Section: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center News

Newark’s Queen Latifah to Be Honored, along with Heart Surgeon Margarita Camacho, MD & Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo


Partners in Newark’s Progress
Newark’s Queen Latifah to Be Honored, along with the Nation’s Most Transplanted Heart Surgeon Margarita Camacho, MD & Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo

Queen Latifah

April 22, 2013 – Newark native Queen Latifah (Dana Owens) will be honored along with Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, and Dr. Margarita Camacho, Surgical Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Medical Device Program at Barnabas Health Heart Hospital at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, at the annual Partners in Progress dinner, hosted by Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. (NBIMC). The dinner will be at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Partners in Progress celebrates Newark and the people who have contributed to its success.

Queen Latifah is receiving the Community Award, the County Executive is receiving the Public Service Leadership Award and Dr. Camacho is receiving the Medical Program Award. “Newark continues to show promise as a major U.S. city,” said Marc E. Berson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at NBIMC. “Our Partners in Progress dinner is our way of showcasing individuals whose contribution has helped to move this city forward.”

Queen Latifah is a musician, actress, entrepreneur and author. Born in Newark, Queen Latifah has had great success in music and movies. She became the first hip hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to music, film and television, Queen Latifah has also written a book on self-esteem entitled, “Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman” and “Put on Your Crown: Life Lessons from the Queen.” Queen Latifah’s philanthropy includes college scholarships through the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, Inc. established by her mother, Rita Owens, to perpetuate the memory of her brother. She has also participated and supported programs addressing home foreclosures and the Newark Little League. In addition, she treated a number of Newark school children to the premiere of her movie, “Last Holiday” at the Newark Screens movie theater. She has also supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, City Meals on Wheels; Keep a Child Alive, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and many more.

Joe DiVincenzo

County Executive Joe DiVincenzo made history as the only person to serve more than two terms when he was sworn in for his third term as Essex County Executive in January 2011. He also served as President of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Joe is credited with changing the face of Essex County, both fiscally and physically. He raised bond ratings from junk level to AA2. He is credited with running Essex like a business, eliminating unnecessary contracts, cutting expenditures, reducing the size of government and raising revenue through unique partnerships with neighboring counties. The County Executive created the position of Inspection General and established an Ethnics Board. Joe also guided the restoration of the Historic Courthouse, and completed overhauling the Government complex, including the construction of Veterans Memorial Park, the first new County Park in Newark in 80 years. Joe is also credited with the revitalization of the historic Essex County Park System.

Margarita Camacho, MD

Dr. Margarita Camacho has transplanted more hearts than any heart transplant surgeon in the nation, as a member of the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, one of the top three transplant programs in the nation. For eight years, Dr. Camacho has been responsible for the surgical care of NBIMC’s most critically ill cardiac patients. She is one of only a handful of women in the field of cardiac surgery and even fewer who perform heart transplantation, and is respected by her peers nationwide. She was elected to the leadership of the Society for Thoracic Surgery, the leading cardiac surgery society in the world. She is also past president of the Society of Women in Thoracic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. She also is president of the State Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, and lectures nationally, including on Capitol Hill to Washington policy makers.

“The Partners in Progress dinner recognizes the honorees contributions to Newark and to the city’s future,” said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH. “For the last nine years, we have hosted this dinner to recognize those who have invested in Newark’s progress. This year’s honorees exemplify the spirit of progress and partnership in Newark.”

The Partners in Progress Awards Dinner will benefit the Harvey and Georgina Weinstein National Heart Transplant Center at NBIMC. For information, call 973-926-7951 or visit on line at

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is one of the top three in the nation in the number of heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Saint Barnabas Health Care System affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at

Categories: Heart,Press Releases