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ACHE-NJ Fall Congress - Speakers' Bios - October 25, 2023

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


THE VALUE OF DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING ALTERNATIVE CARE MODELS



Sophia F. Brown, RN, PhD, DBA, FACHE, RN-BC, CPHIMS, PMP.

In her 30 years as a registered nurse with 20 of these years specializing in informatics, Dr. Brown has garnered a wide range of clinical, informatics, career development, leadership, and business experience locally and internationally.

She is the founder and CEO of Strategic Informatics Solutions, a coaching, consulting, and training company that support clinicians in career and informatics competencies development which is necessary to having a fulfilling career and leveraging healthcare data to provide better health care outcomes. Dr. Brown is the co-chair of ACHE-NJ clinical leadership committee, and a member of the ACHE board examination committee.


Dr. Brown holds several certifications such as FACHE, RN-BC (Informatics), CPHIMS, PMP, and Talent development Coach. Her PhD is in decision support management, and she has a doctorate in business administration specializing in healthcare. She enjoys teaching, automating processes, reworking workflows, implementing clinical systems, and aligning technological solutions to assist businesses in achieving strategic objectives in the most efficient manner. Dr. Brown is deep thinker and problem solver and is sort after for helping organizations develop talents and individuals realizing their full career potential.


For almost 20 years Dr. Brown has been involved in strategic change leadership and implementation, transforming nursing documentation from paper to electronic processes at several health care facilities. She is a Senior Contributing Faculty at Walden University and annually serves on various doctoral committees of nurses in pursuit of DNP and PhD degrees. Her research interest in the areas of change management, patient engagement, leadership, and data science.


Daniel Varga, M.D., serves as the Chief Physician Executive at Hackensack Meridian Health. In this position, Dr. Varga leads and oversees the health network’s physician enterprise and is responsible for achieving the best possible quality outcomes, co-leads Care Transformation Services, and is responsible for medical management of the clinically integrated network. Dr. Varga previously served as Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Clinical Officer for Texas Health Resources. Dr. Varga has also recently served as the Senior Executive Officer of Southwestern Health Resources Clinically Integrated Network, an affiliation between THR and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.


Prior to assuming his position at THR, Dr. Varga served as Senior Vice-President and Chief Clinical Officer of KentuckyOne Health in Louisville, KY; Chief Medical Officer of Saint Joseph Health System; Chief Medical Officer of SSM Healthcare-Saint Louis; and Chief Medical Officer of Norton Healthcare. He is a regular writer on health policy issues and a frequent regional and national speaker on clinical performance improvement, public reporting and transparency in health care, and other areas of health policy.


Dr. Varga is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Kentucky and an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Louisville Affiliated Hospitals, where he served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Varga is a Board-Certified general internist and a Past President of the Greater Louisville (KY) Medical Society and a Past President of the Kentucky Medical Association.



William F. Oser, M.D., J.D.

Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Hackensack Meridian Population Health


Willaim F. Oser, M.D., J.D. is vice president and chief medical officer of Population Health for Hackensack Meridian Health, a $6.8 billion leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey. The network encompasses 18 hospitals, including three academic medical centers, one university teaching hospital, two children’s hospitals, eight community hospitals, one behavioral health hospital, two rehabilitation hospitals, one long-term acute care hospital, and more than 500 patient care sites and physician offices.


As vice president and chief medical officer, Dr. Oser oversees and coordinates all clinical activities for Hackensack Meridian Health Partners, Hackensack Meridian’s clinically integrated network. He also acts as a liaison between Hackensack Meridian’s employed Medical Group clinicians, the network’s independent physicians and Hackensack Meridian Health Partners (HMHP). Additionally, Dr. Oser is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Executive for the Hackensack Meridian ACO. Founded in 2023, the Hackensack Meridian ACO combined the HackensackAlliance ACO, JFK Health ACO and Meridian Health ACO. Under Dr. Oser’s leadership, the Hackensack Meridian ACO has more than 1,300 providers serving nearly 60,000 beneficiaries.


