May 30, 2024: NJHA Announces 2024 Best at the Beach Honors Celebrating Healthcare Heroes

May 30, 2024: NJHA Announces 2024 Best at the Beach Honors Celebrating Healthcare Heroes

They’re an advocate who spearheads hospital-community efforts to help the poor and disenfranchised. A physician committed to dignity and excellence in the care of older adults. The team that developed a first-in-the-nation program to dispense life-saving drugs to overdose victims. A leader who chased a 20-year dream to bring state-of-the-art care to the community.

The New Jersey Hospital Association will celebrate these and other efforts to create a healthier New Jersey at its 2024 Best at the Beach event, presented by Marquis Health Consulting Services, to be held July 11 at Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch.

"In a state with exceptional healthcare teams and nationally ranked quality of care, these are the people and programs nominated by their peers as the best of the best," said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett. "We salute their service, skill and compassion."

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Audrey Meyers, CEO of Valley Health System, a visionary leader with a career spanning more than 40 years in delivering the highest caliber healthcare. In April, she saw her 20-year quest to replace an aging hospital in Ridgewood become a reality with the opening of a state-of-the-art “smart” hospital in Paramus that will provide healthcare services, jobs and community investment for generations to come.

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to two healthcare leaders that have been tireless advocates for the health of their respective communities. Warren Geller, president and CEO of Englewood Health, is recognized for guiding the strategic growth of Englewood Hospital and its broad reach in the community, including a focus on population health and diversity and inclusion. The second Distinguished Service honor will be presented to Kenneth Morris Jr., vice president of external affairs for St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson, who connects the hospital and its community in meaningful and innovative initiatives including one of the state’s first hospital-based supportive housing developments.

NJHA will present its Emeritus Prize to Joseph Chirichella, president and CEO of Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Pemberton, and James Gonzalez, president and CEO of Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark. This honor recognizes retiring leaders who have left a legacy of unselfish commitment to NJHA and the state’s healthcare community.

And, in a special presentation, NJHA will bestow the Icon Award on the late John Lloyd, who retired in 2019 as co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. He was among the driving forces behind the formation of the healthcare system that now has more than 500 patient care sites and 36,000 team members. His vision and leadership have left an indelible mark on New Jersey’s healthcare landscape.

Other individuals and programs to be honored at NJHA’s Best at the Beach are:

  • Changemaker Award: Thomas Kloos, MD, vice president, Atlantic Health System, and president, Atlantic Accountable Care Organization
  • Mission & Margin Award: Joseph Dobosh Jr., vice president and chief financial officer (ret.), Children’s Specialized Hospital, RWJBarnabas Health
  • Clinical Excellence – Acute Care: Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, Morristown Medical Center, Atlantic Health System
  • Clinical Excellence – Behavioral Health: Haven at Ramapo Ridge, Christian Health
  • Healthy New Jersey Award: Cooper University Health Care Emergency Medical Services for its Buprenorphine Program
  • Excellence in Patient Experience: Jill Anderson, system vice president of patient experience, RWJBarnabas Health
  • Diversity and Inclusion Award: Rhonda Jordan, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Virtua Health
  • Inspired Aging Award: Manisha Parulekar, MD, Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Emerging Leader Award: Courtney Timberman, assistant vice president of ambulatory shared services, Inspira Health System
  • Connect Award for Outstanding Communications: Atlanticare for its American Heart Month campaign

The awards will be presented in a casual beachfront celebration that attracts close to 400 guests who share NJHA’s commitment to improving the health of New Jerseyans. Event details can be found at