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Power 50 Health Care Slideshow > 2014 > #1 Jennifer Velez, N.J. Department of Human Services

#1 Jennifer Velez N.J. Department of Human Services, Commissioner

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
#50 Richard Lipsky, Meadowlands Hospital, Co-owner #49 Mitch Rothschild, Vitals, CEO #48 Nicholson Foundation #47 John Koehn, Amerigroup New Jersey, CEO #46 Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, President and CEO #45 Steve Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics, CEO and president #44 Joe DiVincenzo Jr. & Donald DiFrancesco, Essex County & University Hospital, County Executive & Chairman #43 Ward Sanders, New Jersey Association of Health Plans, President #42 Erol Veznedaroglu & David J. Shulkin, Capital Institute for Neurosciences & Morristown Medical Center, Director & President #41 David Knowlton, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, President and CEO #40 Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University, Professor #39 Ralph Tang, Partners In Care, CEO and President #38 Joseph Berardo, MagnaCare, President and CEO #37 Jeff Brenner, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Executive director #36 Christine Stearns, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Vice president of health and legal affairs #35 John Gribbin, CentraState Healthcare System, President and CEO #34 David Tilton, AtlantiCare, CEO #33 Herb Conaway, D-Delran, Assemblyman #32 David Kostinas, David Kostinas and Associates, Principal #31 Joel Cantor, Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University, Director #30 Mark Manigan, Brach Eichler, Partner #29 Gary Horan, Trinitas Medical Center, CEO #28 Jay Picerno, Barnabas Health, COO and CFO #27 Jeanne Otersen, Health Professionals and Allied Employees, Policy director #26 Louis Greenwald, D-Voorhees, Assemblyman #25 Mark Hopkins, New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, Executive Director #24 Scott Kobler, McCarter & English, Attorney #23 Brian Strom, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Chancellor #22 John Tedeschi, Advocare, CEO #21 Annette Catino, QualCare, CEO #20 John Sheridan, The Cooper Health System, President and CEO #19 Joseph Vitale, New Jersey State Senate, Legislator #18 Valerie Harr, N.J. Department of Human Services, Director #17 Robert Barchi, Rutgers University, President #16 Jeff LeBenger, Summit Medical Group, Board Chair and CEO #15 Amy Mansue, Childrens Specialized Hospital, President and CEO #14 Prem Reddy, Prime Healthcare Services, Head #13 Neil Sullivan, Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, General Counsel #12 Richard Miller, Virtua, President and CEO #11 Stephen Jones, Robert Wood Johnson Health System, President and CEO #10 Vivek Garipalli, CarePoint Health, Head #9 John Lloyd, Meridian Health, President and CEO #8 Lou Goetting, State of New Jersey, Deputy Chief of Staff #7 Robert Garrett, Hackensack University Health Network, CEO #6 Mary ODowd, N.J. Department of Health, Commissioner #5 Robert Marino, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, President and CEO #4 Barry Ostrowsky, Barnabas Health, CEO #3 Joseph Trunfio, Atlantic Health System, CEO #2 George E. Norcross III, Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital, Chairman of the Board of Trustees #1 Jennifer Velez, N.J. Department of Human Services, Commissioner


For the past seven years, Velez has been at the helm of Human Services, serving as commissioner through both Democratic and Republican administrations. That puts her in charge of an $11 billion budget, one she is managing as the department wades through a time of significant change.

And it's the reason she is in the No. 1 spot on the NJBIZ Health Care Power 50.

The department has taken responsibility for seniors in recent years. The state is making a controversial push to close more state-run institutions, putting the focus on keeping the elderly and disabled in the community. And the Affordable Care Act has meant major shifts when it comes to Medicaid in the state.

In short, the job is a huge responsibility — one Velez takes very seriously and one that still leaves her in a state of disbelief at just how far she's come.

Jennifer Velez

N.J. Department of Human Services

Ranked: 1
Last Year's Rank: 7
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