulting Services, at Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch.

The awards will be presented in a beachfront celebration with close to 400 guests who share NJHA’s commitment to improving the health of New Jerseyans. Event details can be found here.

“In a state with exceptional health care teams and nationally ranked quality of care, these are the people and programs nominated by their peers as the best of the best,” NJHA CEO and President Cathy Bennett said. “We salute their service, skill and compassion.”

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Audrey Meyers, CEO of Valley Health System, a visionary leader with a career spanning more than 40 years in delivering the highest caliber health care. In April, Meyers saw her 20-year quest to replace an aging hospital in Ridgewood become a reality with the opening of a state-of-the-art “smart” hospital in Paramus that will provide health care services, jobs and community investment for generations to come.
  • The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to two health care leaders who have been tireless advocates for the health of their respective communities. Warren Geller, CEO and president of Englewood Health, is recognized for guiding the strategic growth of Englewood Hospital and its broad reach in the community, including a focus on population health and diversity and inclusion. The second Distinguished Service honor will be presented to Kenneth Morris Jr., vice president of external affairs for St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson, who connects the hospital and its community in meaningful and innovative initiatives including one of the state’s first hospital-based supportive housing developments.
  • NJHA will present its Emeritus Prize to Joseph Chirichella, CEO and president of Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Pemberton, and James Gonzalez, CEO and president of Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark. This honor recognizes retiring leaders who have left a legacy of unselfish commitment to NJHA and the state’s health care community.

Other individuals and programs to be honored at NJHA’s Best at the Beach are:

  • Changemaker Award: Dr. Thomas Kloos, vice president, Atlantic Health System, and president, Atlantic Accountable Care Organization;
  • Mission & Margin Award: Joseph Dobosh Jr., vice president and chief financial officer (retired), Children’s Specialized Hospital, RWJBarnabas Health;
  • Clinical Excellence – Acute Care: Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, Morristown Medical Center, Atlantic Health System;
  • Clinical Excellence – Behavioral Health: Haven at Ramapo Ridge, Christian Health;
  • Healthy New Jersey Award: Cooper University Health Care Emergency Medical Services for its Buprenorphine Program;
  • Excellence in Patient Experience: Jill Anderson, system vice president of patient experience, RWJBarnabas Health;
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award: Rhonda Jordan, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Virtua Health;
  • Inspired Aging Award: Dr. Manisha Parulekar, Hackensack Meridian Health;
  • Emerging Leader Award: Courtney Timberman, assistant vice president of ambulatory shared services, Inspira Health System; and
  • Connect Award for Outstanding Communications: Atlanticare for its American Heart Month campaign.

Finally, in a special presentation, NJHA will bestow the Icon Award on the late John Lloyd, who retired in 2019 as co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. He was among the driving forces behind the formation of the health care system that now has more than 500 patient care sites and 36,000 team members. His vision and leadership have left an indelible mark on New Jersey’s health care landscape.