Hackensack Meridian Health is pleased to announce its 2022 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes recognitions: Donald Parker, LCSW, president, Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic, and president, Behavioral Health Care Transformation Services, Hackensack Meridian Health, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Nicole Harris-Hollingsworth, Ed.D., MCHES, vice president, Social Determinants of Health, honored in the Public Health category; Teri Wurmser, M.P.H., Ph.D., RN, vice president of nursing research, grants and academic affairs, Hackensack Meridian Health and dean of the Georgian Court University-Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing, honored in the Health Care Professional category; Paula Riportella, a volunteer at the Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center, honored in the Volunteer category; the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, recognized in the Education category; and the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation, recognized in the Innovation category.
“I want to congratulate our honorees, who are our everyday health care heroes,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “They embody and elevate our mission to transform health care and serve as leaders of positive change.”
According to NJBIZ, the Healthcare Heroes 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.
Mr. Parker leads the largest nonprofit behavioral health network in New Jersey. In operation for more than a century, Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic provides an acute care mental health hospital, a residential treatment center for adolescents, a fully-accredited special needs school, and the state’s top ranked addiction treatment program.
Dr. Harris-Hollingsworth is a senior health systems scientist who is leading the development and implementation of network-wide social determinants of health strategies, stakeholder engagement interventions, and the development of community accessible resources.
Dr. Wurmser serves as vice president of Nursing Research, Grants and Academic Affairs at Hackensack Meridian Health. She oversees the Ann May Center for Nursing at Hackensack Meridian Health, a position she has held for more than two decades. In 2020, she was also appointed to the position of dean of the Georgian Court University-Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing.
Ms. Riportella has contributed more than 3,700 volunteer hours, providing assistance to patients, family members, and caregivers who are coping with cancer, helping them to navigate the John Theurer Cancer Center, serving lunch, and offering support and companionship.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine welcomed its first class in 2018 to a state-of-the-art campus, introducing an innovative curriculum, including the school’s centerpiece Human Dimension course, which addresses health inequities through a progressive, community-based medical school education.
Scientists at the Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation, in collaboration with partners at the Hackensack Meridian Health Biorepository, have tracked the rise of COVID-19 variants since 2020. Their high-throughput analysis of consented specimens collected across the network shed relevant and actionable light on shifting dynamics of the pandemic.
All honorees were celebrated at an awards ceremony on August 10. To learn more about the 2022 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes program, please visit: https://njbiz.com/njbiz-unveils-the-2022-healthcare-heroes/.