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Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University Appoints Founding Board of Governors  

Joseph Simunovich, chairman of the board of governors of the Seton Hall University-Hackensack Meridian Health school of medicine

Joseph Simunovich, chairman of the board of governors of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University.

The new Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University 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," said Dr. Bonita Stanton, a nationally recognized expert on pediatric medicine and founding dean of the new School of Medicine. "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 Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University Board of Governors, along with the entire founding board," said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, co-chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. "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, New Jersey. 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. The move has widely been hailed as an important first step to help revitalize the area following the departure of Hoffmann-La Roche.

Board of Governors Members:

Joseph Simunovich, Chairman
Joseph Simunovich 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, Board of Directors, United Water New Jersey-New York. He also currently serves as the co-chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees. Simunovich previously served as president and chief of staff of United Water Management and Services. He also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Hackensack University Health Network as well as chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center Joint Venture Board. He previously served as chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Governors from 2004 through 2007 and was also chairman of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation for six years. 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. He received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University and attended Fairleigh Dickinson University Graduate School for a master's in Business Management. He has also completed post-graduate coursework at the Carnegie Institute.

Edward E. Barr
Edward E. Barr retired in 2013 as chairman, Sun Chemical Group B.V. Barr's retirement concluded more than 40 years of executive association with Sun Chemical, which began in April 1962. During this period, the company's core business of printing inks and pigments grew from a U.S. operation of $25 million in sales to a global company with more than $3.5 billion of sales. He became chairman of Sun Chemical Group B.V., the holding Company of Sun Chemical Corporation, in 1997. Prior to becoming chairman, Barr served as chairman, president and CEO of Sun Chemical, a post he held for 11 years. He began his career with Sun Chemical in 1962 as assistant to the president. He subsequently served as a group vice president and as executive vice president, until he was elected Sun Chemical's president and chief operating officer in 1975. Barr is a 1957 graduate of New York University's Stern School of Business and participated in NYU's Ph.D. program in Economics between 1959 and 1961. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus and was awarded the school's John T. Madden Memorial Medal in 1978. Barr holds a Master of Science degree in economics from the University of Michigan and attended Harvard University Law School. He is also a graduate of M.I.T.'s Senior Executive Program. Barr's honorary degrees include a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Laws from Monmouth (N.J.) College.

Linda Bowden
Linda 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. Bowden has previously served as portfolio manager, trust and investment officer, and as a manager overseeing private banking officers. She has been named among the "25 Women to Watch" by U.S. Banker magazine and was recognized as one of the "Best 50 Women in Business" and "Power 100" by NJBIZ. Prior to joining PNC in 2009, she was the managing director of Wachovia Wealth Management. Bowden began her career as a teacher in Wyckoff, NJ, and authored two children's math books. Bowden is active in a range of community programs. She serves on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation, as well as the executive committees of the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, NJ, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Choose New Jersey. In addition, Bowden is a member of the Board of Trustees of Newark Celebration 350, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the William Paterson University Foundation. She is also a Fairleigh Dickinson University PINNACLE recipient, the highest honor awarded to alumni. Bowden earned an M.S.W. from Columbia University, an M.A. in institutional counseling from William Paterson University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.A. in education from Rowan University. Additionally, Bowden completed the National Trust School at Northwestern University, earned her Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and has completed numerous sales management and leadership programs.

Eun-Sook "Lucy" Cho-Lee, MD
Dr. Eun-Sook "Lucy" Cho-Lee 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. Dr. Cho had been an attending neuropathologist at UMDNJ-University Hospital for over 35 years, where she served as the director of neuropathology from 1975-2004. Dr. Cho has also served as a consultant neuropathologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1981-89, United Hospital in Newark from 1975-88, and Veterans Administration Hospital in East Orange from 1982-96. She received her B.A. and M.D. from Yonsei University Medical School in Seoul, Korea. She has been active in community services especially in the area of family life (Worldwide Marriage Encounter) and of second generation Korean Americans (Se-Jong Korean School). She is also a member of the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University.

Mary Ann Christopher
Mary Ann Christopher is the chief of clinical operations and transformation at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She has extensive executive leadership and governance experience with companies with annual revenues up to $2.3 billion. She served as president and CEO of the two largest non-profit community-based health systems in the U.S.: Visiting Nurse Association Health Group in NJ and Visiting Nurse Service of New York. In the course of her 35 years of experience, she has designed and led home care, hospice, community mental health services, federally qualified health centers, national demonstrations and a health plan. Christopher has a distinguished career of visionary leadership, strategic positioning, business development, merger and acquisition expertise, and restructuring experience. 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. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents of Seton Hall University.