Prior to Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Oser joined JFK Health System in 1995 as Vice President of Medical Affairs, after previously serving six years as Assistant Medical Director for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange. In 2001, Dr. Oser was named Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of JFK Health System. In 2013, he participated in the development of the JFK Health ACO, which managed contracts with Medicare as well as commercial payors.


When JFK Health System merged with HMH in 2018, Dr. Oser joined the HMH Population Health Division part-time to serve as Medical Director of HMHP’s Clinically Integrated Network, while also maintaining his medical directorship of the JFK Population Health. In 2020, Dr. Oser assumed a full-time role with HMHP and Hackensack Meridian’s Population Health.


Dr. Oser received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in 1986. He served his Residency in Internal Medicine at University Hospital, Newark, and served as Chief Medical Resident at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. He received his law degree from Rutgers Law School in 1993.


Dr. Oser’s academic appointments include Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, as well as Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick. He is a member of the Middlesex County Medical Society, the Medical Society of New Jersey, the New Jersey Bar Association, the American College of Physician Executives, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Oser resides in Verona, New Jersey with his wife and four children.



Thomas H Kloos, MD, is Vice President Atlantic Health System, President of the Atlantic ACO and executive director of the Atlantic Health MSO, a management services organization which supplies management services to both the Atlantic ACO and Optimus Healthcare Partners ACO.


The two ACO's serve both the MSSP program and commercial relationships and encompass over 80,000 attributed Medicare beneficiaries and over 400,000 commercial attributed beneficiaries Over 30%% of those beneficiaries are in at-risk contracts. Both ACO’s have been in the MSSP programs since inception. He has served as past chair of the National Association of ACO’s (NAACOS) and continues on their Policy Committee.


He is a board member of Optimus Healthcare Partners, a physician established ACO. He has served as past president and medical director of Vista Health System IPA. Dr. Kloos is a board-certified internal medicine practitioner and has been a NCQA recognized level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). He graduated from the University of Louisville Medical School in 1979 and from Rutgers University in 1975.


DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE DELIVERY




Dr. Andrew Evans is a member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey as the Associate Director for Clinical Services; System Director of Medical Oncology and Oncology Lead for the Combined Medical Group with RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH); and Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Innovation and Data Analytics, within Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). Rutgers Cancer Institute is one of only 53 cancer centers recognized nationally and New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. There mission is to deliver comprehensive and compassionate cancer care across the health system with access to worldwide expertise and innovative cancer therapies not available elsewhere in the state.


Dr. Evans completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chicago, Illinois, where he also remained as a faculty member altogether for 11 years. Most recently, he served as the director of the Cancer Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, chief of their division of hematology/oncology, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.


His clinical expertise and research interests are concentrated in the field of lymphoid malignancies (i.e., Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Over the past 20 years, he has been the principal investigator of more than 100 cancer clinical trials that have included phase I, II, and III studies, many of which have been “investigator-initiated” studies examining new and novel targeted agents. Collectively, his research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2005, which includes several global collaborations he helped lead. This has resulted in 350+ research abstract presentations at national and international cancer symposiums, 200+ manuscripts in peer-reviewed publications, and 40+ book chapters with an emphasis on the prognosis, treatment, and health outcomes of cancer.


Nationally, he is a core member of the Hodgkin Lymphoma Working Group for the NIH/NCI Steering Committee, and an ad hoc member of additional clinical and scientific committees for the NIH, Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He was an associate editor for the British Journal of Haematology for 8 years and currently serve as the inaugural editor-in-chief of the gold open-access journal, eJHaem. He is Vice-Chair of the Lymphoma Committee for the ECOG-ACRIN cancer research group; Co-Chair of the Big 10 Cancer Research Consortium lymphoma working group; a member of the Board of Trustees for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) New Jersey Chapter; and a re-elected member to the North American Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the Lymphoma Research Foundation that is comprised of 45 world-renowned lymphoma experts. Finally, he helped lead a multitude of regional, national, and international educational forums and scientific events.

