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First Lady Tammy Murphy announces appointment of six public board members of the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority

The Authority Will Ensure the Sustainability of the Work of Nurture NJ for Years to Come and Oversee the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton

NEW JERSEY – First Lady Tammy Murphy Wednesday announced that six public members have been appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to serve on the Board of the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority.

In July, Governor Murphy signed S3864, also known as the “New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center Act”, which created the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority (Authority).

The Authority is tasked with overseeing the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center based in Trenton and will be the government entity that continues the vital work of Nurture NJ for years to come. Nurture NJ is the statewide program that was launched by First Lady Tammy Murphy in 2019 to reduce the maternal and infant mortality epidemic in New Jersey and ensure equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities.

The Governor appointed the public members with an emphasis on those with relevant experience in areas related to maternal, infant and childhood health care.

Those members include:

  • Shakira Abdul-Ali, MSOD, Principal Managing Consultant/Owner, Alchemy Consulting, LLC, former Director, Trenton Dept of Health & Human Services (a recommendation of Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora)
  • Rosalee Boyer, the First Lady of the Greater Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and co-founder of Salvation and Social Justice
  • Dr. Damali Campbell-Oparaji, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dr. Barbara George Johnson, Vice President of External Affairs and Urban Policy and Research, Kean University
  • Andrea Martinez-Mejia, Executive Director, Greater Newark Health Care Coalition
  • Maritza Raimundi-Petroski, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Prevention Programs, and Community Engagement, Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

“After careful consideration, I am pleased to appoint six public members to the New Jersey Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority Board,” said Governor Murphy. “These individuals have a wide-range of experience when it comes to maternal and infant health care and have been dedicated to the mothers and babies of our state for years. The Authority Board will be instrumental in moving us closer to the building of the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton, which will have a lasting impact on our Capital City.”

“The Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority Board will have the enormous responsibility of overseeing the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton from concept to completion and beyond, which is why we carefully selected each representative following a thorough and thoughtful review process,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “I am so grateful to the  public members who have agreed to join the board. Each individual as demonstrated by their dedicated body of work has inspired and impacted our Nurture NJ initiative, and I know firsthand they will continue to make valuable contributions to the task ahead.”

In addition to the five public members selected by the Governor, representatives from several state departments will also serve on the Authority’s board. Those members include:

  • Commissioner Sarah Adelman, Department of Human Services
  • Acting Commissioner Kaitlan Baston, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Dr. Brian Bridges, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education
  • Holly Low, Director of the Office of Strategic Outreach and Policy, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Katherine Stoehr, First Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families
  • Tim Sullivan, CEO, Economic Development Authority
  • Acting Commissioner Justin Zimmerman, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance

The 15-member board will be responsible for employing an appointed President and Chief Executive Officer who will hire accompanying staff. The board will also adopt recommendations for actions created by the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative (NJMCQC), over which the Authority will be the primary agency responsible for coordinating efforts and strategies to reduce maternal mortality, morbidity, and racial and ethnic disparities in the state.

In addition, the board will be required to coordinate with an 11-member Community Advisory Committee representing diverse community groups with relevant experience as providers or recipients of maternal, infant and child health services to support and inform the work of the Authority.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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