James E. Collins
James E. Collins began his term as the youngest president of Loras College on June 1, 2004. Collins obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance from Loras College in 1984 and a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education from the University of Iowa in 2004. After graduating from Loras, Collins returned to campus as an admissions representative and in his 25 years of service to the College has held positions as director of special projects, director of alumni and college relations, interim director of development, assistant to the president and vice president for institutional advancement, and senior vice president. As assistant to the president, Collins directly oversaw the Office of Admissions at a time when the college enrolled the largest first year class in its history. In his position as senior vice president, Collins was instrumental in securing the largest gift the college had ever received-$10 million. His work with alumni and leadership on campus also led to the success of the college's philanthropic campaign, "Belief Unfolding," which raised $3 million in excess of its $46.5 million goal. As president, Collins has spearheaded one of the strongest periods of achievement in the college's 173-year history. 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 (13th among 371 Midwest baccalaureate colleges and universities). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents of Seton Hall University.

John J. Degnan
John J. Degnan was appointed to the Port Authority of NY and nominated to the Board of Commissioners by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and joined the board on July 14, 2014. He was elected chairman of the board on July 23, 2014. Degnan retired as vice chairman and chief operating officer on 2010 from The Chubb Corporation. Degnan served as vice chairman and chief administrative officer of The Chubb Corporation since December 2002 and vice chairman and chief operating officer from June 2008 through December 2010. He has held various titles since joining Chubb & Son a division of Federal Insurance Company in 1990 as a senior vice president and general counsel. In September 1996, he was elected president of The Chubb Corporation and also became president of Chubb & Son a division of Federal Insurance Company in 1998. Degnan served on the boards of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters; the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, St. John's University and the Barnabas Health System; and continues to serve as a trustee for St. Benedict's Preparatory School and St. Vincent College. He also served as a member of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Judicial Appointments and the President's Federal Advisory Council on Insurance. Degnan graduated from Saint Vincent College magna cum laude in 1966 and from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1969. He received honorary degrees from the College of St. Elizabeth in 1978, Seton Hall University in 1979 and St. Vincent College in 2016.

Francis J. Hager
Francis J. Hager is the co-founder and managing partner of OppCAP Group LLC. Prior to 2011, Hager was a partner at Stone Tower Capital ("STC") responsible for marketing, investor relations and business development from 2008 to 2010. He was also a senior advisor on all CDO related investments for STC funds. Hager was one of five members of the Investment Committee for the Stone Tower Structured Credit Recovery Fund. For the prior eight years, he was co-head of the Credit Suisse cash CLO/CDO group. From 1984-2000, Hager was employed at Morgan Stanley in the Institutional Equity and Global High Yield groups. In 1997, Hager was made a managing director at Morgan Stanley where he began his career in leveraged finance. From 1981-1984, Hager was in the corporate finance group at Citibank. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude. He has an M.Phil in Economics from Oriel College, University of Oxford. Hager is member of the IESE (Barcelona) Business School US Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents of Seton Hall University.

Gordon N. Litwin
Gordon N. Litwin, Esq. serves as co-chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees. As co-chair of the board, Litwin is a key member on all Hackensack Meridian Health boards and committees. Outside affiliations include: trustee of the Scherman Foundation; trustee of the Mary Owen Borden Foundation; member of Advisory Boards for Community Foundation of NJ, and Urban Coast Institute of Monmouth University. He is an attorney and partner at Litwin & Provence, LLC, a general practice of law including public interest environmental litigation and urban redevelopment as well as administrative law, including related to EPA and NJ DEP representation of municipalities, planning boards and boards of adjustment. Litwin is admitted to the Bars of State of New Jersey, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and United States Supreme Court.

Robert O'Hara
Robert 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. He also serves as chairman of the Adaptive Sports Foundation. He is a founding member of the Hudson Farm Foundation and a member of its Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he is currently the president of Career Guidance, a nonprofit company serving the New York metropolitan area. O'Hara has received Honoree of the Year awards from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Adaptive Sports Foundation.

Monsignor Joseph Reilly
Monsignor Joseph Reilly, a Mountainside, New Jersey native and 1987 graduate of Seton Hall University, was ordained a priest for service to the Archdiocese of Newark in 1991. His first assignments were as a parochial vicar at St. Paul in Ramsey and St. Andrew in Bayonne, both in New Jersey. In 1994, he served as priest-secretary to then Archbishop McCarrick, and in 1995 joined the staff of Seton Hall Prep, where he served as a faculty member and chaplain. In 2002, he was named rector of St. Andrew's Hall, and then was appointed rector/dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, effective June 20, 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, a licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from Pontificio Istituto Teresianum, Rome, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Fordham University. He has served as a member of the Archdiocesan Priest Personnel Board, the Advisory Committee on Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests, the Archdiocesan Vocations Board, and the Board of Trustees of Seton Hall University. Pope John Paul II named him a Chaplain to His Holiness in 2005, with the title of Reverend Monsignor.

