Newswise — June 15, 2021, Nutley, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, is pleased to announce that three of its team members were honored as “Champions of Humanistic Care” by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

The honorees are: Regina Foley, Ph.D., MBA, RN, the senior vice president of Integration and Transformation for the health network; Joshua Josephs, M.D., Ph.D., director of Health Systems Science, at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, and a Faculty Hospitalist, Hackensack University Medical Center; and Christopher P. Duffy, MLIS, AHIP, the associate dean of the Health Sciences Library at the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus of which the medical school is part. 

“The skill and commitment of these professionals is a testament to what we can do if we all work together,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, the chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “All three went above and beyond to make positive change in the face of a global health crisis. We applaud them.” 

“A pandemic really can show what the human spirit is capable of,” said Bonita Stanton, M.D., the School’s founding dean. “This group shows how someone can answer the call – and change lives, no matter what their role may be.”

Foley has successfully managed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the health network. The effort began in December 2020, and over the last four months has administered more than 500,000 shots.   

Josephs is a key member of the faculty at the medical school. But as a clinician, he also spent significant amounts of time working on the “front lines” of the COVID-19 response in the Hackensack Meridian Health network.

Duffy is the librarian who helped a task force of Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine students perform real-time research early in the pandemic, which informed the clinical side of the health network with the latest information appearing on the Internet – which impacted care for the better across Hackensack Meridian Health.

According to The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a non-profit organization that fosters the human connection in health care, the 2021 Champions of Humanistic Care includes more than 200 physicians, nurses, and healthcare team members who have been selected by their healthcare institutions for compassion and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Champions of Humanistic Care were recognized at the Gold Foundation’s virtual gala on June 10, 2021, alongside three esteemed National Humanism in Medicine Medal recipients:

  • Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Biden, who accepted his medal on behalf of all health care medical teams in America.
  • Wayne Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, 17th president of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York Academy of Medicine.
  • Eric Topol, M.D., founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, and professor of Molecular Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute.


The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The School’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey.



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and over 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its third class of students in 2020 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.


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