Rutgers Cancer Institute has a rich history of conducting state-of-the-art and groundbreaking cancer research, and together with RWJBH and RBHS, offers international expertise, multidisciplinary clinical care, and unparalleled resources for cancer patients and their families all close to home. He is honored to be a member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute and a leader of the RWJBH oncology service line working alongside the multitude of outstanding oncology providers providing compassionate and expert cancer care throughout the state of New Jersey and beyond.




Ellen T. Kurtzman is the Executive Director and a professor of Health Administration in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. She also holds a secondary appointment in the university’s Division of Nursing Science, Rutgers-School of Nursing. Her investigator-initiated research explores the impact of federal, state, and institutional policies on health care quality and the role of the health care workforce in achieving higher value care. Her most recent work explores the influence of cannabis legislation on patients and health care systems and the role of team-based care on clinician practice. She has also led studies examining the quality of care and the services delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, the effect of Medicaid expansion on community health centers, and the influence of performance-based payment programs on practitioner behavior.


Prior to her arrival at Rutgers, Kurtzman served as an associate professor at The George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing, with secondary appointments in the university’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration. Kurtzman also served in senior capacities for organizations such as the American Red Cross, National Quality Forum (NQF), American Health Care Association, National PACE Association, and the Partnership for Behavioral Healthcare. While at NQF, she worked to establish hospital and home health care quality and performance standards, and she formulated national voluntary consensus standards for measuring nursing’s contribution to quality.

Kurtzman received her PhD in public policy and administration from GW’s Trachtenberg School, her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Kurtzman was named the AcademyHealth/National Center for Health Statistics Health Policy Fellow. From 2018-2019, Kurtzman served as one of eight Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows and worked in the Office of the Speaker of the House and the Office of the Surgeon General. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2009.



Kevin Joyce, Vice President, Insurance Networks and Business Advisory Services Atlantic Health System

Mr. Joyce joined Atlantic Health System in 2017 as the Vice President, Insurance Networks and Business Advisory Services. In his position, he leads AHS’ Managed Care and Direct to Employer Strategies.


Spending most of his career as a health insurance executive, Mr. Joyce saw firsthand the unsustainable cost increases for employer health insurance, and he feels strongly that health care systems need to be a part of the solution to break the cost trend. He saw the opportunity for Atlantic Health System to take a leadership role and challenge the status quo by focusing on ways to work with other health systems to reduce the cost of their own employee health coverage. In 2018, Mr. Joyce was successful in recruiting six other health systems to create the Healthcare Transformation Consortium (HTC). The mission was simple: To work collaboratively to offer more choice and improve the quality of care delivered to their employees while identifying cost saving opportunities. The HTC collectively saved several millions of dollars in administrative costs its first year. For Atlantic Health System, the cost for employer coverage is trending below budget in its first year of operation. The group continues to focus on reducing unnecessary utilization and costs to become an example for other health systems of ways to put competitive differences aside to make health coverage more affordable in our local community.


Atlantic Health System strives to lead New Jersey in the transformation from fee for service to value-based payments. In 2019, Mr. Joyce was successful in negotiating the first health system risk contract with the largest commercial health insurance company in New Jersey. To support the value-based contracts, he reorganized his division by bringing in insurance executives and creating reporting capabilities to support these initiatives. As payment reform continues to evolve, he remains focused on increasing the number of risk lives, developing “outside the box” relationships with carries, and taking lessons learned to local self-insured employers.


