NJSNA’s Sandra Foley Among NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes

 In Nurses Weekly

Even if they hadn’t been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic, health care workers have still earned the description of “heroes.” And the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards are making sure these professionals receive the kudos they deserve. 

This program was created to recognize excellence, promote innovation and honor the efforts of individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey.

Based off your submissions, and chosen by a panel of independent judges, the program recognizes individuals and organizations across 12 categories. 

On June 27, we will gather to celebrate these heroes at The Palace at Somerset Park. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is presenting the program again this year, which it has done since 2009. 

Tickets for the event are now on sale on our event page. Early-bird pricing ends June 6. 

Congratulations to the 2023 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes: 

Education Hero – Individual

Dr. Nawar Al-Obaidi, chief hospitalist
Hudson Regional Hospital 

Jill Cox, advanced practice nurse
Englewood Health 

Saikat Pal, assistant professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology 

Annette Reboli, dean and professor of medicine
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University 

Chadwin Sandifer, executive associate dean
Fairleigh Dickinson University 

Robin Solbach, director of health and counseling
Georgian Court University 

Education Hero – Organization

Alumni In Recovery 

Cooper University Health Care  

William Paterson University 

Health Care Professional – Individual 

Henry Anhalt, vice president; global head of medical, clinical and scientific affairs; and chief medical officer

Joseph Galasso, CEO
Baker Street Behavioral Health and The COR Behavioral Group 

Risa Kory, administrator
CareOne Harmony Village Paramus 

Joseph Mejia, medical director
Performance Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine 

Corey Richey, CEO
Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse  

Aakash Shah, chief of addiction medicine, Jersey Shore University Medical Center; medical director, Project HEAL (Help, Empower, and Lead); assistant professor, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine; attending physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health 

Deborah Visconi, president and CEO
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center 

Innovation Hero – Individual

Tara Alvarez, distinguished professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology 

Dan Choi, vice president of cardiovascular clinical operations
Virtua Health 

Ryan Kaczka, chairman

Partho Sengupta, Henry Rutgers professor and chief of Division of Cardiology
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, RWJBarnabas Health 

Shahan Sibtain, chief psychiatrist – Ambulatory Psychiatry
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center

Innovation Hero – Organization

EmpiRx Health 

Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates 

Melinta Therapeutics 

Nurse of the Year

Dolly Allen, director of emergency services
Saint Peter’s University Hospital 

Kristin Bloom, assistant vice president Hospital at Home clinical operations
Virtua Health 

Sandra Foley, president
New Jersey State Nurses Association  

Robert Henderson, nurse navigator, Behavioral Health
Hackensack Meridian Raritan Bay Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Old Bridge Medical Center 

Meghan Keaveney, clinical nurse, Cardiac Progressive Care Unit
Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center 

Dawn Mattera, administrative director, Critical Care
Holy Name  

Stephanie Prendergast, associated clinical director, Emergency Department
Cooper University Hospital

Physician of the Year

Dr. Jose Azar, executive vice president, chief quality officer
Hackensack Meridian Health 

Dr. Joseph Duffy, senior vice president – chief medical officer
St. Joseph’s Health 

Dr. Steven Jacoby, director, Adult Critical Care
The Valley Hospital 

Dr. Susan Kaye, chair, Department of Family Medicine, Overlook Medical Center; medical director, Division of Academic Affairs, Atlantic Health System 

Dr. Colin O’Reilly, vice president, chief medical officer
RWJBarnabas Health Children’s Specialized Hospital 

Dr. Mary Ann Picone, medical director
Alfiero and Lucia Palestroni Foundation Multiple Sclerosis Center at Holy Name 

Public Health Hero

Dr. Hillary Cohen, senior vice president of medical affairs
Englewood Health 

Natasha Coleman, vice president, Community Impact
American Cancer Society 

Dr. Robert Damico, co-chief medical officer and chief population health officer
Consensus Health 

Maria Franchio, vice president of rehabilitation services
Virtua Health 

Aimee Puluso, health officer
Linden Board of Health 

Alma Ratcliffe, vice president and chief clinical transformation officer
Saint Peter’s University Hospital 

Christopher Rinn, CEO
VNACJ Community Health Center 

Adeola Sonaike, chief operating officer
Baker Street Health 

Steve Weinman, trauma education and injury prevention coordinator
St. Joseph’s Health

Volunteer of the Year

Kathleen Christie
Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center 

Anthony LaTorre
RWJBarnabas Health Children’s Specialized Hospital 

Janice Senackerib
Holy Name  

Dennis Wilson
Delta Dental of New Jersey Inc. 

Long Term Care Facility 

Bergen New Bridge Medical Center 

Juniper Village at Paramus 

Medical Technology Pioneer


GoMo Health 

New Jersey Innovation Institute, Healthcare Division 

Workplace Wellness Hero 


Immediate Care 

Preferred Behavioral Health Group

(This story originally appeared in NJBIZ.)

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