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Hackensack Meridian Health to Host PatientX Summit 2021: Reimagining the Human Connection, September 22-24, 2021

September 2, 2021 GMT
Hackensack Meridian Health logo
Hackensack Meridian Health logo
Hackensack Meridian Health logo

EDISON, N.J., Sept. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare professionals from across the country are registering to attend Hackensack Meridian Health’s PatientX Summit 2021: Reimagining the Human Connection. The three-day virtual conference will provide attendees with helpful tools and innovative ways to enhance human connections with patients and families in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

“The healthcare industry has faced unprecedented challenges throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “The pandemic reminded us all how important empathy and human connection is to the patients and families we serve. The PatientX Summit gives leaders across the healthcare industry an incredible opportunity to come together to discuss how we can reimagine healthcare and enhance the patient experience.”


Registration includes access to engaging, interactive sessions with colleagues, digital networking opportunities and live Q&A sessions with experts.

“Over the years, I have had so many experiences both inside and outside of the Hackensack Meridian Health network – from my parents, to my siblings, and my children,” said Cathy Zavorskas, chair of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Bayshore Medical Center Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC). “It is so important to include the voice of patients and family members into the process of improving the overall patient experience, as well as helping patients feel safe returning to the hospital and getting the care they need. I am so grateful that Hackensack Meridian Health is committed to understanding the voice of the patient, their thoughts and ideas through PFAC, and for letting us be a part of the solution. I am looking forward to the PatientX Summit.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Chris Norton, a former college football player who, after suffering a spinal cord injury, was told by his doctors that he had a 3 percent chance to regain movement below his neck. Four years after his injury, Norton defied the odds and walked across the stage at his college graduation. Today, Norton is a motivational speaker who talks about the importance of perseverance and shaping yourself in the face of adversity.


“As chair of the Riverview Medical Center Patient Family Advisory Council, I feel like I am able to use my experience in a positive way and give back to my community,” said Lynn Rumolo, chair of the Riverview Medical Center PFAC. “I serve as a voice for patients and families and make sure they aren’t left behind. Hackensack Meridian Health is building a new facility in my neighborhood, and they are asking for my input as well as others throughout the process to make sure the facility will help meet the needs of patients and the community. The PatientX Summit is just another great example of how the network is always looking for ways to improve the patient experience.”

There are several breakout sessions that will be held throughout the conference that explore important topics in healthcare, including:

  • Avonia Richardson-Miller, EdD, MA, BS, vice president, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Hackensack Meridian Health, will host a session on the importance of Diversity Equity & Inclusion in healthcare.
  • Elizabeth A. Skene, director, Consumer Services in the Office of Human Experience, Hackensack Meridian Health will lead a session on “Emotional Harm: Building a Culture of Respect” that explains the relationship between deep, pervasive systemic or environmental issues and their impact on dignity and respect. She will discuss tools that can be used to analyze emotional harm and shared outcomes that prevent reoccurrence, improve the patient experience, reduce compassion fatigue and team member burnout.
  • “Reimagining the Patient Family Advisory Council: How Our Voice Makes an Impact” is a session that will feature John Reinhardt, Senior Sales Manager, Northern U.S. for Cummins Inc. (CMI-NYSE); Sharon Gordon, chair of Network Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC), Hackensack Meridian Health; and Sonia Gonzalez, experience coordinator, Hackensack Meridian Health. The session will explain how PFAC supports an organization by utilizing the voice of the patient and the community.
  • Amy Frieman, M.D., chief wellness officer, Hackensack Meridian Health, will host a session on “Reimagining the Clinician Experience: Burnout, Resiliency and Recovery in a COVID World.” She will discuss clinician burnout before, during and after the pandemic, and how practicing personal resiliency techniques and institutional interventions can help address burnout and improve the clinician experience.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness center, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having more top-ranked hospitals than anyone in New Jersey, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22. Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings.

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey’s best cancer center, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22. This premier cancer center is also the largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. John Theurer Cancer Center is part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center.

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. To learn more, visit

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SOURCE Hackensack Meridian Health