Academic Calendar August 2024 To July 2025

2024 Health Care Power 50: A – H John Agos

In his role as CEO and board member of Bennabis Health, Agos brings more than 35 years of experience as a pharmaceutical executive to the Cranford-based startup, which launched in 2021 to help lower the out-of-pocket cost for medical cannabis. The company, one of the first in the country offer such programs for patients, continues to grow – expanding its national network of dispensaries. Along with a 15% discount at participating networks, patients who join Bennabis’ membership program are provided science-based education and support for medicinal cannabis. In recent months, Bennabis has announced a pair of partnerships with The Cannabist Co. to significantly expand its dispensary network, which now includes nearly 20% of medical cannabis states. “We are thrilled to join forces with a market-leading organization and the caring experts at The Cannabist Co., driven by our common dedication to supporting medical cannabis patients on their path to better health and wellness,” Agos said in October. “Through this partnership, we envision expanding the Bennabis Health community to more states across country, providing greater opportunities for the millions of curious patients in search of medical cannabis to gain trusted education, and cost-effective ways to experience the healing advantages of medical cannabis.”

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Academic Calendars / – Free Printable PDF templates

Kevin Ali

In 2021, Ali led the formation of Jersey City-based Organon – spun-off from Merck – to address the significant health issues that women face and deliver solutions all over the world. In his role as CEO and board member, Ali brings more than three decades of health care and commercial experience from Merck, where he served as president of the organization’s international business. Organon boasts more than 60 medicines and products in women’s health in addition to a growing biosimilars business and a large franchise of established medicines across a range of therapeutic areas. A pair of notable February announcements reflect the type of work and initiatives being done at Organon – including the launch of the next phase of programming for ‘Her Plan is Her Power,’ to improve access and outcomes related to unplanned pregnancies in the country; as well as its Hadlima being selected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to replace Humira for the Veterans Administration’s National Formulary. “America’s veterans deserve access to quality medicines at a lower cost,” Ali said in a February statement. “We are proud to support the more than 9 million people enrolled in the VA health care system through this collaboration, which is a great example of industry and public sector working together.”

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Academic Calendars / – Free Printable PDF templates

Cathleen Bennett

Since 2017, Bennett has served as president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association – a nonprofit trade association representing the Garden State’s hospitals, health systems and other health care providers. Bennett, a former New Jersey Health commissioner, leads the NJHA at a critical time – as hospitals face an array of challenges in the wake of the pandemic, including workforce shortages, sustaining financial stability, and meeting rising needs for health care services here in New Jersey. In remarks to the NJHA board in January, Bennett cited factors that are transforming health care, including AI, the breakthrough of drugs with high price tags, the deepening demand for mental health care, patients with increasingly complex health needs and two critical issues that Bennett says looms above them all. “The work we do has never been more important – nor more imperiled,” said Bennett in January. “Hospitals anchor their communities with quality care, economic opportunity and community health investments. Our attention is focused on two priorities that are essential to every aspect of health care: creating real solutions to the historic workforce shortage and protecting the financial stability of our systems of care.”

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Academic Calendars / – Free Printable PDF templates

Thomas Cavalieri

Cavalieri, who has served as dean of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine since 2006, is also the inaugural senior vice president of the Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences of Rowan University and chief academic officer of Virtua Health. He oversees all undergraduate and graduate education and research programs and manages the infrastructure supporting the mission of the School of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Nursing and Health Professions, and the School of Translational Biomedical Engineering and Sciences — all part of Virtua Health College. Over the years, Cavalieri has spear-headed a number of programs and initiatives, including raising the standard of care for older adults. He is founding director of the Center of Aging, which has grown into the Rowan-Virtua New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, and has received numerous awards for his advocacy for osteopathic medical education and patient care. Among other leadership roles, Cavalieri is a member of the board of directors of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; has served as secretarial appointee of the National Academic Affiliations Council with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and chair of the board of deans with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2022, he was the recipient of an AOA Presidential Citation and in 2023, he was named to the NJBIZ Power 50 Education list. Recently he was awarded alumnus of the year from his alma mater, Des Moines University.

