Saint Michael’s Medical Center appointed an eight-member board of
directors who represent a broad swath of the Greater Newark community
to oversee the direction of hospital.
The board elected the Rev. Ronald Slaughter, the pastor of Saint James
AME, to serve as chair. Harry McNeill, president and CEO of Kearny EMS,
was elected vice chair.
Saint Michael’s board of directors had to be reconstituted after
the sale of the hospital in May 2016 from Trinity Health to Prime Healthcare Services.
The Board of Trustees: From left to right, (back row) Dr. William DiGiacomo,
Harry McNeill, Dr. Adel Armanious, president of the medical staff; Rev.
Ronald Slaughter, pastor of St. James AME; Cecil Cates, (front row) Most
Rev. Manuel Cruz, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark; Marisol
Ramirez, treasurer of the Puerto Rican Day Parade of Newark; Harrison
Mayor James Fife.
“With three exceptions, the board of directors was built from scratch
and each member was carefully selected to ensure all the communities we
serve are well represented,” said Saint Michael’s CEO Robert
Iannaccone. “The board will ensure that the hospital’s mission
to provide compassionate, high-quality care is upheld in a financially
sound manner that guarantees our long-term prospects.”
The other new board members are: Harrison Mayor James Fife; the Most Rev.
Manuel Cruz, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark; and Marisol
Ramirez, an accounts payable supervisor at PSEG in Newark.
Also appointed to the board were Dr. William DiGiacomo, Cecil Cates and
Rev. Msgr. Ronald J. Rozniak, the Episcopal Vicar for Health and Social
Concerns of the Archdiocese of Newark. All three previously served on
the Saint Michael’s board under the ownership of Trinity. Dr. Adel
Armanious, president of the medical staff, is a non-voting member of the board.
The Rev. Slaughter headed a coalition of clergy that fought to save the
hospital when the sale to Prime stalled for nearly three years. The coalition
rallied the community to put pressure on the state to approve the sale.
“I'm honored and humbled by the confidence the board has placed
in me by electing me to serve as chairman,” Slaughter said. “Saint
Michael's is a first-class hospital because of the wonderful administration,
physicians, nurses, and staff who really care about the patients we serve
and the community we are a part of. I look forward to providing the type
of leadership that will make Saint Michael's the premier medical center
in the northeast corridor.”
Saint James AME is the largest African-American Episcopal church in New
Jersey with some 1,700 worshippers attending services every weekend. Under
Slaughter’s leadership, the church is deeply involved in social
justice issues, such as fair wages, access to healthcare and racism in
McNeill, who served on a board that was involved in the design of Saint
Michael’s new emergency department, said he was honored to be elected
“I will as we all will do our best to help Saint Michael’s
become the best medical center in the state,” McNeill said.
Dr. DiGiacomo, who has been affiliated with Saint Michael’s since
his medical internship in 1975, is an internist in private practice with
offices in Newark and Union.
Cates is the owner of and founder of CMIT Solutions of Northern Union County,
an information technology managed services and consulting company.
“I'm honored and excited to be part of the new board and the
new Saint Michael’s,” Cates said. “Having served on
the previous board for 4 years, I look forward to Saint Michael’s
continued role of providing exceptional medical care and employment opportunities
in the Greater Newark community.”
Mayor Fife’s relationship with Saint Michael’s goes back to
his first visit to the hospital in 1949, when he had his tonsils removed.
He was also patient in 2014, when he had a heart valve replacement.
“I am humbled and proud that Mr. Iannaccone has asked me to serve
on its board,” said Fife, who has been mayor of Harrison since Feb.
2014. “I hope to live up to the expectations that Mr. Iannaccone
has for me.”
Ramirez, who was born at Saint Michael’s, has been actively involved
in the community, serving as treasurer of the Puerto Rican Day Parade
of Newark, N.J.
“It is an honor and privilege to have been selected to serve on the
Local Governing Board of Saint Michael's,” Ramirez said. “As
a Newark native, it is important to stay grounded in my roots and give
back to the institution and city that nurtured me since my first breath
in life. I look forward to working with a great team of colleagues and
being a part of the success and growth of Saint Michael's."
Bishop Manual Cruz was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese in 1980. In
addition to several years of parish ministry, he has served as both a
chaplain at Saint Michael's Medical Center and as vice president of
Mission and Ministry for Catholic Health and Human Services. He currently
serves as director of hospital ministry for the Archdiocese, Episcopal
vicar for Hispanic Affairs, regional bishop of Union County, and as rector
of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.
Msgr. Rozniak, who was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese in 1971,
has been pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Ridgewood, since 1997.
He also is a former vicar general and moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese
and currently serves on the Archdiocese's College of Consultors, Presbyteral
Council and Finance Council. He also has served for many years on the
Board of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark.