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Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - South Jersey Healthcare announces new board leadership Outgoing chairmen honored for years of dedicated service

VINELAND, NJ (June 16) – South Jersey Healthcare’s trustees have elected new officers to lead the organization’s System and Hospital Boards of Trustees. Russell Gillespie was elected chairman of the System Board and Michael Rossi III was elected chairman of the Hospital Board. Both men bring extensive professional and trustee experience to their new roles.

“As we welcome our new board chairmen and officers, we also want to thank Gary Simmerman and Bruno Basile for their exemplary leadership,” said Chet Kaletkowski, president and CEO. “The past three years have been filled with major accomplishments and recognitions and these gentlemen helped make it possible.”

The two boards have different, yet complimentary responsibilities. The Hospital Board of Trustees is primarily concerned with the day-to-day operations of the hospitals, including quality of care and patient satisfaction. The System Board is responsible for the overall strategic plan for all SJH services, including its hospitals; finances; and long-term planning. SJH Trustees are community volunteers elected to serve three-year terms.

Gillespie has lived and worked in the Vineland area for many years. Since 2001 he has held the position of Regional Manager for Commercial Lending in Southern New Jersey and Delaware for Sun National Bank. He previously served as a vice president for PNC Bank, NA, for 16 years. Gillespie also serves the region as a member of the Economic Development Committee of the Southern New Jersey Development Council.

Gillespie began his board service with Newcomb Medical Center in 1990 and became an SJH System Board member in 1997, serving as its vice chairman for the last three years. He currently serves on the Finance Committee, which he previously chaired, and the Governance Committee; he previously served on and chaired the Corporate Compliance Committee.

As a long-time board member, and now as chairman, Gillespie believes there are three over-arching priorities for the System Board.

“We must maintain our highly effective management team; remain a financially solid organization; and, of course, stay focused on clinical quality,” explained Gillespie. “These priorities are interdependent, and all are vital to our mission of providing excellent care to our communities.”

Community benefit programs and services are also of particular interest to Gillespie. As a non-profit health system, South Jersey Healthcare must constantly assess the health-related needs of its communities and provide needed services.

“If the need is there, we will try our best to make it happen, even when it does not make sense financially,” said Gillespie. “Yes, we have to be mindful of the bottom line, yet we recognize that certain services are just too important to rule out for financial reasons.”

Rossi is a life-long area resident and the president and owner of Allied Insurance Services of Vineland. Allied Insurance provides a broad spectrum of financial and insurance services in both personal and commercial lines to the greater southern New Jersey region.

Rossi’s affiliation with the region’s hospitals began in 1983, when he was elected to the Newcomb Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Since that time, he has served as a board member and chairman of the SJH Foundation Board; and, for the past three years, vice chairman of the Hospital Board. He has held leadership positions on several board committees including: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, on which he continues to serve; Operations; and Medical Policy. His service to other organizations includes volunteer leadership positions for the United Way, American Red Cross, Jaycees, Cumberland County Home Health Aide Service and the YMCA.

Looking ahead, Rossi’s priorities include building better relationships with both admitting and non-admitting physicians in the region. The recruitment of physicians in needed specialties and the replacement of retiring physicians will also be priorities for the Board.

Rossi has a strong interest in fostering relationships with local businesses and expanding opportunities for them to participate in fulfilling the needs of SJH’s hospitals and other facilities. He also brings an unwavering commitment to clinical excellence to the chairmanship.

“My colleagues and I on the Hospital Board will continue to support all efforts to enhance clinical quality in serving the health care needs of the region,” said Rossi. “Clinical and service excellence must always be our top priorities.”
 
“I am confident that Russ and Mike will continue the tradition of exemplary leadership built by their predecessors,” said Kaletkowski. “They are taking over the reigns as many New Jersey hospitals struggle to stay afloat financially. With their leadership, SJH is poised to meet future challenges while providing excellent health care services for our communities.”

Other new board officers were also elected and a list is included below.

 SJH System Board
Chairman: Russell W. Gillespie
Vice Chairman: Peter Galetto Jr.
Sectretary: Herbert C. Deininger
Treasurer: Kenneth L. Ender, Ph.D.

SJH Hospital Board
Chairman: Michael M. Rossi III
Vice Chairman: Ann M. Budde
Secretary: Richard “Rick” Harz
Treasurer: Harry E. Hearing

South Jersey Healthcare (SJH) is a nonprofit, integrated health care system, providing access to a continuum of health care services. SJH provides hospital services, numerous community health clinics, home health services, and specialty services, which serve the medical and health care needs of Southern New Jersey residents.