Michael Charlton

Charlton succeeded Lori Herndon as president and CEO of AtlantiCare Health System after her retirement last year. A 14-year veteran of the health system, he is responsible for its strategic growth, operations and development. He leads AtlantiCare’s team of more than 6,500 individuals in serving five southeastern counties. According to AtlantiCare, Charlton excels in fostering collaboration and innovation and is passionate about creating opportunities for individuals, communities and the broader society. This passion also drives his focus on advocating for policies and programs which address challenging health care and societal issues that affect caregivers and patients. Charlton’s experience in business and health care leadership includes serving as a member of the American Hospital Association’s board of trustees from 2020-2022. He was a member of the board’s Operations/Investment, Governance, and Dick Davidson Nova Award committees. He currently serves on the AHA’s Workforce Task Force. Within AtlantiCare, he has served on the strategic growth task force since 2013 and played key roles in the expansion of AtlantiCare’s facilities, programs and services. These include the openings of a $38.3 Medical Arts Pavilion in Atlantic City in 2022 and the $25 million Health Park in Manahawkin in 2016. He co-chaired the campaign for the $62.5 million AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus transformation expansion, which was completed in 2015.

Andrea Davis

Davis, the owner of Davis Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab, has founded and led a health care business that is significantly contributing to physical therapy. She has focused on delivering high-caliber physical therapy treatment and incorporating cutting-edge technology for rehabilitation and sports performance. According to the company, her expertise and dedication to providing individualized care have changed the perception of physical therapy, integrating research, analytics, advanced technology and hands-on techniques. Davis developed Analytics for Athletes, which accurately identifies performance gaps and reduces injury risk. She enables evidence-based decision-making using data analytics and engages in meaningful patient discussions about deficits and improvement strategies. In addition to her professional achievements, Davis actively participates in community initiatives, youth sports and volunteers with organizations such as the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Medford Youth Athletic Association. Her dedication to supporting others reflects her commitment to making a positive impact beyond her practice.

Jim Davis

Davis is CEO and chair of Quest Diagnostics, leading one of the premier medical testing providers in the world. The Secaucus-based company says it serves one-third of U.S. adults and about half of the nation’s physicians each year. Quest maintains a network of 2,200 patient service centers and continues to show strength in its market. Davis is a 10-year executive of the company, having joined in 2013 as senior vice president of diagnostic services. And he was instrumental in refocusing the business on diagnostic information services, according to Quest. He was named senior vice president of operations in February 2014 and in 2017 was named executive vice president for general diagnostics, which the company said accounted for more than 80% of its revenues. Under his leadership, the company continues to innovate. For example, in February, Quest unveiled a first-to-market blood test available for consumer purchase that detects and measures the level of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially harmful chemical, in the bloodstream. The month before, Quest joined with Fitbit to commence a study into whether wearable fitness devices can be leveraged to help individuals better understand and be proactive about their health habits.

Robert Davis

Last year was another big one for Merck with Davis at the helm as chairman and CEO. During 2023, Merck announced a series of notable acquisitions and in June the company officially opened a “reimagined” Rahway headquarters where all of its New Jersey sites and divisions are being consolidated to create a modern, neighborhood-based environment centered around science and innovation. “I couldn’t be more pleased, that now, for the first time in 50 years, we’re bringing back together all of the different divisions and functions within Merck, to one place,” said Davis at the time. “Rahway is the birthplace of Merck Research Laboratories, where our ongoing journey of innovative biopharmaceutical research and development began. A century later, we begin a new chapter of discovery and hope for all humanity.” Added Gov. Phil Murphy: “The economic impact of this site, which will boast 6,000 employees and solidify New Jersey’s standing as a global pharmaceuticals hub, cannot be overstated. … Most importantly, the unveiling of Merck’s Rahway headquarters will enable this prolific company to continue its legacy of life-changing medical discoveries that have shaped the history of our state and the nation as a whole.”

Amadou Diarra

This year, Diarra was recognized with a 2024 Heart of BioNJ Award at that organization’s 31st Annual Dinner Meeting & Innovation Celebration. The distinction recognizes extraordinary patient advocates. Currently immediate past chair for the statewide life sciences association, that sentiment was at the heart of his tenure in his prior role with BioNJ. At the time he assumed the chair position, Diarra said he wanted the focus to be on patients and on humanity. That approach carries through to his work at Bristol Myers Squibb. Having joined the company in 1991, Diarra is senior vice president, Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs. In an International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations blog post last August, he gave further insight into that work. “BMS is working in partnerships from across the cancer community to improve patient outcomes by innovating more efficient and effective cancer care from screening, early detection, and diagnosis through to improving patient support and navigation and optimizing care management.”

Amy Doran

Doran is the first woman to serve as chief operating officer at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. She assumed the role in 2022, but her tenure at the RWJBarnabas Health facility dates to 1989. That’s when Doran joined the staff as a student nurse. Throughout her career with the 665-bed teaching hospital – which includes as chief nursing officer, assistant vice president of patient care services and assistant vice president of emergency services – Doran shared responsibility for integrating its strategic plan and providing oversight for high quality, safe, cost-effective and compassionate care. This past fall, the hospital received a five-year, $5 million grant to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, beginning in Newark. As the facility looks to maintain or improve upon its rankings in nationwide assessments like those from U.S. News & World Report, The Leapfrog Group and others, Doran’s role in making sure systems run smoothly will play a crucial part.

