NUTLEY / CLIFTON / SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The new Seton Hall – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine has appointed its founding board of governors, an assembly that harnesses the expertise of a wide array of prominent leaders from throughout the public and private sectors to help guide the school, slated to open in 2018.
With backgrounds at the highest levels of health care, finance, business, industry, law, government, marketing, academia and theology, the board brings a wealth of experience and strategic capability to the new school of medicine.
“We are grateful to our board of governors who will play a critical role in helping the school fulfill its mission to train physicians grounded in our Catholic values and committed to delivering the highest quality of health care to all patients,” Dr. Bonita Stanton, a nationally recognized expert on pediatric medicine and founding dean of the new School of Medicine, said in a press release. “In order to maximize the health outcomes of all persons, including those historically marginalized by race or socioeconomic status, we shall ground our students in community, clinical and laboratory experiences and scholarship that will advance the horizons of medical and health science in our state and nation.”
“It is an honor and a privilege to welcome Joseph Simunovich in his new role as chair of the Seton Hall – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine board of governors, along with the entire founding board,” Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, said in the release. “Each member brings a wealth of experience and insight that will be essential as we continue to develop and look forward to training the physicians of the future.”
The Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian Health partnership is expected to provide a significant economic boost to the region and help curb the critical physician shortage that New Jersey and the nation currently face.
In 2016, Seton Hall and Hackensack Meridian Health signed a long-term lease agreement for a new health and medical sciences campus consisting of 16 acres and two state-of-the-art buildings on the former Hoffmann-La Roche biomedical campus in Nutley and Clifton. In addition to the school of medicine, the new campus also will house Seton Hall’s College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences.
Joseph Simunovich will serve as chairman on the board of governors. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Suez North America, a subsidiary of Paris-based Suez Environment, and as vice chairman of the board of directors for United Water New Jersey-New York. He also currently serves as the co-chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health board of trustees. Simunovich previously served as president and chief of staff of United Water Management and Services. Active in governmental and civic associations, Simunovich has served in leadership positions for seven New Jersey Governors: Brendan Byrne, Tom Kean, James Florio, Christine Whitman, James McGreevey, Richard Codey and Jon Corzine.
Other members of the board of governors will include Edward E. Barr, Linda Bowden, Dr. Eun-Sook “Lucy” Cho-Lee, Mary Ann Christopher, James E. Collins, John J. Degnan, Francis J. Hager, Gordon N. Litwin, Robert O’Hara, Msgr. Joseph Reilly, Daniel E. Straus, John F. Swift, Dr. John F. Williams and Dr. Bonita F. Stanton.
Barr retired in 2013 as chairman of Sun Chemical Group B.V.; Barr’s retirement concluded more than 40 years of executive association with Sun Chemical, which began in April 1962.
Bowden is New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank, where she is responsible for providing executive leadership and supporting client relationship and business development initiatives, including corporate and institutional banking, commercial banking and wealth management, as well as supporting the firm’s community-based activities.
Cho is a retired clinical professor at Rutgers UMDNJ-NJMS, prior to which she served as a faculty member at Cornell University Medical College in New York City; Cho had been an attending neuropathologist at UMDNJ-University Hospital for more than 35 years, where she served as the director of neuropathology from 1975 to 2004.
Christopher is the chief of clinical operations and transformation at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and she has extensive executive leadership and governance experience with companies with annual revenues up to $2.3 billion; a registered nurse, who earned an M.S.N. from Seton Hall in 1982, Christopher received the Margaret C. Haley Award from the College of Nursing in 2011.
Collins began his term as the youngest president of Loras College on June 1, 2004; under his leadership, the college enrolled the highest quality first year class in the school’s history, received a record number of applications from prospective students, and achieved its highest ranking to date by U.S. News and World Report.
Degnan was appointed to the Port Authority of New York and nominated to the Board of Commissioners by N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, joining the board on July 14, 2014, and becoming chairman just a week later.
Hager is the co-founder and managing partner of OppCAP Group LLC. Prior to 2011, Hager was a partner at Stone Tower Capital responsible for marketing, investor relations and business development from 2008 to 2010.
Litwin serves as co-chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health board of trustees and is a key member on all Hackensack Meridian Health boards and committees; he is an attorney and partner at Litwin & Provence, a general practice of law including public interest environmental litigation and urban redevelopment as well as administrative law, including related to EPA and NJDEP representation of municipalities, planning boards and boards of adjustment.
O’Hara is retired from his position as a partner at Goldman Sachs and has founded G & O Advisors, a land management company serving the east coast. A member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center board of governors for many years, O’Hara is also a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation board of trustees, currently serving on the Finance Committee.
Reilly was ordained a priest for service to the Archdiocese of Newark in 1991 and his first assignments were as a parochial vicar at St. Paul in Ramsey and St. Andrew in Bayonne. Pope John Paul II named him a Chaplain to His Holiness in 2005, with the title of Reverend Monsignor.
Straus is chairman and CEO of Care One, a company that operates a post-acute network of 70 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and other ancillary services principally in the Mid-Atlantic and New England markets and chairman of InnovaCare Health, a managed health plan with a strong presence in Southern California as well as Puerto Rico.
Swift is the retired CEO of Omnicom Health and Medical Communications, a leading global advertising and marketing company; he is the co-founder of the Biomedical Marketing Association and is the former president of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council.
Williams is the 16th president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, a position he has held since 2012. He is also a professor of anesthesiology, critical care medicine and public health at Downstate.
Stanton joined Seton Hall University as founding dean of the School of Medicine and president of Academic Enterprise at Hackensack Meridian Health in 2016. Prior to assuming this role, Stanton served in leadership roles for 14 years at Wayne State University School of Medicine.