Lori S. Herndon, MBA, BSN, RN, president and CEO of the health system AtlantiCare, was installed as chair of the board of the New Jersey Hospital Association. In addition to hospitals, NJHA’s nearly 400 members span the continuum of healthcare providers.
The official installation, as well as the appointment of new board officers and members, was held during NJHA’s 103rd Annual Meeting which was held virtually.
Herndon, a Brigantine resident who has served on the board since 2014, assumes the role at a time when the Association and its members are continuing to care for New Jersey residents amid the ongoing pandemic while simultaneously addressing post-COVID challenges including bolstering the healthcare workforce and addressing health equity in vulnerable communities.
NJHA’s road ahead from COVID will include a focus on support and resiliency of the healthcare workforce and “leading the discussion about how we deliver care and build staff pipelines to ensure caregivers have the team members they need,” said Herndon.
A former ICU nurse, Herndon also had this message reminding New Jerseyans of the contributions and sacrifices healthcare workers have made over the past two years: “There’s one last thing I want to address today, and that is kindness. Sadly, our team members have too often been on the receiving end of growing frustration and division in our society. I propose that we consider kindness as another social determinant of health. It is a fundamental human trait that connects us, and it may be the glue we all need in these trying times.”
Herndon succeeds 2021 Board Chair Douglas A. Struyk of Wayne, president and CEO of Christian Health. Struyk was the first chair in NJHA’s history from the post-acute/long-term care and behavioral health communities.
In her remarks to members, NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett discussed 2021’s historic public health response and the transformative impact it will have on healthcare, the economy and society. New Jersey’s healthcare providers have already embraced that change with innovations in clinical trials, new treatments, building design and data science during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 is not the first pandemic to sweep the globe, and I imagine it won’t be the last. In fact, history is filled with health crises that shaped our world.” said Bennett. “And so, with crisis as catalyst, this is our time to contribute to our healthcare history. It’s inspiring to see the power of our healthcare community to comfort, to heal and to save lives. Each day we respond to this pandemic is also a step toward recovery.”
Under Herndon as board chair, the full slate of NJHA Board officers includes:
The following healthcare leaders also were appointed as new board members: Paige Dworak, of East Orange, president and CEO of CareWell Health Medical Center; Amy Mansue of Mullica Hill, president and CEO of Inspira Health; Brian Sweeney of Blue Bell, Pa., president and COO of Jefferson Health – New Jersey; and, Steven Sheris, MD, of Livingston, executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atlantic Health System.
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