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Member News -- Hackensack Meridian Health Co-CEO R..

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive network, is proud to announce that co-CEO Robert C. Garrett is ranked No. 1 in ROI-NJ’s inaugural Influencers Health Care List.

“We are extremely proud of this honor which reflects Bob’s unwavering commitment to transforming health care in New Jersey and beyond, by continuously leading exceptional teams to improve quality, patient experience and affordability,’’ said Joseph Simunovich, co-chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees.

Andrew Pecora, M.D., president, Physician Enterprise and chief innovations officer, was ranked No. 6 by ROI. Also recognized were Bonita Stanton M.D., founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University and Don Parker, president of Care Transformation Services with oversight of behavioral health once Carrier Clinic joins the network.

Under Mr. Garrett’s visionary leadership, the network has grown to 16 hospitals and nearly 500 patient care locations throughout the state, advances that have resulted in many honors including having four hospitals in the top 10 in the state, according to U.S. News and World Report. The network also launched the first private medical school in New Jersey in decades this year with Seton Hall University to stem the shortage of physicians in the state and to redesign medical education to better prepare physicians for the future.

“Bob Garrett is racing full speed ahead to diversify the portfolio of the state’s largest health system in unique ways,’’ ROI-NJ noted in selecting Mr. Garrett for the top spot.

“We are so fortunate to have Bob leading our network because of his passion for excellence and for developing strategies that ensure Hackensack Meridian Health remains a dynamic, patient-centered organization today and in the future,‘’ said Gordon N. Litwan, Esq., co-chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees.

Mr. Garrett launched his career at Hackensack University Medical Center in 1981 and served as president and CEO of the Hackensack University Health Network from November 2009 through July 2016. Mr. Garrett dramatically expanded the network through a series of acquisitions, partnerships and affiliations. In July 2016, the network merged with Meridian Health, which is now the state’s largest network with 33,000 team members and 6,500 credentialed physicians. This extensive breadth of services enables the network to reach nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition and I could not achieve the goals we set for Hackensack Meridian Health without the support of such exceptional physicians, team members and trustees ,’’ Mr. Garrett said.

Under Mr. Garrett’s leadership, the network launched several partnerships, most notably with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to create a uniform standard of excellence throughout the network. The organizations will open a jointly-operated outpatient center, a national first for Memorial Sloan Kettering.

The network also plans to merge with Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s most respected behavioral health provider, which will increase access to mental health and addiction treatment in New Jersey.

Always an innovator, Mr. Garrett also led the efforts to partner with the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an affiliate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to support trailblazing products and services. The Bear’s Den – a group that includes Mr. Garrett, co-CEO John Lloyd, venture capitalists, physicians and other experts – announced its first investment this year in Pillo, a health robot that helps patients better manage their health. A second grant is likely to be issued next month for another innovative product.

Mr. Garrett and his wife Laura also contributed a $2.65 million endowment for the School of Medicine Dean, which launched total contributions of $15 million in support of endowments last year.

Mr. Garrett has also been honored by numerous state and national publications. Earlier this year he was again named to Becker’s prestigious list of the 100 top leaders in health care in the U.S., a list that includes Bill and Melinda Gates and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Mr. Garrett is a true thought leader and regularly shares his expertise at national and international conferences and contributes guest columns regularly to Modern Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review.

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