Mar 11, 2024 RWJBarnabas Health Leaders to be Honored for Outstanding Professional Career Accomplishments by The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA)

Recipients will be Honored at The NJSNA 15th Diva and Don Recognition Gala on April 11th 2024 at the Pines Manor in Edison, N.J.

West Orange, NJ, March 11, 2024 – Three RWJBarnabas Health nursing leaders will be honored by the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) for their high standards of excellence, professional career achievements and for making a notable difference in many lives. These leaders will be presented with awards at its annual Diva and Don Gala on April 11th at the Pines Manor in Edison, New Jersey along with sixteen other top nurses from across the state.

The RWJBarnabas Health recipients include Maureen Harding, MSN, BSN, RN, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services at RWJBarnabas Health; Atiya Jaha-Rashidi, MHA, RN, Chief Equity Officer and Vice President of Community Relations at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; and Jonathan A. Gapilango, MSN, RN, OCN, CCRP, NE-BC,Administrative Director of Oncology Performanceat Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

“This recognition is well deserved for Maureen, Atiya and Jonathan,” said Nancy Holecek, Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for RWJBarnabas Health. “Each are exemplary leaders driven by compassion, clinical excellence and an unwavering dedication to providing patients with the best care possible.”

About the 2024 RWJBarnabas Health NJSNA HONOREES:

Maureen HardingMaureen Harding, MSN, BSN, RN

Ms. Harding assumed the role of Vice President of Patient Care Services in 1997 and is currently Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services. Specializing in oncology nursing, she started her career with RWJBarnabas Health in 1991, with a nursing leadership role in the inpatient oncology unit at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, now Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC), and was instrumental in the development and expansion of the hospital’s Cancer Program.

As a member of the system-wide nursing leadership team since 1997, she has held various positions, including interim CNO at Community Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center. Ms. Harding is particularly passionate about supporting and developing a pipeline of future nurse leaders, a special interest that has set up the RWJBarnabas Health System for success for many years to come, as the retention of top nursing talent will continue to positively impact patient care into the future.

Ms. Harding holds a Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis on Leadership in Health Care Systems. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Organization of Nurse Leaders NJ (ONLNJ).

Atiya Jaha-RaShidi, MHA, RNAtiya Jaha-RaShidi, MHA, RN

Ms. Jaha-Rashidi has nearly 30 years of experience leading and coordinating community outreach initiatives at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey where she worked in numerous leadership roles, including Director of Clinical Engagement of the Community, Director of Patient Experience, Interim Vice President of Community Relations and Director of Special Projects. In 2021, Ms. Rashidi was named Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey’s first Chief Equity Officer where she oversees the development and implementation of employee and community initiatives that foster equity. In addition, she continues to develop strong community partnerships with the aim of improving population health and reducing health care disparities.

Ms. Jaha-Rashidi currently serves as President-Elect of the National Association of Health Services Executives, 2nd Vice President of the Middlesex Regional Black Nurses Association, and Board of Commissioner Chair for the Mary Elizabeth Mahoney Health Center. She is also an active member of various non-for-profit boards including the Newark NAACP, Health Committee and community-based organizations. She is a staunch advocate for access to quality healthcare, safety and environmental preservation.

Ms. Jaha-Rashidi holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration from Rutgers University and a Master of Healthcare Administration from University of Arizona Global Campus.

Jonathan Gapilango, MSN, RN, OCN, CCRP, NE-BCJonathan Anotado Gapilango, MSN, RN, OCN, CCRP, NE-BC

Mr. Gapilango has been a nurse for over 30 years and began his career as a nurse assistant in long-term care while awaiting reciprocity in New Jersey. In 2020, he was appointed Administrative Director of Oncology Performance Measures and Accreditation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. Prior, he was the Director of Cancer Center Administration at Community Medical Center in Toms River, NJ since 2001. He has been an active member of PNANJ since 2004 and is the current PNANJ President-Elect for 2022-2024 and will assume as President in April, 2024.

Mr. Gapilango has received numerous awards and was selected as a surveyor for the National Accreditation for Breast Cancer Programs (NAPBC) in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Dubai, and South Africa in 2018. He is just the second nurse to be chosen as a surveyor among this organization's 42 physician members.

Mr. Gapilango holds a BSN from Central Philippine University and completed his postgraduate studies at STI-West Negros University in the Philippines. He is pursuing a DNP at Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey. He is also an adjunct professor at Pinelands School of Practical Nursing, Georgian Court University, and Central Philippine University.

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, three acute care children’s hospitals, Children’s Specialized Hospital with a network of outpatient pediatric rehabilitation centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 41,000 employees and 9,000 physicians– and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health launched an affiliation with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers' education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. 

Contact: Carrie Cristello