Hackensack Meridian Health Leadership Named to ROI Influencers: People of Color 2021 List

October 7, 2021

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most integrated health network, is proud to announce that several board and team members were named to the ROI Influencers: People of Color 2021 List.

“As the largest health network in New Jersey, in one of the most diverse states in the nation, Hackensack Meridian Health is committed to building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that reflects the communities we serve,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “We are incredibly proud of our diverse and talented leaders, as well as our efforts to diversify our workforce and board representation. Equally important, we are deeply committed to helping eliminate unacceptable gaps in health outcome based on race and ethnicity.’’

We are dedicated to transforming the delivery of care in New Jersey and beyond by ensuring everyone has access to high-quality, affordable, compassionate, culturally-competent care.”

Each year, ROI-NJ, a leading business publication in New Jersey, recognizes influential people of color from industries across the state. The following Hackensack Meridian Health board members and team members were recognized on the ROI Influencers: People of Color 2021 List:

  • John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, is the first African American male to be appointed to Hackensack Meridian Health’s Board of Trustees. ROI-NJ recognized him for his work advocating to increase fairness, equity and access to a level playing field for New Jersey’s African American residents and black-owned businesses.
  • Avonia Richardson-Miller, EdD, MA, CDE, is the first African American female to lead the network’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Department. ROI-NJ recognized her as a difference maker for helping hospitals across the network land on the Human Equality Index (HEI) from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. She was also applauded for launching a new resource group called Aspiring Women Leaders, which helps support and promote women across the network.
  • David Kountz, MD, MBA, FACP, is the co-chief Academic Officer and vice president, Academic Diversity for Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. Dr. Kountz also serves on the National Board of Medical Examiners as a member-at-large, where he coordinates education programs and research across the network.
  • Nicole Harris-Hollingsworth, EdD, MCHES, is Vice President, Social Determinants of Health for Hackensack Meridian Health. Nicole is responsible for the building and scaling of solutions to address social determinants and social health disparities, while also creating localized community-based solutions for specific populations.
  • Ulises Diaz is a member of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Board and the Vice President of government affairs for Horizon BCBSNJ, the state’s largest insurer.
  • Nadine Leslie is a member of the Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer, Suez North America. ROI-NJ recognized her as one of the top CEOs in New Jersey and one of the few females of color to hold the position.

In recent years, Hackensack Meridian Health has adopted a robust and comprehensive strategy focused on enhancing its diversity and inclusion efforts, recognized on the 2021 Top Hospitals and Health Systems List by Diversity Inc.

To see ROI-NJ’s full Influencers: People of Color 2021 List, click here.