February 2, 2018
Chief innovations officer at Hackensack Meridian Health Recognized for Vision, Innovation and Leadership
Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., FACP, CPE, president, Physician Enterprise and chief innovations officer at Hackensack Meridian Health, was honored with the 2018 Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership at the Gateway Gala, BioNJ’s 25th Annual dinner meeting, networking event and innovation celebration on Feb. 1 at the Hilton, East Brunswick, NJ.
“Andrew Pecora is a remarkable physician, researcher and innovator,” said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “This recognition is so well deserved because of Dr. Pecora’s outstanding leadership which has resulted in tangible improvements in patient outcomes and health care delivery. I am honored to call him a colleague and friend.”
A certified hematologist and oncologist, Dr. Pecora is recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost experts in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation, cellular medicine and immunology research. In 1989, he spearheaded the development of the John Theurer Cancer Center’s Adult Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation Program and is responsible for many advancements used in stem cell transplantation today.
Dr. Pecora’s current research involves developing vaccines and other cellular medicine techniques that boost the capabilities of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer and targeted therapies that destroy cancer cells. His research has been published extensively in prestigious medical journals and he is a frequently requested lecturer at conferences all over the world.
A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Pecora has created multiple companies in biotechnology healthcare and information technology, and holds over 50 national and international patents covering the composition and use of bone marrow derived cells for treating cardiovascular disease and for applications in precision analytics. He is the founder and first president of Regional Cancer Care Associates and professor of oncology and medicine, Georgetown University.
In 2017, the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees approved a $25 million capital fund to create incubator space, among other initiatives, to promote innovation, which has drawn interests from venture capitalists and life science companies.
“The work that Dr. Pecora is doing – for patients, for medicine, for science, for New Jersey – defines vision, innovation and leadership,” says BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart. “He is deserving of this award for what he has done and what he is sure to do in the future. Through his work, Dr. Pecora is disrupting the practice of medicine, disrupting innovation, disrupting our ecosystem and disrupting the future of health care. BioNJ is thrilled to honor this amazing man in this way and anxious to see his future unfold.”
“It’s an honor to receive this acknowledgement, and I am deeply thankful for my professional colleagues at the John Theurer Cancer Center and the administration at Hackensack Meridian Health, which have supported an environment that drives innovation,” said Dr. Pecora. “This recognition is bestowed upon an entire medical community working together to develop new approaches that will improve the lives of people in New Jersey and influence the nation and the world.”
About the Dr. Sol J. Barer Award
The Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership was established by the BioNJ Board of Trustees in March 2008 in an effort to recognize the outstanding research and business leaders who have made and continue to make significant contributions to the growth of the biosciences in New Jersey and around the world. The honoree is voted on by the BioNJ Board of Trustees from a recommendation based on nominations received by the Nominating Committee. The award is named for Sol J. Barer, Ph.D., who founded the biotechnology group at Celanese that was subsequently spun out to form Celgene, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.
About BioNJ’s Annual Meeting
BioNJ’s Annual Meeting brings together executives of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, professional service providers, government officials, academic leaders and others for an evening of networking, business discussions and award presentations.
BioNJ is The Gateway to Health, a powerful network of 400 Member Investors representing research-based life sciences companies and other contributors to a vibrant ecosystem where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients are Paramount. Because Patients Can’t Wait, BioNJ is dedicated to propelling this rich, innovation hub forward in New Jersey and beyond to help stimulate the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies and cures to save and improve lives and lessen the burden of illness and disease to society. As the industry’s voice in New Jersey, BioNJ fulfills its mission to help companies help patients by driving capital formation and fostering entrepreneurship, advocating for public policies that advance medical innovation, providing access to talent and education, and offering a cost-saving array of critical commercial resources.
ABOUT JOHN THEURER CANCER CENTER AT HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. Housed within Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of aftercare services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For additional information, please visit www.jtcancercenter.org.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 33,000 team members and more than 6,500 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the 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 16 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; 11 community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 160 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, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 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 one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey, including Hackensack University Medical Center which is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” 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.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.