Prior to his position at Atlantic Health System, Mr. Joyce was the Chief Operating Officer for QualCare Inc., a Cigna Subsidiary, whose responsibilities included Network and Product Development, Sales, Claims, Customer Service, Out of Network Cost Containment and Client Relations. He started at QualCare in 1998 as the Vice President of Network Development and his primary focus was managing the development and maintenance of the QualCare HMO, PPO, and Workers’ Compensation Networks. Under his direction, the QualCare network grew to over 40,000 providers and he successfully implemented QualCare’ s first commercial tiered network value product in New Jersey. Kevin’s strategic vision and relationships with New Jersey’s healthcare providers and customers allowed him to continually and successfully build the QualCare network, as well as new products.


Mr. Joyce has over 25 years of industry experience, specializing in managed healthcare. From 1996-1998, Mr. Joyce served as the Director of Managed Care at North Jersey Medical Management, LLC, a subsidiary of Hackensack University Medical Center. His responsibilities included all managed care contracting for the hospital, ancillary companies, and affiliated physician organizations Prior to 1996, Mr. Joyce held contracting positions with several major insurance carriers.

Mr. Joyce currently serves on the board of several organizations including the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Optimus Health Partners, and the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization. He also served as a past board member with the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO), the Board of Directors for the NJ Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and was the Treasurer for the Shrewsbury Boro Recreation Committee.

Mr. Joyce graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from York College.

In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, and golfing.



Rachel King, Vice President & General Manager of Hospital at Home

Rachel King serves as the Vice President and General Manager of Hospital at Home at BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.


In this role, Rachel is responsible for defining and executing BD’s strategy for hospital at home as part of BD’s focus on enabling new care settings. Prior to this role Rachel was leading the Smart Connected Care platform for Medical Delivery Solutions contributing to a digitally connected ecosystem across BD in service of improving patient outcomes, reducing care giver burden, and lowering cost of care.


Rachel has spent over 23years in med-tech strategy and innovation. She is an authentic leader with a passion for making a difference in patients’ lives and motivating diverse and inclusive teams to achieve their full potential. Prior to joining BD, Rachel had a successful, track record at Johnson & Johnson, where she served in roles of increasing responsibility across strategy, marketing and sales in both the Ethicon (general surgery) and DePuy Synthes (orthopedics) franchises. She has made meaningful contributions in launching new solutions to treat cancer, obesity, and musculoskeletal conditions. Earlier in her career, Rachel served a design engineer at Hill-Rom, Arthur D. Little and The Product Development Group.


Rachel received a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She also completed an Executive MBA course in Disruptive Innovation from Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.



Sandra Powell Elliott is the Vice President; Chief Innovation and Commercialization Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Her role is not only to foster the internal development of an innovative culture but to bring innovative and transformative solutions from outside of the organization to the forefront of the organization’s strategic planning efforts. The scope of internal and external innovation spans the breadth of precision medicine, new device development, new product and solution development, new business model development, as well as new, more efficient ways to operate the business units within an integrated health network. In addition, her responsibilities include overseeing the development of a genomic reference lab as well as ambulatory imaging joint ventures. Sandra is involved in some of the emerging research-based entities on the campus of Hackensack Meridian Health School of Medicine and the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Nutley, NJ. Sandra received the 2018 NJBIZ Vanguard Award and speaks at National Conferences, and has published many articles on developing opportunities for growing business in publications such as Trustee Magazine, Journal of Healthcare Financial Management, FutureAge, Hospitals, and Health Networks, and the Health Strategist.


HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVES ROLE WITH THE

OPIOID CRISIS



Deborah Visconi, President and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey’s largest hospital, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, is a thought leader in healthcare with more than 30 years of experience.

Her tenacity expanded the Medical Center’s payor mix resulting in first-time contracts with managed care companies allowing access to health care for all Bergen County residents regardless of insurance. Bergen New Bridge became a preferred provider in the Veterans Choice Program with her support. Her leadership has expanded programs, services, and enhanced provider relations yielding improvement in quality, safety, and the patient/resident experience. Her pioneering technology initiatives led Bergen New Bridge to be the first hospital in the state to connect to the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN).

