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PRESS RELEASE
May 16, 2014

ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS HONOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Event Recognizes 10 Outstanding Doctors

(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its Health Care Professionals Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday, May 15, 2014, at the Hall of Records in Newark.  The purpose of the event was to recognize the commitment, dedication and contributions of health care professionals who provide critical care and support to their patients, the community and to society in general.

This year’s honorees were: Patrick S. Anderson, MD, FACOG, of South Orange; Renee E. Baskerville, MD, of Montclair; Nicholas A. Cannarozzi, MD, FACP, of Roseland; F. Kennedy Gordon, MD, of South Orange; Arvind K. Grover, MD, of Randolph; Pamela Grover, MD, of Maplewood; Gertrude E. Jacobs, DPM, of East Orange; Neil N. Jasey, Jr., MD, of Montclair; Hemant G. Patel, MD, of Livingston; and Martin L. Waltz, DMD, of Orange.

The honorees of the Board’s Health Care Professionals Recognition Ceremony held at the Hall of Records on Thursday, May 15th, are pictured above.  Front row (l. to r.): Martin L. Waltz, DMD; Pamela Grover, MD; Gertrude E. Jacobs, DPM; Renee E. Baskerville, MD; Nicholas A. Cannarozzi, MD, FACP; and F. Kennedy Gordon, MD.  Back row (l. to r.) Patrick S. Anderson, MD, FACOG; Arvind K. Grover, MD; and Hemant G. Patel, MD.  (Dr. Neil N. Jasey, Jr., is missing from the photograph).  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

“Tonight we express our thanks and appreciation to health care professionals who do so much to improve and save the lives of Essex County residents every day”, said Freeholder President Blonnie Watson as she opened the program.  “Our honorees are people who work under stressful and emotional conditions, yet somehow manage to hold themselves together for the sake of their patients… professionals who call upon the lessons learned from their extensive training and experience in order to comfort and heal those in their care when they are most vulnerable.  For all you do for us and our loved ones, you deserve all the credit in the world.”

Freeholder Carol Clark recalled how the event began, many years ago, with a celebration of nurses and since then event has grown to include a wider range of health care professionals including doctors, pharmacists, dentists and other practitioners.  “To see all of you sitting here, and to see how this has grown exponentially over the years, I am just elated and thank you all for accepting our recognition tonight.”

Patrick S. Anderson, MD, FACOG, is Chairman of the OB/GYN Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC).  He is a graduate of Rutgers University and UMDNJ-NJ Medical School, conducted his Post-Doctoral Training at Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and is a Board certified obstetrician, gynecologist and gynecologic oncologist.  He has been an NBIMC staff member for 11 years, and as Chairman of the OB/GYN Department oversees a staff of 150 including physicians, nurses, midwives and administrators handling over 20,000 inpatient and outpatient visits per year.  Currently, he is also an attending physician of gynecologic oncology at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth.  Dr. Anderson is a member of many professional societies and has received numerous awards and honors, including New Jersey Magazine “Top Doctor” (October 2012) and Newark Beth’s Faculty Teaching and Resident awards.  He has conducted extensive research, is well-known for his pioneering work in robotic surgery, and is a frequent lecturer and presenter.  He resides in South Orange with his wife, Alma, and is the father of three children, Abiola, Annakiya and Aasha.

Freeholder Carol Clark presents Patrick S. Anderson, MD, FACOG, of South Orange with his commendation.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Dr. Anderson thanked the freeholders for honoring him and added, “There’s something to be said about being homegrown; I went to college in Newark, I went to medical school in Newark, met my wife in Newark, all three of our children were born in Newark, met so many of my esteemed colleagues in Newark, played soccer in Newark, and never left Newark.”

Renee E. Baskerville, MD, received her BS from Oberlin College and her MD from the NJ College of Medicine & Dentistry.  She is a pediatric and adolescent primary care physician, school physician and health educator.  She began her career as a pediatric resident at UMDNJ-United Presbyterian Children’s Hospital, and beginning in 1983 worked for Newark Community Health Centers, then as Director of Pediatrics at various Newark medical facilities, and later as a private practitioner.  She established a community-based center for “at risk” teens in Newark; helped develop school-based health facilities to expand access to quality, affordable health care; was a health advisor for the Newark, Montclair and Orange Head Start programs; was the East Orange Campus H.S. school physician; and is presently employed by the East Orange Public Schools Early Childhood Division.  She has worked to provide quality, comprehensive health care to vulnerable populations with special medical needs, often pro bono to indigent and homeless families and HIV/AIDS babies in Montclair, East Orange, Irvington, Newark and Orange.  Dr. Baskerville resides in Montclair, serves as the 4th Ward Councilor on the Municipal Council, and lives by the South African ethic of “ubantu”, the concept that people are interconnected, interdependent, and empowered by other people; that people become their best by giving to others; a precept that speaks to the universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity.

