This experienced health care executive has returned to his native region
to guide Saint Barnabas Medical Center into an ambitious future.
Stephen P. Zieniewicz, the new president and chief executive officer of
Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, grew up on Long Island in
a family devoted to helping others. His mother and two sisters are nurses.
His father is a retired firefighter with the New York City Fire Department.
“I come from a family with a focus of service to others,” he says.
He was particularly drawn to health care. As a college student at St. John’s
University, he worked in the emergency department of North Shore University
Hospital and knew right away that health care administration would be
his chosen career. “I have always felt comfortable serving patients
and their families. And I have a passion for high quality and safety.
I want to provide the safest environment possible for patients, employees
and everyone in the hospital, and safety is foundational for quality outcomes.”
Zieniewicz assumed his new position at Saint Barnabas Medical Center on
Sept. 8, 2015. After graduating from St. John’s with a Bachelor
of Science degree, he earned a Master of Public Health degree from Columbia
University School of Public Health. He is a fellow of the American College
of Healthcare Executives (FACHE ), a board certification that demonstrates
his professionalism, focus on excellence, continuing education and service
to the community.
He has extensive leadership experience at nationally recognized, complex
academic medical centers. Prior to joining Saint Barnabas, he was executive
director of the University of Washington Medical Center, which he served
since 2007. He was chief operating officer at Saint Louis University Hospital
in St. Louis, Missouri, from 2004 to 2007. From 1977 until 2004, he held
administrative positions at several hospitals in New York, including South
Nassau Communities Hospital, Long Island Health Network, Winthrop- University
Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and North Shore University Hospital.
“Steve’s consistent focus has been on safety, quality, physician
alignment, evidence-based performance improvement and population health,
among many areas,” says Barry H. Ostrowsky, president and chief
executive officer of Barnabas Health, the parent company of Saint Barnabas
Medical Center. “I am extremely pleased that our world-class medical
center will be guided by a proven health care leader whose strengths correlate
so directly with our system’s goals.”
Zieniewicz joins Saint Barnabas Medical Center at an auspicious moment.
New Jersey’s oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian hospital is celebrating
its 150th anniversary in 2015 with an ambitious expansion program in the
works. That is partly what drew him here. “I like to solve challenges
and build programs,” he says.
In 2016, four new operating rooms will become operational. “They
are state-of-the-art, with advanced technologies in a thoughtfully engineered
space, to accommodate our expansion of procedures,” he says.
A new technology coming online in January 2016 will be the CyberKnife,
a robotic radiation oncology system that delivers beams of high-dose radiation
to tumors with extreme accuracy and offers a noninvasive alternative to
surgery. (See page 30.)
In the summer of 2016, a new parking facility is scheduled to open. And
in summer 2017, the new West Wing building will open, adding about 250,000
square feet of space that will include a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
and new, private patient rooms.
Among Zieniewicz’s biggest challenges is meeting the requirements
of the Affordable Care Act, which are changing how hospitals do business.
The ACA contains provisions intended to shift focus from individual patient
care to population-based health measures— which means from just
treating existing disease and injury to helping people maintain their
health. It also holds hospitals accountable for lowering rates of infections,
falls and readmissions. “We are redesigning how we provide care
toward population health management, to keep our community healthy and
treat chronic diseases outside the hospital,” he says. “My
passion and focus are to create the safest environment for our patients
and their families and continue achieving exceptional outcomes.”
His past experience has prepared him well for these tasks. During his career
he has helped introduce the use of safety checklists, built such programs
as sports medicine and transplant services and enhanced clinical research
both in the lab and at the bedside through clinical trials. And he starts
from an already strong position. The medical center was selected as a
Top Hospital for the second year in a row by The Leapfrog Group. Among
its many nationally recognized services are The Burn Center, New Jersey’s
only certified burn treatment facility (see page 32), and the Living Donor
Kidney Transplant Program, the fourth largest in the nation.
Zieniewicz and his wife, Linda J. Hipps, M.D., a gynecologist soon to join
the Saint Barnabas Medical Center staff as well, live in Livingston. In
his free time he stays fit with running and golf, and he and his wife
enjoy music and the fine arts. He also has volunteered his time in the
past to such organizations as the American Heart Association—he
was chairman of its Seattle chapter, and he plans to offer his support
to the regional chapter here after he settles into his new position.
He is thankful for the opportunity to come back to the New York–New
Jersey area, which he considers home. “My family still lives on
Long Island,” he says. “My wife and I are excited and look
forward to helping serve the health care needs of this beautiful community.”
To find out more about services available for you or your family at Saint
Barnabas Medical Center, please call 1.888.724.7123 or visit