St. Joseph’s Health Garners Three NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards

PATERSON, NJ (August 12, 2022)St. Joseph’s Health is pleased to announce that the organization received three 2022 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards. The Healthcare Heroes awards program was created to honor and recognize individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of Health Care in New Jersey.

“We are extremely proud of our NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes honorees who are dedicated to supporting our health system’s mission, visions and values,” said Kevin Slavin, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. “These awards represent our ongoing commitment to improving individual and community health with a special concern for those who are poor, vulnerable and underserved. Congratulations to all for these well-deserved recognitions.”

This year’s winners are as follows:

Physician of the Year - Silvio Podda MD, Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery; Director of the Plastic Surgery Residency Program and Regional Craniofacial Team; and “Palestroni Birth Defects Center” Surgical Director at St. Joseph’s Health.  Dr. Podda has made more than 30 medical missions across the globe to Haiti, India, Philippines, Syria and several countries throughout Africa, including Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ethiopia. He has treated nearly one thousand patients, mostly children suffering from cleft lip and palate, cranial deformities and repairing the damage caused by snipers’ bullets. 

Workplace Wellness – The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health and the Center for Innovation for the St. Joseph’s Health Good-to-Well employee mental health resources program.

The St. Joseph’s Health Center for Innovation was established through a grant from the Nicholson Foundation in 2019.  The Innovation Lab, or INLAB, is a multi-disciplinary group focused on improving systems through better healthcare. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the team created a single, online platform dedicated to providing employees with mental health services.

Healthcare Professionals - The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth who founded St. Joseph’s Hospital, played an integral part of the history of Paterson and New Jersey for more than 150 years. In the 1860’s, the Sisters petitioned the City to build a hospital and reached out to area residents to gain financial support for the fledgling hospital.  Since that time, the Sisters have continued the legacy of serving the localcommunity. Today, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are engaged in education, health care, social justice and ecological integrity, and pastoral and social service ministries in 13 dioceses within the United States, El Salvador, and Haiti.

Photo caption:

St. Joseph’s Health is pleased to announce that the organization received three 2022 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards in the following categories:  Physician of the Year, Workplace Wellness and Healthcare Professionals.  From left to right: Kevin Slavin, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health; Carlos Rueda, MD, Chief Innovation Officer and Chairman of Psychiatry; Sister Judith Mertz, Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth; Silvio Podda, MD, Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery, St. Joseph’s Health; and Jennifer K. Mendrzycki, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, St. Joseph’s Health.


Founded in 1867 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s Health is a world-class hospital and healthcare network supported by more than 5,000 leading and renowned physicians, nurses and care teams. From its humble beginnings, St. Joseph’s Health has become one of the premier health systems in the state, serving more than 1.5 million patients annually. The organization continues to evolve as the leading health resource in the community, the largest employer in Passaic County, and one of the largest providers of charity care in New Jersey.

The St. Joseph’s Health system is one of the leading clinical teaching and academic centers in the country, and has been recognized for its innovative programs and cutting-edge services. The health system operates a full continuum of care, including a regional tertiary care medical center (St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson), an acute care medical center (St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, Wayne) a state-designated children’s hospital (St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Paterson), a rehabilitation and long-term care facility (St. Joseph’s Healthcare & Rehab Center, Cedar Grove), an outpatient facility (St. Joseph’s Totowa Health Campus, Totowa) comprehensive home care (Visiting Health Services of New Jersey), and multiple ambulatory care centers located throughout Northern New Jersey. The system is further supported by St. Joseph’s Health Medical Group, which operates more than 100 physician medical and specialty practices across northern New Jersey.

Among its awarding-winning specialties, St. Joseph’s is home to the nationally acclaimed Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program; the first accredited Geriatric Emergency Department in New Jersey; a five-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence (the profession’s highest honor - an accomplishment reached by only 15 hospitals nationwide); and recognized by US News & World Report with a Top Nursing Home award and a five-star rating.

In September 2019, St. Joseph’s Health established a strategic and clinical partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health, one of New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health networks. Together, the two health systems operate a jointly-owned home health and hospice agency, serving patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties. In addition, St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian have collaborated on clinical affiliations in acute rehabilitation (with the HMH JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute) and comprehensive oncology care (with the HMH John Theurer Cancer Center).  For more information, please visit:


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