Joaquin Duato

Duato leads not just one of the state’s largest companies – and a legacy one at that – but one of the largest worldwide, as chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. After stepping into leadership positions over the past couple of years as former leader Alex Gorsky transitioned out, Duato successfully led the spinoff of J&J’s consumer health business to the now-also New Jersey-based Kenvue. After that move, it seems J&J is taking time to rediscover itself. Last fall, the company introduced a new look to its branding, marking its “next era.” According to Duato, “Uniting our diverse businesses under an updated Johnson & Johnson brand reflects our unique ability to reimagine health care through transformative innovation, while staying true to Our Credo values and the level of care that patients and doctors expect of us.” On the occasion of its 80th anniversary a few months later, the credo was celebrated and updated to reflect the times. Earlier this month, Fierce Pharma reported Duato was at the top in another way: as one of the highest-paid CEOs in pharma. According to the publication, his compensation more than doubled to $28.4 million in 2023. Not a bad starting point for Duato — or J&J under his guidance.

Matthew Edson

New Jersey’s first veterinary school broke ground last May, with a celebration for the milestone and the announcement of a $30 million gift from South Jersey businessman Gerald Shreiber, which helped make it possible. Edson is founding dean of the Schreiber School of Veterinary Medicine at Rowan University. The school has its sights set on welcoming an inaugural class of 70 students in fall 2025. Currently, there are just 32 veterinary schools in the U.S. When it debuts, the Schreiber School will make Rowan one of just two universities nationwide to offer three medical degrees. It will also help serve fill a need for vets here in New Jersey as well as nationwide. And Shreiber’s gift will help ensure that goal is attainable—an important point for Edson, who traveled to Kansas to earn his degree. “I’m a Jersey guy. I grew up here and I knew what it was like to have to leave our state to obtain a veterinary education,” he said on the occasion of the groundbreaking. “The ability to fix that for future generations is really incredibly important to me.”

Amanda Eisel

Health care payment company Zelis, which Eisel leads as CEO, is award-winning for its work to serve providers, who can then, in turn, better serve their patients. In February, it received top honors in the 2024 Best in KLAS Awards – Software and Services. The annual ranking recognizes software and services companies for excelling in assisting health care professionals with improving patient care. The year before, clients’ own ratings qualified the same Zelis Payment Integrity as a top overall performer with a score of nearly 94 out of 100. Expect more innovative thinking down the line. Looking ahead in December, Eisel was optimistic about 2024. In terms of embracing that notion, she wrote, “For Zelis, this means working across our enterprise, our partnerships, and with our clients, who span the entirety of the health care landscape, to continue to deliver on our purpose of modernizing the health care financial experience. It’s a commitment we don’t take lightly”

Perry Farhat

Since January 2022, Farhat has served as director of diversity & inclusion for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, helping carry out the hospital’s mission to provide high quality, culturally competent care; ensuring health equity and addressing disparities in care. He is also administrative director of the RWJBarnabas Health-owned facility’s Babs Siperstein PROUD Center in Somerville, which opened in 2017 as the state’s first primary care center dedicated to the specialized health care needs of the LGBTQ community. Additionally, Farhat leads the PROUD Gender Center of New Jersey at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick. During his tenure, the PROUD Center has received numerous honors, including NJBIZ’s Healthcare Heroes Award for Innovation and as the National Association of Social Worker’s 2022 New Jersey Organization of the Year. Further, the Babs Siperstein PROUD Center increased access to LGBTQ affirming care to the community by 50% in his first year at the helm. Farhat, a graduate of Rutgers Law School and Rutgers University New Brunswick, is also a member of Gov. Phil Murphy’s LGBTQ+ task force. Before joining RWJBarnabas Health, Farhat served as an assistant U.S. attorney and as an assistant prosecutor in Somerset County. At the Justice Department, he also took on the roles as LGBTQ emphasis program manager and served as community outreach liaison for the Somerset County Prosecutors Office.

