West Orange, NJ, February 17, 2015 -- Jennifer G. Velez, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS), will join Barnabas Health as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning, effective March 10, 2015, announced Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Barnabas Health.
In her new role, Ms. Velez will oversee the development of the strategic vision and plan of the corporation. In addition, she will assist the facilities in development of location-specific strategic plans and integration with the system's objectives. She will also help to further integrate our facilities with the communities they serve, oversee community health assessments and integrate them into individual facility and corporate strategic plans, identify growth opportunities, and other related goals of the system.
"Ms. Velez will be an extremely important asset to our Barnabas Health initiatives," said Mr. Ostrowsky. "She has a deep understanding of our communities' needs and her experience and expertise will be especially effective in representing Barnabas Health as we transform to maintain our position as one of the nation's foremost providers of health care and wellness."
In announcing her resignation as Commissioner, Governor Christie stated, "Jen Velez has been one of the smartest and most dedicated people I have had the honor of knowing during my time as governor. She has been a tremendous advocate in our efforts to deliver effective, cost-efficient, and high quality services to the most vulnerable New Jerseyans, and has done so with a genuine fervor and compassion to help make people's lives better."
Ms. Velez has held her current position since 2007, and is the State of New Jersey's longest-serving Human Services Commissioner. She serves as a member of Governor Christie's Cabinet and previously served in the Cabinet of former Governor Jon Corzine. In her current role, she manages the largest State agency with budget, personnel and operational responsibility for nearly $11 billion, approximately 16,000 employees, eight operational divisions, including Medicaid, five developmental centers and four psychiatric hospitals. Prior positions include Deputy Commissioner of NJDHS, First Assistant Child Advocate in the NJ Office of the Child Advocate, and Government Affairs/Contract Lobbyist, State Street Partners, LLC. Her legal experience includes Senior Associate Counsel, Assembly Liaison, Office of the Counsel to the Governor of New Jersey; Associate, Labor and Employment Department, Pitney, Hardin, Kipp and Szuch.
Her Bachelor of Arts in Economics was received at Drew University; with a semester on the European Economic Community in Brussels, Belgium. Her Juris Doctor was awarded from Rutgers School of Law, Newark, where she was Managing Editor of the Rutgers Law Review and Convocation Student Speaker.
Among a large number of awards and honors, Ms. Velez was named Number 1 on the 2014 NJ BIZ Power 50 Healthcare list, where she has been listed for five consecutive years. Most recent awards include Women Lawyers Association of NJ, Women's Initiative and Leaders in Law Award; Legal Services of NJ/NJ State Bar Association, Champions of Justice, Richard J. Hughes Career Public Service Award, and Special Tribute Award, NJ APSE for Employment of Persons with Special Needs.
About Barnabas Health
Barnabas Health is the largest not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system in New Jersey and one of the largest in the region, with more than two million patient visits and delivery of more than 20,000 babies annually. The system includes seven acute care hospitals, two children's hospitals, a trauma center, a freestanding behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state's largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, retail pharmacy services, a medical group, multi-site imaging centers and several accountable care organizations. As the second-largest private employer in New Jersey, Barnabas Health includes more than 20,000 employees and over 5,000 physicians – or one-fifth of the actively practicing physicians in New Jersey. For more information, visit www.BarnabasHealth.org.
Contact: Ellen Greene