Daniel E. Straus
Daniel E. Straus is chairman and CEO of Care One, LLC, 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. Straus' other health care holdings include, Ascend Concierge Home Care, Ascend Home Health, Ascend Hospice, Care Realty, Care Missouri, CareVirginia, HealthBridge Management, and Partners Pharmacy. In addition, he operates an office that invests in hedge funds, private equity and real estate. Previously, Straus was the principal stockholder, president and co-CEO of The Multicare Companies, Inc., which was sold in 1997. Prior to that, he was an attorney with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City. Straus holds an A.B. in political science from Columbia University and a J.D. from New York University. Straus is active in several charitable and philanthropic endeavors, which include spearheading multiple fundraising campaigns which raised a total of more than $3 million to support both charitable organizations and CareOne employees.

John F. Swift
John F. Swift '60 is the retired CEO of Omnicom Health and Medical Communications, a leading global advertising and marketing company. He rose through the ranks of the health care communications industry after beginning his advertising career in the 1960s. Swift was a new product manager at Chesebrough-Ponds before joining L.W. Frohlich as a vice president in 1968. He started his own agency, Lavey/Wolff/Swift in 1972. It merged with BBDO, a leading consumer agency, in 1977 with Swift serving as chairman/CEO of the new health care marketing group BBDO/HMC. He earned his Bachelor of Science in marketing from Seton Hall University. Swift is the co-founder of the Biomedical Marketing Association and is the former president of the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council. In retirement, Swift remains active with volunteer work, including serving as a member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents and the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology's Board of Overseers.

John F. Williams, M.D.
John F. 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. As president, Williams has promoted collaboration and a multidisciplinary focus across the academic and clinical disciplines as he has guided SUNY through a period of significant financial challenges; developed an innovative health care delivery system model for Brooklyn; transformed the clinical operation to align with population health management and federal and state reform initiatives; advanced its role as Brooklyn's hub of health education, biomedical research and clinical care; engaged Downstate in long-term planning to develop new models of integrated, value-based and patient-centered care; established programs and policies to improve infrastructure and drive sustainability; and launched forward-looking initiatives to ensure responsible stewardship of resources. Previously, Williams served as provost and vice president for health affairs at George Washington University. He also served as dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for Graduate Medical Education at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and associate and assistant dean for admissions for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He was a member of the faculty there for 28 years and is professor emeritus at George Washington University. Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University in 1970, a Master of Science from The London School of Economics and Political Science in 1973, a Masters of Public Health from Yale University in 1975, and Doctorates of Medicine (1970) and Education (1996) from George Washington University. Williams is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Greater New York Hospital Association. President George W. Bush, and three subsequent Secretaries of Homeland Security, appointed Williams to the Homeland Security Advisory Council of the United States. He is also a member of the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University.

Bonita F. Stanton, MD, Ex Officio Member
Dr. 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, Dr. Stanton served in leadership roles for 14 years at Wayne State University School of Medicine where she had been vice dean for Research, SOM; chair, Department of Pediatrics and Pediatrician‑in‑Chief, Children's Hospital of Michigan; and president, University Pediatrics practice plan. Previously, Dr. Stanton served as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at West Virginia University School of Medicine and division chief, General Pediatrics, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She served in Bangladesh for five years as a senior researcher at the International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research and as the maternal child health advisor, Bangladesh, for the World Bank. She held the position of medical director of Yale University's Hill Health Center and attended on Yale's Pediatric Infectious Disease Service. Dr. Stanton completed her Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship at Yale and residency training at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. She received her Doctorate of Medicine degree (cum laude, Alpha Omega Alpha) from Yale University School of Medicine and her BA in Biology (magna cum laude, Durant Scholar) from Wellesley College. Dr. Stanton has authored more than 300 manuscripts and served as an editor of several textbooks including Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. She is the consulting editor for Pediatric Clinics of North America, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Keys (Elsevier Health Sciences). Dr. Stanton has been continuously funded as a principal investigator (PI) on one or more NIH awards since 1990 and she has served on and/or chaired multiple NIH study sections. She has received numerous accolades for her research contributions in global HIV prevention and has consulted for numerous national and international agencies including WHO, the World Bank, UNICEF, Elsevier and USAID.

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