Warren Geller

As president and CEO of Englewood Health, Geller oversees Englewood Hospital, the Englewood Health Physician Network and the Englewood Health Foundation, a health care system comprised of more than 4,100 employees and over 1,200 physicians and other medical staff practitioners. Since taking the reins in 2013, Englewood’s patient volume and acuity, financial performance, quality and safety outcomes have all improved, resulting in growth of over 100% in annual revenue to $985.8 million. During his tenure, Geller’s accomplishments include modernizing the hospital’s campus, facilities and technology infra-structure; strengthening key clinical programs; and expanding outpatient services. He also led the development of an integrated physician network, which now comprises over 500 providers spanning six counties. The network’s expansion efforts include the September 2022 opening of a 73,000-square-foot outpatient center in Jersey City that offers urgent care, primary care, imaging and specialty care services, as well as the October 2023 launch of the Shirvan Family Live Well Center in downtown Englewood, which provides free educational programs and hands-on experiences focused on health and wellness. During the facility’s ribbon cutting, Geller reiterated his belief in “the power of community-driven health care” and commitment to empowering individuals and families with the tools they need to make healthy choices. He also said, “We understand that true health care extends beyond the walls of a hospital.” As part of a push to advance a fair workplace, Geller became the first hospital leader in New Jersey to endorse the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge in March 2021. Since then, Englewood has established new protocols for hiring managers that address unconscious bias, revised annual staff training to include more information on DEI education and partnered with the community to attract students for internship opportunities. In partnership with the board of trustees, Geller also formed a separate population health committee – composed of community and clinical leaders and trustees – dedicated to addressing disparities as they relate to social determinants of health. Considered one of New Jersey’s top hospitals and health care systems, Englewood Health was named last year as one of America’s Best-In State Employers by Forbes and a Top Place to Work in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review. Rated a Best Hospital for Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report at the end of 2023, last fall Englewood also received its 20th “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety grade rating since 2012.

Andre Goy

Since his June 2020 appointment as physician-in-chief of the Hackensack Meridian Health Oncology Care Transformation Service, Goy oversees cancer care across the entire Hackensack Meridian Health Network — the largest such program in New Jersey. An internationally renowned lymphoma clinician and researcher, Goy has also served since 2011 as chairman and executive director of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading cancer care and research centers, treating more than 35,000 cancer patients annually. Under his leadership, the network’s flagship oncology program entered a research collaboration in 2019 with NCI-designated Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Over the past year, the center expanded its footprint across New Jersey with the goal of providing close-to-home access to leading-edge cancer care services for more patients. Now, the program provides specialized care to patients at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Mountainside Medical Center, Tom’s River Regional Cancer Center and the Cancer Center at Totowa in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health.

Its most recent accolades include ranking as one of America’s Best Cancer Hospitals 2023 by Newsweek, coming in as No. 1 in New Jersey and as a top 75 cancer hospital in the country. Becker’s Hospital Review also named it as one of 2023’s best oncology programs in the nation. Goy – who is also founding chair of the department of oncology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine – believes the recognitions are made possible through the center’s “highly subspecialized cancer care expertise, leading-edge in cancer research and molecular diagnostics.” He also highlighted the John Theurer Cancer Center’s position as a “global leader in blood cancers, cell therapy and immunotherapy.”

Sebastian Guth

Appointed in June 2023 as president and new senior representative of Bayer’s U.S.-based operations in Whippany, Guth is responsible for leading one of the country’s leading life sciences companies. Guth, who has been with the German multinational for 17 years, also retained leadership of the pharmaceuticals business for the U.S., one of the company’s critical growth markets, and Canada. In that role, which he held since 2018, Guth led the turnaround of Bayer’s $4.2 billion business in the Americas Region, reignited the company’s growth momentum, expanded its U.S. footprint and increased earnings. He also guided a cultural transformation that grew employee engagement by 18% during his first two years and fostered diversity within leadership, moving from 15% to a 50% female-led team. In taking on the position of president, Guth said he was honored and looked forward to serving the organization in a new capacity “as we continue to accelerate growth and foster an inclusive, vibrant and entrepreneurial culture in the U.S.” While best known for over-the-counter medicines like Aleve and Claritin, Bayer is increasingly making moves into health and innovation. For instance, in October 2023, Bayer opened a $250 million facility in Berkeley, Calif., to focus on cutting-edge cell therapies to treat diseases like Parkinson’s. Guth’s promotion came a few weeks after Bayer announced a series of leadership changes, including Dave Tomasi’s promotion to president of consumer health North America. Together, Guth and Tomasi replace Patrick Lockwood-Taylor, who accepted a CEO post at Dublin-headquartered Perrigo.

