Hospital Association Presents Awards for Commitment to Healthcare

Jan 22, 2010, 12:00 ET from New Jersey Hospital Association

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several individuals and organizations were honored at the 91st Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association today at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

The 2010 NJHA Distinguished Service award was presented to Daniel A. Kane of Oceanport, president and CEO of Bayonne Medical Center. Kane was honored for his years of service and leadership to Bayonne Medical Center. Among his many accomplishments, Kane is credited with taking the medical center through a bankruptcy and sale, all while maintaining hospital services and the community support needed to sustain hospital operations.

The 2010 NJHA Healthcare Professional of the Year awards were presented to two New Jersey physicians.

The first recipient was Mark J. Zucker, MD, JD, of Short Hills, from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. As director of the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program, Dr. Zucker was honored for dedicating his career to improving the lives of people with critical heart disease. For 20 years, Dr. Zucker has been devoted to medical excellence and leadership. He has built a multidisciplinary heart transplant program that rivals that of any premier heart center in the country.

NJHA also presented the Healthcare Professional of the Year award to Jeffrey Brenner, MD, from Camden, of Cooper University Hospital, for his commitment to medical services for the poor and for being a staunch advocate for effective reform of medical practice. Dr. Brenner is credited with trying to improve city-wide healthcare delivery and is founder of the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers. The Coalition has linked multiple physician practices and three hospital facilities in Camden to improve healthcare for underserved people.

The NJHA Hospital Trustee of the Year awards were presented to John Kandravy of Ridgewood, from The Valley Hospital and Richard Louis Traa of Egg Harbor Township, from Shore Memorial Hospital.

Kandravy is chairman of the board at Valley Health System. He is a dynamic leader who has guided major decision-making of the board and has been an advocate of hospital expansion.  He has provided strong leadership as the board developed and presented its current plans to the community to renew the hospital by replacing two of the campus' aging facilities with three, new state-of-the art buildings.

Traa has dedicated his life to community improvement and for more than 30 years has been a member of the Shore Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. He was instrumental in the success of a number of hospital expansion projects and most recently helped shape a new administration.

The NJHA Healthcare System Trustee of the Year awards were presented to Joseph Howe of Indian Mills, from Virtua, and Michael Camardo of Haddonfield, from Lourdes Health System.

Howe was honored for his role on the board at West Jersey Health System where he served for 10 years. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the creation of Virtua through the merger of West Jersey and Memorial Health Alliance and has been a guiding light throughout the growth and development of Virtua.

Camardo was honored for his more than 20 years of service to the Lourdes Board of Trustees.  He has been a leading advocate for the development of the sophisticated services that Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden is known for and was instrumental in Lourdes' decision to acquire Rancocas Hospital, now Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County.

NJHA also recognizes hospitals that demonstrate unique and effective methods of reaching out to better serve the healthcare needs of area residents.  The 2010 Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey's Community Outreach Awards recognize outstanding community achievements in the following categories: disease and injury prevention; improving access and quality of care; reducing healthcare disparities; and programs with budgets less than $50,000.

For Preventing Disease and Injury, AtlantiCare in Egg Harbor Township, was recognized for its Healthy Schools, Healthy Children Program, which addressed childhood obesity. AtlantiCare partnered with the School Nurses Association and Public Health Department to empower schools to promote healthy eating, physical activity and positive body image through education. More than 38 schools in Atlantic County have partnered with AtlantiCare and 20 percent of area students have reported positive behavioral changes.

For Improving Access and Quality of Care, Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, was recognized for its Hunterdon County Medications Access Program designed to improve access for the county's uninsured and underinsured residents to prescription medications. Through partnerships with physician practices, health departments and other community agencies, this program provided residents with access to affordable prescription medications and health education. More than 200 patients have been enrolled in the program, and approximately $600,000 in free medicine has been provided to county residents. The program has reduced hospital emergency department visits or admissions among program participants by 30 percent.

An honorable mention award was presented to East Orange General Hospital for its Shelter Care Plus Program, addressing the need for housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for its local homeless population with disabilities, primarily those with serious mental illness, chronic substance abuse problems and AIDS or related complications.  East Orange General Hospital partnered with the City of East Orange, Essex County Welfare, Social Security Administration, LaFerrara Properties and local food pantries to connect patients with support services and ensure stable housing.  Since its inception in 2003, Shelter Plus Care has provided stable housing and support services to more than 60 consumers. In 2008, the program awarded 30, one-bedroom units for homeless individuals.

The Community Outreach award for Reducing Healthcare Disparities was awarded to South Jersey Healthcare - Regional Medical Center in Vineland, for its Heart Failure and Tel-Assurance Home Monitoring Program. This program partnered with community agencies, other hospitals and NJHA's Quality Institute to implement the project as part of the New Jersey Health Initiative's Cardiac Excellence Grant to reduce disparities in cardiac care.   The result: a decrease in acute care recidivism for heart failure patients as well as a decrease in inpatient length of stay for acute cardiac care.

Also receiving an honorable mention award for Reducing Healthcare Disparities was Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for its One Minute Can Save Your Life Program. Recognizing the disproportionate burden of prostate cancer among minority populations, this program worked to increase screenings among New Brunswick's medically underserved minority men.  Since its inception, more than 3,600 men have participated in the annual screenings and 54 percent of participants were men of color and other minorities.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, received the Community Outreach award for a Program with a Budget Less than $50,000 for its Creating a Stroke-Smart Community – Stroke Awareness Program to educate the community about the signs of stroke and rapid activation of emergency medical services.  Through partnerships with community organizations and the American Stroke Association, the program held 18 community events on stroke education for more than 800 Union County residents.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 108 member hospitals and the patients they serve.

Attention Editors: Local references throughout

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association