Deborah was recently named to the ROI-NJ Hospital Heroes list. She was the 2018 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero Healthcare Professional of the Year, honored by Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County, Inc., and a YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry recipient, named to Becker's Hospital Review’s annual list of 143 women hospital and health system leaders to know and was a 2018 HealthLeaders Prime Movers winner in the Leadership Strategy category. Deborah is one of NJBIZ’s 2019 Best 50 Women in Business and she was noted as an ROI-NJ Top Health Care Influencer for 2019 and 2020.

Deborah serves as a volunteer board member for the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, President for the Northvale Board of Health, member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Management Association, Board Member for the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Eastwick College and the NJHA Health PAC and a member of the Executive Women of New Jersey.



Donald J. Parker, a licensed clinical social worker, is president, Behavioral Health Care Transformation Services/Integrative Medicine, for Hackensack Meridian Health, which includes five hospital based general Psychiatric Services in eleven hospitals and multiple Outpatient Services. He also served as

president of Carrier Clinic. Carrier Clinic operates an acute care mental health hospital, a residential treatment center for adolescents, a fully accredited special needs school for students grades 7 through 12, the Blake Recovery Center, an inpatient unit focused on addiction recovery, and The Retreat &

Recovery At Ramapo Valley in Mahwah, N.J., an outpatient unit focused on addiction recovery that opened in February of this year.


Prior to joining Carrier Clinic in 2013, Parker served as the vice president for physician services and ambulatory care at St. Joseph's Health System, Paterson, N.J. Previously, Parker also served as president/CEO of Atlantic Mental Health for 15 years and subsequently merged into the AtlantiCare

Health System. At AtlantiCare, he served in multiple leadership roles, including vice president of business development and president of AtlantiCare Health Services, where he developed and provided leadership to more than 20 ambulatory businesses with 42 locations. Parker’s capstone achievement at

AtlantiCare was his participation on the leadership team of the Health System as it earned and was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige Award, a Presidential recognition for quality and achievement.


Parker serves as the Chairman of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems Foundation, New Jersey Hospital Association, the Somerset County Business Partnership, and for 15 years on the Atlantic Cape Community College board of trustees. He also has served on numerous public and private

boards, chairing the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Center’s panel for two terms, serving as a founding member and chair of Gilda’s Club of South Jersey, and chairing the New Jersey Supreme Court

Committee responsible for rewriting divorce regulations for the state. He was recently honored by the Boy Scouts of America with The Toast of Scouting Award, presented for outstanding community service

and leadership. Parker has also been recognized by ROI-NJ as a top Influencer in Health Care in New Jersey for the last five years.



Keith R. Stowell, MD, MSPH, MBA, is Chief Medical Officer for Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC). Prior to joining UBHC, Dr. Stowell served as Associate Chief of Clinical Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Hospital, where he had oversight of Psychiatric Emergency Services, the resolve Crisis Network, the Emergency Department telepsychiatry program, and the network admissions office. In this capacity, he oversaw 15,000 psychiatric emergency department visits per year, over 100,000 patient crisis contacts, and 2,000 hospital admissions.

Dr. Stowell attended medical school at the University of Maryland. He completed a residency in psychiatry and a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Western Psychiatric Hospital and a forensic psychiatry fellowship at Upstate Medical University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. His academic areas of interest include teaching emergency psychiatry principles to emergency medicine practitioners, suicide risk assessment, and management of agitation. Dr. Stowell is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, and the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry. He recently completed a term as the President of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society and served on the Advisory Committee on Emergency Room Treatment & Behavioral Health for the State of Pennsylvania.


Christopher F. Freer, DO, FACEP

RWJBarnabas Health


Dr. Christopher Freer is the Senior Vice President of Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine at RWJBarnabas Health, and serves as co-chair of the RWJBarnabas Health Tackling Addiction Task Force.