Perry Halkitis

Since August 2017, Halkitis has served as dean of Rutgers University’s School of Public Health, the state’s only accredited school of public health. Part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences with programs at the university’s campuses in Newark and New Brunswick, the School of Public Health is ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. In December 2023, Rutgers announced that it will use a $3 million donation from an alumnus to create the Perry N Halkitis Endowed Chair in LGBTQ+ Public Health in recognition of his lifelong scholarly, educational and community engagement/activism. Rutgers Health Chancellor Brian Strom is also contributing an additional $2 million to support the new chair, a position that will be key in launching the university’s planned Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health. Halkitis described the new post as “a commitment to the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people and populations by supporting research, academic excellence, and community engagement in this area.” For three decades, the focus of his work has been on the emergence, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases in sexual, gender, and/or racial-ethnic minority populations. In addition, Halkitis has been on the forefront of fighting for the rights of those infected with and affected by HIV, as well as being an outspoken advocate for the rights and health of the LGBTQ+ population. As an infectious disease epidemiologist, applied statistician and public health psychologist, Halkitis has published 300 peer-reviewed academic articles and several books, including 2019’s Out in Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stone-wall to the Queer Generation and 2013’s The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience. The latter was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award nominee and both books received the American Psychological Association Distinguished Book Award in LGBT Psychology. Halkitis is also the founder and director of Rutgers’ Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS), a nationally recognized center for the study of LGBTQ health, as well as a Hunterdon Professor of Public Health and Health Equity and Distinguished Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Considered one of the state’s top public health experts, Halkitis was selected by Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration – along with Strom – in the early days of the pandemic to lead efforts to trace the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Dave Hickey

Hickey has been with Franklin Lakes-based Becton, Dickinson, and Co. since 2014 and currently serves as executive vice president and president of the Life Sciences segment. In this role, Hickey has overseen the global operational, commercial and financial performance of the businesses in this segment. In February, Hickey announced his intent to retire from BD, effective July 1. “In my 10 years at BD, I’ve worked alongside some of the most incredible and talented teams in MedTech who have delivered countless research and diagnostic innovations, and who are having a profound impact on people around the world. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished together and am confident in the continued success of BD now and in the future,” Hickey said in a Feb. 27 news release announcing his retirement. “For over a decade at BD, Dave has demonstrated a strong, strategic and innovative approach, empowering his teams to deliver impactful results through a growth mindset and developing incredible talent and next-gen leaders at BD,” said Tom Polen, chairman, CEO, and president of BD, who also noted Hickey and his teams’ efforts during the pandemic. “We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.” BD said it intends to name a successor in the lead-up to that retirement date. Big shoes to fill, for sure.

Leslie Hirsch

In his role as president and CEO of New Brunswick-based Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, Hirsch continues to oversee tremendous growth and evolution of the organization, which he joined in 2015. Two such examples have happened since the calendar flipped to 2024. In late January, Saint Peter’s and Atlantic Health System signed a Letter of Intent to establish a strategic partnership – putting the institutions on a path toward reaching a definitive agreement within the coming months to fully integrate the two organizations. “The hospital industry has substantially transformed over the past 10 years, and we remain the only single-hospital health system in Middlesex County and one of the few remaining in New Jersey,” said Hirsch in January. “Although Saint Peter’s is stronger today than ever, throughout this journey it has become clear that to assure our future success, we need a strategic partner whose resources, capabilities and values are aligned with our mission. We are very excited about the prospect of becoming a part of Atlantic Health as it has an excellent reputation for being a high-quality of heath care provider and our respective cultures are very well aligned.” And earlier in March, Saint Peter’s unveiled a $12 million modernization and expansion project at its Family Health Center. “I am so excited that we’ve arrived at this moment,” said Hirsch. “Saint Peter’s Catholic mission of humble service to humanity comes to life daily at the Family Health Center.”

Pavita Howe

Howe serves as vice president, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for BioNJ, a trade group that serves as the voice for the state’s life science sector. In this role, she engages and supports the life sciences entrepreneurial community and innovation ecosystem expanding BioNJ’s outreach and collaboration with investor, academic and industry partners to increase successful entrepreneurship. She also oversees BioNJ’s Biopartnering Conference, which moves to Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center for its 14th Annual iteration in May. And Howe is leading BioNJ’s efforts in AI and other digital health initiatives, created to provide thought leadership for members and opportunities for cutting-edge entrepreneurs to highlight their innovations in this space. In February, she was appointed to the New Jersey-India Commission, which is charged with advancing bilateral trade and investment and encouraging economic development in both New Jersey and India. “I am honored to establish the New Jersey-India Commission to strengthen the cultural and economic ties between New Jersey and India for generations to come,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in February when he signed an executive order establishing the group. “We take immense pride in the contributions of our vast Indian immigrant population, and through this commission, we can ensure that we seize a new century of opportunities to grow together and pioneer new possibilities.”