Coughlin, Singer named NJHA Legislators of the Year

Businessman holding award trophy for show their victory.

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and state Sen. Robert Singer will be honored along with several others at the New Jersey Health Association‘s Best at the Beach event. 

These awards will be presented July 11 by the NJHA. The event honors the contributions to the health care community and will be held at Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch. 

The former pair will be awarded the 2024 Legislator of the Year Awards, a token to their commitment at fighting food insecurity and promoting healthy communities. 

NJHA President Cathy Bennett commended Coughlin’s commitment and work. 

“For Speaker Coughlin, tackling food insecurity isn’t politics — it’s his passion,” Bennett said. “His legacy of leadership exemplifies the NJHA mission to improve the health of New Jerseyans. Thanks to his commitment, we’re making strides in ensuring that no one goes hungry in the Garden State.”

As Assembly speaker, Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) has been a long proponent of ensuring New Jerseyans have access to nutritious foods. He has sponsored legislation to eliminate food deserts, created food pantries on college campuses and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through his annual Bowl for Hunger event.

Bennett additionally praised Singer’s work for the health care community.

“Senator Singer understands the complexities of health care, but he never loses sight of the patient,” Bennett said. “His commitment to sound health policy has left its mark on our entire health care system, and we’re grateful for his service and leadership.”

Singer (R-Lakewood) served on the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, promoting patients and the health care provider community. He has collaborated on bills promoting best practices in maternal health, increasing funding for cancer research and expanding food access for older adults while advocating Medicaid.

In addition to the Legislator of the Year awards, NJHA’s Best at the Beach honors the people and organizations that create quality, accessible, equitable care across our state. 

This year’s top honors:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Audrey Meyers, CEO of Valley Health System;
  • Distinguished Service Award presented to Warren Geller, CEO of Englewood Health and Kenneth Morris Jr., vice president of external affairs for St. Joseph’s Health;
  • Emeritus Prize presented to retiring CEOs Joseph Chirichella of Deborah Heart and Lung Center and James Gonzalez of Broadway House for Continuing Care.

In addition, NJHA will present a special posthumous Icon Award to the late John Lloyd, who served as co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health and as chair of the NJHA board of trustees.