Renee E. Baskerville, MD, of Montclair (left) was honored by Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold during the Board’s Health Care Professionals Recognition Ceremony.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Dr. Baskerville congratulated her fellow honorees and said she was “grateful and humbled” by the award.  She also spoke about the high level of childhood poverty that still persists in the nation, and of the growing health care and wealth gaps.  “We must use our talents to lead a successful war on poverty and environmental dangers posed to all of us by climate change, especially children living in poverty, the most vulnerable of all.”   

Nicholas A. Cannarozzi, MD, FACP, of Roseland receives his commendation from Freeholder Carol Clark.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Nicholas A. Cannarozzi, MD, FACP, of Roseland, whose private practice is located in Montclair, earned his AB from Georgetown University and his MD from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia.  He served his internship and residencies at Philadelphia General Hospital and St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark; his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medicine (Rheumatology) at Yale University School of Medicine; and also served in the military as Chief of Rheumatology with the U. S. Army Medical Corps at Madigan General Hospital in Tacoma, Washington (1969-71).  Dr. Cannarozzi earned certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners; American Board of Internal Medicine; Subspecialty Board of Rheumatology of the American Board of Internal Medicine; DXA Bone Densitometry from the International Rheumatology Network-Asset Foundation; is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology; and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.  He also holds memberships in numerous professional societies and was appointed an attending physician, Chief of Rheumatology, at Hackensack University Medical Center in Mountainside.

“I am so pleased to be among such a distinguished group of honorees”, said Dr. Cannarozzi, who spoke about having been a rheumatologist for 42 years treating patients with arthritis, auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis, soft tissue injuries, bursitis, tendonitis and pain fibromyalgia.  Commenting on the fact that rheumatic diseases present themselves in “deceptive and mysterious ways”, he explained, “I enjoy looking at patients and being a detective trying to figure out their problems.”  Cannarozzi also spoke of his concerns about the future of the medical profession and private/family practitioners who are “besieged by regulations and the withdrawal or reduction of physician fees”, and expressed his plea for legislators to do something about it.

F. Kennedy Gordon, MD, of South Orange (left) received his commendation from Freeholder Gerald Owens, also of South Orange.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

F. Kennedy Gordon, MD, resides in South Orange and is a graduate of Wesleyan University (CT) and the NJ Medical School in Newark.  He completed his internal medicine residency at University Hospital and was appointed Chief Medical Resident at E.O. Veterans Administration Medical Center.  He completed his sports medicine fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, CA, and in medical acupuncture at NY Medical College.  He is board certified in sports medicine and internal medicine and a certified MD Acupuncturist in NJ and NY.  He has provided medical care for the Ironman Triathlon competition in Hawaii and was a staff physician at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY, during the summer of 2000.  He also provided pain management care for the NY Giants Football Team during the 2002 season, and since then continues to treat members of other NFL teams.  Dr. Gordon, a Black Belt in the martial arts, is the Medical Director for the NJ Division of USA Taekwondo and a medical consultant for their national and international events; he is also the team physician for local and international USA Track and Field events and, as an avid runner himself, currently competes in Masters USA Track and Field meets.  His company, Gordon Elite Sports Medicine, P.C., is based in Union and provides professional care to athletes of all levels as well as individuals who suffer with pain.

Dr. Gordon thanked the freeholders and specifically recognized his wife of 20 years, Lynn.  “As physicians, there is no skin color, and that’s the beauty of our practice”, said Gordon.  “When someone is sick you don’t look at their race or religion, how they appear or how much money they have, instead it’s all about who they are in spirit.”  He went on to explain that although he works with many well-known athletes in his field of sports medicine he’s learned that “there are lesser-known people out there who need a touch of love, especially kids who are lost, because you don’t have to be famous to be someone or to be important.”

Freeholder President Blonnie Watson (center) presented the Board’s commendations to her honorees, Arvind K. Grover, MD, and Pamela Grover, MD, whose joint medical practice is located in Maplewood and Randolph.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Arvind K. Grover, MD, of Randolph operates a medical practice with his daughter, Dr. Pamela Grover, in Maplewood and Randolph.  He emigrated to the U.S. from India in 1972, where he’d already earned a Master’s Degree in Organic Chemistry in India.   He then earned a Master’s Degree in Biology from NYU, his MD from the Universidad Cetec School of Medicine in the Dominican Republic, and completed his internal medicine residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center.  He was employed as a staff internist and served as chairman of the Infection Control and Respiratory Therapy committees at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange (1985-89), before beginning his private practice in Internal Medicine.  Dr. Grover is affiliated with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, previously served as Health Physician to the Randolph Board of Health and, since 2009, has served as the Maplewood Board of Health Physician.  With his daughter, he administers flu vaccines to all Maplewood Township employees, including police officers, firefighters, teachers and others, as well as to other members of the community.  He has also co-authored publications regarding nephritic syndrome, and is fluent in English, Spanish and Hindi.

