New Jersey Hospital Association President and CEO Cathy Bennett today announced the addition of Christine Stearns, a seasoned public affairs and government relations professional, to serve in the newly created role of chief government relations officer (CGRO) for the association.
Responsible for developing and advancing NJHA’s legislative agenda, Stearns will oversee a staff of government relations and external communications experts, as well as the association’s public affairs consultants.
“As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly more regulated, it was critical for our association and industry to have an advocate with both legal and lobbying expertise,” said Bennett. “Having established herself in both fields, Christine is highly qualified to aggressively advocate in Trenton and Washington, D.C. She has more than 20 years of experience and relationships that will be invaluable resources in NJHA’s efforts to advance the health of all New Jerseyans.”
“With over 355,000 New Jerseyans working with our hospitals, there is no more vital challenge than ensuring that we have a strong supportive relationship with policy makers.” said Stearns. “We must focus both on the short- and long-term challenges to ensure patients and residents across the state continue to receive the best healthcare possible. I look forward to working with leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders as New Jersey continues to make significant investments in the healthcare industry.”
Stearns comes to NJHA from Gibbons, P.C., where she was the director of government affairs and the administrative director of the firm’s Trenton office. She represented a variety of healthcare industry clients, from hospital networks to medical practices. Stearns was previously the vice president of health and legal affairs at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.
Stearns received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, her master’s degree in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law in Camden. She is a member of numerous professional boards and committees and has been recognized for her work throughout her career.
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