PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Audrey Meyers, FACHE, of Ridgewood, president and CEO of Valley Health System, today was installed as board chair of the New Jersey Hospital Association, the state's oldest and largest hospital and healthcare advocacy organization. The board chair's official installation, as well as the appointment of new board officers and members, was held during NJHA's 93rd Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.
Meyers succeeds outgoing chairman Thomas A. Biga, FACHE, of Barnabas Health in Livingston. In taking the reins of the NJHA Board, Meyers said, "Our ability to continue to serve faces many challenges. There are times in every industry when circumstances lead organizations to a crossroads - to a New Frontier. Now is such a time."
Meyers challenged hospital leaders to continue to work together, both in New Jersey and with the American Hospital Association in Washington, D.C., to avoid potentially devastating cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.
"In 2013 alone, New Jersey's healthcare providers stand to lose $130 million in Medicare funding – on top of $4.5 billion in cuts New Jersey hospitals will sustain under the Affordable Care Act," said Meyers. "Recognizing that Medicare already pays New Jersey hospitals and physicians at rates less than costs, these added cuts jeopardize healthcare quality. They jeopardize patient access to care. And they jeopardize jobs and other economic benefits that ripple throughout our communities. We must let Washington know, in a clear and unified voice, that these cuts would have a devastating impact."
"It is essential that we continue our keen focus on improving healthcare quality, patient safety and efficiency," she added. "While we have made some significant gains in the last decade there is still much to be accomplished. We should strive for nothing less than a 100 percent commitment to quality and patient safety."
Under Meyers as board chair, the following officers also were appointed to the NJHA Board: Secretary Dr. Deborah K. Zastocki, RN, CNAA, BC, FACHE, of Randolph, Chilton Hospital; Treasurer Leslie D. Hirsch of Denville, Saint Clare's Health System; Vice Chairman Stephen K. Jones of Kendall Park, Robert Wood Johnson Health System; and Chair-elect Joseph P. Coyle of Cedar Run, Southern Ocean Medical Center.
The following healthcare leaders also were appointed as new board members: Kevin M. Barry, M.D., of Mendham, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Steven G. Littleson, FACHE, of Tabernacle, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Meridian Health; Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams of Newark, East Orange General Hospital; Martin A. Bieber of Monroe, Kennedy Health System; Anthony "Skip" Cimino of Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton; Linda Geisler of Newtown, Pa., CentraState Healthcare System; Douglas Struyk of Wyckoff, Christian Health Care Center; and Niranjan V. Rao, M.D., the Medical Society of New Jersey.
The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 111- member hospitals, its 300-plus post-acute members and the patients they serve.
SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association