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Hospital Association Presents Awards for Commitment to Healthcare

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several individuals and organizations were honored at the 90th Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association today at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

NJHA's 2009 Distinguished Service award was presented to John K. Lloyd, FACHE, from Oceanport, president and CEO of Meridian Health in Neptune. Lloyd was honored for his years of service and leadership to Meridian Health, its patients and communities as well as his commitment to healthcare far beyond the hospital's walls. In 1997, Lloyd led the merger of Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, to create Meridian Health. Under his leadership, Meridian is now a nationally recognized healthcare leader with a special focus on clinical quality, nursing excellence and innovative technology applications.

The NJHA Healthcare Professional of the Year award was presented to Lois Greene, RN, MBA, from Newark, of Saint Michael's Medical Center in Newark. As vice president of oncology and hematology services, Greene also serves as administrative director of The Connie Dwyer Breast Center and the hospital's Regional Cancer Center, overseeing the "In the Pink" program. Greene's commitment to the fight against cancer is evidenced by her involvement in a number of organizations including her appointment as president-elect for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, North Jersey Affiliate and board member of the American Cancer Society.

The NJHA Hospital Trustee of the Year award was presented to John L. Colaizzi, Ph.D., RPh, from East Brunswick, of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for his dedicated service and leadership. Colaizzi has been a member of the hospital's board for more than 25 years and was instrumental in launching a number of initiatives that contributed to the unprecedented growth from a local hospital to a major, regional academic medical center. He also was involved in the development of regional centers of clinical excellence in cardiac, cancer and pediatric care; and the building of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital.

The NJHA Healthcare System Trustee of the Year award was presented to Joseph A. Maressa, Esq., from Berlin, of Kennedy Health System in Voorhees. For more than 30 years, he served as a member of the Kennedy Memorial Hospital - University Board of Trustees, and also served as a member of the Kennedy Health System Board for more than 25 years. Maressa was instrumental in Kennedy's purchase of the Cherry Hill and Washington Township hospitals in 1980.

NJHA also annually recognizes hospitals that demonstrate unique and effective methods of reaching out to better serve the healthcare needs of area residents. The 2008 Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey's Community Outreach Awards recognize outstanding community achievements in the following categories: disease and injury prevention; improving access and quality of care; reducing healthcare disparities; and programs with budgets less than $50,000.

For Preventing Disease and Injury, St. Joseph's Healthcare System, Paterson, was recognized for its Women's Heart Center. The center was designed to improve the cardiovascular health of women in northern New Jersey, focusing mainly on high-risk women from ethnic minorities. The program's goal was to increase women's awareness of heart disease, risks, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options and reduce the cultural, racial, linguistic and economic barriers and assist them with immediate access to appropriate quality care. To date, more than 6,500 women have attended the educational programs and over 1,800 have undergone screening evaluations.

For Improving Access and Quality of Care, Capital Health System - Mercer Campus, Trenton was recognized for its Rolling Out the Red Carpet program. This program was implemented to improve access to prostrate screenings for black men, regardless of health insurance and ability to pay. Through a five-week multimedia campaign, the public was informed that Capital was "rolling out the red carpet for their screening," similar to Hollywood's red carpet. Men were empowered in a humorous and positive way to sign up for the screenings. Out of 531 men registered, 310 attended one of the 11 screenings. More than 15 percent were referred for further evaluation.

The Community Outreach award for Reducing Healthcare Disparities was awarded to Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for its KidsFit Newark: A Comprehensive Wellness Program for Kids and Those Who Love Them. This pediatric obesity program was established to address the prevalence of overweight and obese youngsters in the greater Newark area and to help the community's children and families to overcome this pressing health and social issue. With a small group composed of peers along with professional guidance from pediatricians, a nutritionist, exercise physiologist and social worker, children set personal diet and exercise goals and received coaching to help them meet their goals. Future plans include bringing the program to local schools and increasing the number of participants.

UMDNJ - University Hospital, Newark received the Community Outreach award for Programs with Budgets Less than $50,000 for its Pedestrian Injury Prevention Partnership, which addressed a significant public health issue in urban areas: the dangers of traveling by foot and pedestrian injuries and fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes. The program included mapping injury "hot spots" throughout the city; installing safety cameras on city streets; implementing a school-based pedestrian initiative; and conducting pedestrian safety special events including international Walk to School Day.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 107 member hospitals and the patients they serve.

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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