At a special meeting, the board of directors appointed Shereef M. Elnahal, M.D., M.B.A., to serve as president and chief executive officer of University Hospital in Newark, effective July 15. Dr. Elnahal will succeed Judy Persichilli, who has served in this role on an interim basis since December 2018.
Dr. Elnahal is currently the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, where he leads over 4,000 employees and is responsible for all public health matters impacting New Jersey’s nearly 9 million residents. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University who earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, Dr. Elnahal is a licensed physician who has devoted his professional career to improving the quality, safety and reliability of healthcare across all disciplines. Dr. Elnahal previously served as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under President Obama. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy and Management at Georgetown University.
“The board is delighted to welcome Dr. Elnahal to University Hospital. We are confident that his strong leadership and creativity will be the driving force necessary to continue the momentum we have begun to develop over the last several months as we craft a strategic plan for the future,” said Tanya Freeman, University Hospital board chair. “The board is also deeply grateful to the selfless work of Judy Persichilli during this transition period. She has brought a culture of transparency and gratitude to the leadership team that is felt by our patients, employees, and community.”
“It has been a privilege to work with the board as we reimagine the future of University Hospital,” said Judy Persichilli, acting president & chief executive officer. “I am excited to pass this role to Dr. Elnahal and believe he is an extraordinary candidate to serve as the next president and CEO.”
“It’s been my greatest honor to serve in the Murphy administration. During my tenure, we accomplished much to advance the Governor’s agenda for social justice in health: restoring funding for women’s health care to reach over 10,000 additional women, serving thousands of women of color to target black infant and maternal mortality, setting the foundation for the state’s public health approach to the opioid epidemic, improving the state’s psychiatric hospitals, helping to preserve the gains New Jersey has made with the Affordable Care Act, and overseeing the largest expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program in its history,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “It is now my privilege to transition into serving the state’s only public hospital and its community. At University Hospital, I pledge to continue my service to New Jersey by executing on a vision that makes it an institution of trust again for its community. University Hospital can be the pride of Newark. Its health care, community, and academic missions can carry it forward into excellence. That is my promise to patients, employees, and the surrounding community.”
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