NJHA Presents Annual 'Healthcare Leader' Awards

Jan 29, 2016, 12:32 ET from New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Hospital Association, the state's oldest and largest healthcare trade association, today held its annual awards program to honor several individuals and organizations for their commitment to the state's healthcare system and the patients and communities they serve.

The awards were presented during NJHA's 97th Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. The program included the presentation of NJHA's Healthcare Leader awards, which recognize the significant contributions of healthcare executives, trustees and clinicians, along with the Excellence in Quality Improvement Awards. In addition, NJHA's Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey presented its Community Outreach awards in recognition of organizations that identify community needs and implement programs to serve those needs.

NJHA Healthcare Leader Awards

NJHA's 2016 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Gary S. Horan, FACHE, president and CEO of Trinitas Health & Regional Medical Center. Horan has given a lifetime of service to the advancement of excellence in healthcare administration. At Trinitas Regional Medical Center, his leadership is credited with carrying out the successful merger of Elizabeth General Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital – a merger that created Trinitas Hospital in January 2000.

"When you do something you love, you never just 'go to work.' You go to your passion. Healthcare management has been my passion for 44 years," said Horan, summarizing an outstanding career of service and an equally impressive list of accomplishments.

In addition to his 14 years as CEO of Trinitas, he served as assistant executive director of JFK Medical Center for three years. Prior to coming to Trinitas he served as the president and CEO of Our Lady of Mercy Healthcare System, Bronx, New York, and he has held senior leadership positions with New York University Medical Center and St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York.

The 2016 Healthcare Professional of the Year award was presented to Annette C. Reboli, MD, attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine at Cooper University Health Care and vice dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU).

Dr. Reboli was honored for her clinical and leadership skills, which have had a significant impact on patient care throughout the health system and in the success of New Jersey's newest medical school.

As one of the founding physicians, Dr. Reboli's leadership, scholarship and vision have helped CMSRU develop into a medical school of national prominence since it opened in 2012. In her current role as vice dean of CMSRU, she is responsible for oversight of the Office of Medical Education, including both undergraduate and graduate medical education, the Office of Faculty Affairs and development of hospital and ambulatory affiliations for the medical school, as well as leading the successful LCME accreditation process in 2014.

The NJHA Hospital and Healthcare System Trustee of the Year awards were presented to Joseph Jankowski, Esq., from Raritan Bay Medical Center, and Dennis P. Flanagan from Virtua.

Joseph Jankowski has been a board member at Raritan Bay Medical Center for 24 years and has served as the chair of the Board of Trustees for the last five years.

Through Jankowski's vision and dedication, the hospital has changed course from a position of near bankruptcy to where it is today -- merged with one of New Jersey's largest and most successful health systems. Born at RBMC in Perth Amboy, he has always been tuned in to the unique challenges that small community hospitals face.

Dennis P. Flanagan has held leadership positions in the corporate and military worlds in addition to being chairman at Virtua. His dedication to giving back and his information technology experience have put Flanagan in a position to effectively lead Virtua through all of the changes required of healthcare providers. Virtua has consistently been named one of the most technology-forward hospitals in the country.

Flanagan, whose mother was a nurse, also has led Virtua to a strategic alliance with Penn Medicine in neuroscience and cancer, bringing new research and advanced care opportunities to South Jersey.

NJHA Excellence in Quality Improvement Awards

NJHA, through its Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, also honored two institutions for Excellence in Quality Improvement, in recognition of healthcare organizations' tremendous advances in quality improvement and patient safety:

Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey, based in Atlantic City, implemented a redesigned fall risk assessment which decreased patient falls by 57 percent at the facility when compared to year end 2014 data. After recognizing the disconnect between recommendations for patients at high risk for falling and their bedside care, Acuity implemented the revised tool in December 2014 and then made adjustments based on user feedback. In addition, no falls with injury have been noted during this time period. Accounting for previous falls when assessing risk and renting lower beds with fall pads were some of the ways Acuity improved its patients' safety.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center, in Elizabeth, developed a Mobile Integrated Health Service (MIHS) program that utilizes paramedics with additional training as community health workers --known as Community Health Integrated Practitioners (CHIPs) -- focusing on the heart failure population. Patients targeted are generally underinsured or uninsured, and the service is provided at no cost to the patient.

The program provides an innovative, cost-effective solution to support the heart failure community in the city of Elizabeth. The heart failure readmission rate at TRMC was above the national and state average at 24 percent. Through the program, 108 patients were screened after discharge, 30 received follow-up visits, of which only three patients were readmitted, decreasing the readmission rate to 10 percent. During one of the first phone screenings a patient stated, "Thank you for calling, I don't know what to say. I have never felt more cared for in my life."

HRET Community Outreach Awards

NJHA and its Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey recognize organizations that identify community needs and implement programs to serve those needs. The 2016 awards recognized achievements in the following categories: enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities; improving nutrition and wellbeing; and preventing disease and injury.

In the category of enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs and Violence (AMARD&V): Healing Through the Arts Summer Camp was selected as the winner. The camp is a multidisciplinary arts education and health-mentoring program for Latino and African-American at-risk youth in New Brunswick.

Through a series of health-related violence prevention workshops and production of art projects, youth and teens are led over a five-week period by artists, counselors and health specialists to develop life-building skills, communicate with one another, share common traditions, learn to appreciate their distinct customs and explore the reasons for the increasing racial and social problems between diverse communities.

In the category of improving nutrition and wellbeing, the award was presented to The Weight Loss Challenge, which was developed in 2013 as a partnership of The Valley Hospital's Community Health Department, the Paramus Health Department (Bergen County) and Gold's Gym of Paramus.  

A total of 391 people participated from the three towns, with 148 completing the entire 12 weeks. Outcomes include a total 1,821 pounds lost and an average reduction of total body weight by at least 2 percent. Pre- and post-Challenge blood testing revealed improvement in total cholesterol, triglycerides and other levels.

In the category of preventing disease and injury, a program combatting Hepatitis B led by the Center for Asian Health (CAH) at Saint Barnabas Medical Center received the Community Outreach award. 

Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) virus infection disproportionately affects Asian American Pacific Islanders, and the program created collaborations to screen at-risk populations and provide linkage-to-care for Hepatitis virus infected individuals in New Jersey.

In its first year, CAH conducted 15 events and screened 400 individuals. Thus far, almost 6 percent of individuals screened were found to be infected and 33 percent were susceptible to the virus and needed vaccines.

NJHA, based in Princeton, is a not-for-profit trade association that helps hospitals and other healthcare providers deliver quality, accessible and affordable healthcare. Its affiliates the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey and the NJHA Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, also nonprofit, engage in programming and partnerships to improve healthcare quality and access.


SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)