Hackensack Meridian Health’s Kenneth M. Esser Named to Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders List

October 13, 2020

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, is proud to announce that Kenneth M. Esser, senior vice president, chief of staff, Corporate Services and Governance, Government Relations is among Modern Healthcare’s 2020 class of Top 25 Emerging Leaders (formerly Up and Comers). Modern Healthcare, the leader in healthcare business news, research and data, annually honors emerging leaders all age 40 or under, who have made significant contributions in the areas of innovation and financial, operational and clinical excellence early in their careers.

“In a year that’s proven to be a gamechanger for the industry, a group of leaders have risen to meet the moment. Some members of the 2020 class of Top 25 Emerging Leaders were freshly minted in their roles when COVID-19 hit. They rose to the occasion, whether it was developing outreach for underserved communities or standing up robust telehealth capabilities. And that’s on top of the growing accomplishments they were already registering in their regular jobs. These 25 honorees represent the most impressive leaders driving change across the industry,” said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare.

A dynamic and dedicated leader, Mr. Esser has played a significant role in helping to guide Hackensack Meridian Health through the COVID-19 pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, the network treated roughly 3,000 COVID-19 patients across its 17 hospitals. Mr. Esser navigated the crisis by coordinating with the network’s Command Center that helped secure personal protective equipment (PPE) while coordinating federal and state officials to secure critical funding for testing. He also played a major role in helping to open New Jersey’s first center dedicated to helping COVID-19 patients after their recovery.

“Kenny Esser has been instrumental in Hackensack Meridian Health‘s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “Kenny’s intelligence, energy, and care helped our network in securing much-needed equipment, funding, and other resources that strengthened our preparedness. I want to congratulate Kenny on this well-deserved recognition by Modern Healthcare, and I would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication to enhance healthcare delivery for our communities.”

Mr. Esser played a significant role in securing funding for and coordinating developments impacting the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, which was established as an independent medical school in July. This was a major milestone for the school that offers a three-year path to residency, partners students with underserved communities and strives to keep more physicians in New Jersey. Mr. Esser also led the launch of Hackensack Meridian Health‘s Take Vape Away campaign, which is a $1 million comprehensive strategy dedicated to combatting youth vaping. Additionally, Mr. Esser was instrumental in helping the network create a Blue Ribbon Panel to help improve maternal outcomes in New Jersey which has the fifth highest rate of maternal deaths in the country.

This year’s honorees are profiled in the October 12 issue of Modern Healthcare and online at ModernHealthcare.com/top-emergingleaders.