Section: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center News

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Cardiac Surgeon becomes the First Female Recipient of the American Heart Association Distinguished Service Award

06/05/2017

Dr. Margarita Camacho Awarded the Harvey E. Nussbaum Award at 20th Annual American Heart Association Heart Ball

Dr. Camacho with her husband and son at the 2017 AHA Affair of The Heart Ball

Dr. Camacho with her husband and son at the 2017 AHA Affair of The Heart Ball

NEWARK, NJ (June 2, 2017) -- Margarita Camacho, MD, FACS, Surgical Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Assist Devices for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has been named the recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Harvey E. Nussbaum, MD, Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding commitment to building healthier communities and to the mission of the American Heart Association. She will be honored at the 20th Annual Affair of the Heart Ball on June 3 in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.

Dr. Camacho, is the surgical director of one of the ten largest heart transplant programs in the country and the largest on the east coast. She is the first woman to ever receive this award, named in honor of the late Harvey E. Nussbaum, M.D., a renowned cardiologist from Saint Barnabas Medical Center, also an RWJBarnabas Health facility.

"I agreed to accept this honor on behalf of our team at Newark Beth Israel, who I regard with great respect for their technical expertise and their personal compassion when caring for our patients. It is a privilege to be honored for doing something I absolutely love," said Dr. Camacho.

Dr. Camacho has performed more heart transplants than any other surgeon in the state of New Jersey and more than 98% of the surgeons in the United States.

Under the leadership of Dr. Camacho and Dr. Mark J. Zucker, Director of the Cardiothoracic Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel, the program has attained national recognition and is on track to reach a milestone one thousand heart transplants performed, this fall.

"Dr. Margarita Camacho is an exemplary physician and leader who provides high-quality and compassionate care to each and every one of her patients. We are proud of her contributions to Newark Beth Israel and to the communities we serve and honored to stand with her as she accepts this award," said Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, MPH, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children's Hospital of New Jersey.

For more information about the heart failure treatment and transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, visit rwjbh.org/hearttransplant.

From Left to right: Dr. Joseph E. Parrillo, 2017 AHA Affair of the Heart Ball Chairman; Dr. Margarita Camacho, Surgical Director, Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Assist Device Program at Newark Beth Israel and 2017 Distinguished Service Award winner; Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, MPH, FACHE, President and CEO, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. (courtesy Shotwell Productions)

From Left to right: Dr. Joseph E. Parrillo, 2017 AHA Affair of the Heart Ball Chairman; Dr. Margarita Camacho, Surgical Director, Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Assist Device Program at Newark Beth Israel and 2017 Distinguished Service Award winner; Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, MPH, FACHE, President and CEO, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. (courtesy Shotwell Productions)

Margarita Camacho, MD, FACS
Prior to joining Newark Beth Israel in 2005 as the surgical director of our cardiac transplant and mechanical assist device program, Dr. Camacho served as Clinical Associate at the Cleveland Clinic where she received the Charles Bryan award for clinical excellence. She received her medical degree from New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY and completed fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2012 she was honored by The Executive Women of New Jersey, and received the 2014 Healthcare Professional of the Year Award from the New Jersey Hospital Association. She is President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Medical Women's Association, Vice President-elect of the New Jersey Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and has been named several times to Castle Connolly's Top Doctors lists. She lectures nationally, including to Washington D.C., policy makers. Dr. Camacho is past chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on End-stage Cardiopulmonary Disease and past President of the Society of Women in Thoracic Surgery. She has authored numerous research articles, book chapters and surgical manuals.

Dr. Camacho cheered on as she takes the podium to accept the 2017 AHA Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Camacho cheered on as she takes the podium to accept the 2017 AHA Distinguished Service Award

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is a 665-bed regional care teaching hospital that provides comprehensive health care. Newark Beth Israel is home to one of the nation's 10 largest heart transplant centers, RWJBarnabas Health's Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program; New Jersey's only Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program and a Valve Center that performs more cardiac valve procedures, including minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs), than any other center in the state. The Newark Beth Israel robotic surgery program is the most experienced in northern New Jersey. The Frederick B. Cohen, MD, Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the new Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Breast Health Center provide seamless integration of cancer prevention, specialized care and treatment options. Newark Beth Israel also offers many preventive health programs that promote wellness in the community.

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