He first joined Saint Barnabas in 1998, before it became part of the RWJBarnabas Health system. He has worn many hats concurrently while working at Saint Barnabas and then moving to systemwide roles, including that of Director of the Observation Unit, Interim director of the Pediatric Emergency Department, and vice chairman and then chairman of the Emergency Department, then system director for RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Services. Last year, Dr. Freer became the system’s SVP for both Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine.


As co-chair of the Tackling Addiction Task Force, Dr. Freer has been instrumental in implementing a paradigm shift that has resulted in a more effective approach to identifying and treating addicted individuals. This shift is regarded by the system as the most important step in treating opioid disease effectively.


The New Jersey native received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1991, his doctorate from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1995, and completed his residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served as chief resident from July 1997 to June 1998.


Dr. Freer serves on numerous committees, including Chair of RWJ Barnabas Health Care System ED leadership, Member SBMC Patient safety and quality committee, Co-chair Radiology Task Force and the Patient Throughput Committee at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. He was included in New Jersey Monthly's annual “Top Doctors” list every year from 2008 to 2018.


THE STATE OF HEALTHCARE: INDUSTRY LEADER'S PERSPECTIVES



Cathleen D. Bennett, Esq., took the helm November 9, 2017, as president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, a nonprofit trade association representing New Jersey’s hospitals, health systems, behavioral healthcare systems, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, assisted living, nursing homes and other healthcare providers that provides leadership on quality and patient safety, education and advocacy in both Washington, D.C. and in Trenton.


As CEO, Bennett oversees NJHA, the Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, a not-for-profit affiliate that promotes continuing education, patient safety, quality improvement and research; and the for-profit Healthcare Business Solutions, which provides group purchasing and other business solutions for healthcare providers. She co-founded Q3HIP, LLC in 2018 with a focus on improving quality of care, patient safety and education and leveraging the collective capabilities of the Hospital Associations of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio.


Prior to being selected as CEO of NJHA, Bennett served as New Jersey’s 20th Health Commissioner.


Deborah Visconi, President and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey’s largest hospital, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, is a thought leader in healthcare with more than 30 years of experience.

Her tenacity expanded the Medical Center’s payor mix resulting in first-time contracts with managed care companies allowing access to health care for all Bergen County residents regardless of insurance. Bergen New Bridge became a preferred provider in the Veterans Choice Program with her support. Her leadership has expanded programs, services, and enhanced provider relations yielding improvement in quality, safety, and the patient/resident experience. Her pioneering technology initiatives led Bergen New Bridge to be the first hospital in the state to connect to the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN).

Deborah was recently named to the ROI-NJ Hospital Heroes list. She was the 2018 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero Healthcare Professional of the Year, honored by Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County, Inc., and a YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry recipient, named to Becker's Hospital Review’s annual list of 143 women hospital and health system leaders to know and was a 2018 HealthLeaders Prime Movers winner in the Leadership Strategy category. Deborah is one of NJBIZ’s 2019 Best 50 Women in Business and she was noted as an ROI-NJ Top Health Care Influencer for 2019 and 2020.

Deborah serves as a volunteer board member for the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, President for the Northvale Board of Health, member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Management Association, Board Member for the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Eastwick College and the NJHA Health PAC and a member of the Executive Women of New Jersey.



Dr. John Matsinger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Virtua Health

As executive vice president and chief operating officer, John Matsinger, DO, MBA, oversees Virtua’s hospitals, satellite emergency rooms, home care agency, rehabilitation centers, Virtua Medical Group, and community health engagement services.


Dr. Matsinger previously served as executive vice president and system chief clinical officer. His responsibilities included providing strategic direction, leadership and accountability for all physician services as well as for setting the standards for the highest level of quality and safety throughout Virtua — consistent with its mission and vision. He also served as a liaison between the medical staff, administration and Board of Trustees.


