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Ophelia Byers, DNP, RN, APRN, named Chief Nursing Officer for Overlook Medical Center

Accomplished nursing leader will also serve as Associate Chief Nurse Executive for Atlantic Health System

SUMMIT, NJ (Union County) – Atlantic Health System Monday announced Ophelia Byers, DNP, RN, APRN, has joined Atlantic Health System as Chief Nursing Officer for Overlook Medical Center, as well as Associate Chief Nurse Executive for the health system.

Byers is a highly skilled leader with more than 20 years of experience in clinical care and nursing leadership. She is an advanced practice and women’s health nurse practitioner, and maintains national certifications in clinical practice, patient experience, and diversity and inclusion. She has a strong reputation for being a champion of nursing professional governance and fostering team engagement across disciplines, departments, and system sites.

Byers comes to Atlantic Health System from New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, where she most recently served as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer.

“I am elated to join Atlantic Health System and contribute to the nursing and interdisciplinary excellence that has made it health care leader in New Jersey,” Byers said. “It is an honor to work with dedicated teammates who power the organization’s reputation for high-quality, compassionate care that spans patients, their families, the community, employees, and professional partners.”

At Overlook Medical Center, Byers will oversee the delivery and management of nursing practice as well as education, professional development, quality research and clinical services. Working closely with hospital leadership, physician leaders, and leaders across Atlantic Health, Byers will support the existing high standards and goals for patient/family-centered nursing practice, as well as collaborate to create a bold vision for advancing clinical quality and patient safety.

“As Overlook prepares to begin its next chapter as a leader in health care for the region, dynamic leadership in nursing will be vital” said Stephanie Schwartz, interim president of Overlook Medical Center. “As an accomplished nurse leader, Ophelia will bring fresh perspectives and a collaborative approach to nursing care at Overlook.”

As Associate Chief Nursing Executive, a new role at Atlantic Health System, Byers will partner with Trish O’Keefe, PhD, RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive for Atlantic Health System and President of Morristown Medical Center, to align and support nursing care across all clinical settings throughout the organization.

“Ophelia has an extremely rich experience in health care and a deep understanding of nursing and will be a tremendous force for leading the future of care at Overlook,” said O’Keefe. “I look forward to working closely with Ophelia to implement the very best practices from throughout the profession to enhance nursing care throughout Atlantic Health System.”

Prior to her role at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Byers served as a Director of Nursing at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. She joined NewYork-Presbyterian as an obstetrics patient safety nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and soon after became a patient care director at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.

A Camden, NJ native, Byers earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Rutgers University-Camden. She then earned her Master of Science in the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program at Stony Brook University, and Doctor of Nursing Practice from Case Western Reserve University. She also spent eight years as a chemical operations specialist in the United States Army Reserves where she was awarded the Army Medal of Achievement for soldiering skills and leadership.

She has been an advocate for diversity and inclusion in health care and organizational leadership/culture;  and has written about the impact of racism-related stress on Black/African-American nurses. She serves as a board member of Kids Creative, a non-profit organization in New York City.

Byers is the successor to MaryPat Sullivan, who served in the position of Chief Nursing and Experience Officer for Overlook Medical Center for more than 14 years. Sullivan has transitioned to a new position as Director of Nursing Education and Professional Development for Atlantic Health System.

At Overlook, Sullivan was responsible for numerous achievements in nursing, such as implementing a Shared Governance model and last year attaining Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the highest national honor for nursing excellence.

Under her leadership, Overlook’s emergency departments at both the main campus in Summit and its satellite in Union achieved the Lantern Award from the Emergency Nurses Association.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime leading the dedicated nursing team at Overlook who have been the heartbeat of the exemplary care that we offer,” Sullivan said. “I am looking forward to taking the immense wealth of knowledge from my time here and sharing these learnings with our colleagues throughout the system.”

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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