Dr. Matsinger joined Virtua in 2008 as Medical Director of Medical Affairs. In this position he was responsible for ensuring medical staff compliance with regulatory agencies, the Virtua Bylaws, and policies and procedures. In addition, he oversaw Virtua’s Continuing and Graduate Medical Education programs and ensured their compliance with accrediting standards.


In 2011, Dr. Matsinger became Medical Director of Operation at Virtua Voorhees and directly interacted with the physicians in regards to quality initiatives and patient satisfaction. During his time at Voorhees he was involved in a successful implementation of an electronic medical record and the opening of a new world-class hospital campus that enhanced the medical services offered to the residents of Southern New Jersey.


In 2012, Dr. Matsinger’s role expanded within Virtua to include Medical Director oversight for the Virtua Medical Group. As Vice President of Medical Service, Dr. Matsinger was responsible for coordinating the care of over 250 providers in the medical group and oversaw the implementation of policies and procedures for the group. His role focused on creating synergy in this large multidisciplinary group and he was involved in the group’s care redesign.


In 2000, Dr. Matsinger graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where he also completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine. In 2007, Dr. Matsinger received an executive master of business administration from the LeBow School of Business at Drexel's University in Philadelphia. He is also a member of Beta Sigma Gamma, the international business honors society and is a Fellow in the American College of Osteopathic Internists. Dr. Matsinger also successfully completed The Academy GE Fellows Program for Physician Executives which develops future physician leaders across the healthcare industry.


Kenneth N. Sable, MD, MBA, FACEP

Regional President, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health

Kenneth N. Sable, MD, MBA, FACEP is regional president for the southern market of Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Sable has oversight of Jersey Shore University Medical Center (a Level One Adult and Level Two Pediatric Trauma Center) in Neptune, Ocean University Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin. Jersey Shore University Medical Center, is a 630-bed university-level teaching hospital and includes K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital – the first children’s hospital in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Ocean University Medical Center is a 317-bed hospital serving southern Monmouth and Ocean counties, Riverview Medical Center is a 460-bed hospital serving Northern Monmouth County, while Southern Ocean Medical Center, located in the heart of Southern Ocean County, is a 176-bed medical center. All four hospitals are part of the Hackensack Meridian Health network.

Prior to joining Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Sable was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New Brunswick, New Jersey, responsible for the coordination and oversight of operations for the entire health care system from 2012 through 2014.


From 2002 through 2012, Dr. Sable was Vice Chairman for Operations in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.


Dr. Sable holds a Doctor of Medicine from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed an Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Isenberg School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP), Diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), and a graduate of Maimonides Medical Center’s Physician Leadership and Development Program. He has also received the Medical Service Award from Bikur Cholim.


Dr. Sable is the Assistant Dean for Integration at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. He is on the board of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), as well as the board of the Health Research & Educational Trust, and chairs NJHA’s Teaching Hospital Constituency Group. He is also a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties.



Commissioner Sarah Adelman has led the New Jersey Department of Human Services since January 2021, and was confirmed as Commissioner in March 2022. Under her leadership, the Department has helped residents through the pandemic by making significant investments in child care and food assistance, improving and expanding services for older adults and individuals with disabilities, protecting health coverage for more than 2 million residents, and continuing to enhance mental health and addiction services.

Adelman joined the Department in 2018, initially serving as a Deputy Commissioner, overseeing the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Aging Services, and the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which operates the Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare program. She also served on the Board of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.


The Department's programs serve one in three New Jersey children and one in five adults, with a budget of approximately $20 billion in state and federal funds and a staff of about 7,500.


Before joining Governor Murphy's Administration, Adelman served as Vice President at the New Jersey Association of Health Plans and Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice and the Board of Directors for a statewide child abuse and neglect prevention program.


Adelman received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Rowan University and a certificate in Advanced Healthcare Leadership from Seton Hall University as a fellow in the inaugural class of the New Jersey Healthcare Executives Leadership Academy.


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