“I’m not doing anything special”, said Dr. Arvind Grover.  “I think God has been very kind to me and given me this opportunity to take care of my fellow human beings.”  He went on to say, “I believe in one thing: that as human beings we have done our job in life if we can contribute something useful to society to make this world a better place, and by working the best we can, no matter what profession we’re in, to help someone in need if we can, because it really makes you feel good.”

Pamela Grover, MD, of Maplewood earned her BS in Biology and Economics from Union College in Schenectady, NY, her MD from Albany Medical College, and completed her residency in General Internal Medicine at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, MA.  She has practiced as a primary care physician for the past 7 years, and every flu season she and her father work at multiple flu clinics organized by the Township of Maplewood where they administer flu vaccines to Maplewood police officers, firefighters, teachers, librarians and other employees, as well as members of the community.  Dr. Grover has also given talks on diabetes and about metabolic syndrome to Township employees to encourage them to be healthier and to prevent developing the syndrome through diet and exercise.  She has also volunteered at the Food Bank in Hillside and at Eyes for the Needy; participated in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk; and was a mentor in the 12-week Better U program sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Go Red campaign to fight heart disease in women.  She holds memberships in many professional societies, including the American Association of Physician of Indian Origin and the Network of Indian Professionals.

Dr. Pamela Grover thanked her patient, Freeholder President Watson, and the entire Board saying, “It’s so nice to know that people appreciate us and what we do for the community and our patients.”  She added, “I deeply care about all my patients and strive to give them the best care I can.  I’m happy that we are able to contribute something to society and feel blessed that we are able to help people.”

Gertrude E. Jacobs, DPM, of East Orange (right) receives her commendation from Freeholder Carol Clark, also of East Orange.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Gertrude E. Jacobs, DPM, of East Orange conducted her private practice in East Orange as a podiatrist for 38 years until her retirement in 1991.  She completed her undergraduate work at Howard and Long Island universities and earned her DPM from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.  She is a Life Member of the American Podiatry Association and Eastern Division of the NJ Podiatry Society, and a former member of the American Podiatric Women’s Association.  She was also a member of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of Greater NY and the Founder of its Essex County Branch.  She served on the East Orange Board of Health for 10 years as well as the Board of Directors of the Family Health Center of East Orange General Hospital.  She provided free foot care at St. James AME Church in Newark, was a member of the YWCA of Essex/West Hudson, volunteered at NJPAC and was its “Volunteer of the Year” in 2001.  She is a former member of the Bungoma Project, an organization that supported the Miluki School in Kenya; has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, an international service organization, since 1966, is a Life Member, and served as its 1st Vice President in 1969-70.

Dr. Jacobs, 89 years young, spoke about the trials and tribulations of getting started in the field of podiatry, and of finding office space and overcoming other hurdles she encountered as an African-American woman all those years ago.  She also told a humorous story about having renovated her very first office space in East Orange, of ordering her equipment and sending out her announcements, and of having a woman she knew from her hometown of Atlantic City call her to make a Sunday appointment.  “She drove up the Garden State Parkway, I treated her feet in my whirlpool, and then I turned to her and said, ‘you are my very first patient!’… and that woman’s name was Rachel Ann Jacobs, my mother.”

Neil N. Jasey, Jr., MD, of Montclair (center) is pictured above with: (left to right) Freeholder Clerk Deborah Davis Ford; his grandmother, Pauline Oden; his father, Neil Jasey, Sr.; and District 3 Freeholder Carol Clark.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Neil N. Jasey, Jr., MD, of Montclair is Director of Brain Injury Services at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.  He earned his BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and his MD from UMDNJ-NJ Medical School.  He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, and then was a resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and served his Fellowship in Traumatic Brain Injury at Kessler Institute.  He was an instructor at The Mount Sinai Medical School (2008-09) and joined Kessler in 2009, first as an attending physician and Director of the Kessler/Rutgers-NJMS TBI Fellowship program.  In March 2011 he was appointed Clinical Chief of Traumatic Brain Injury Services at the West Orange Campus and Director of Brain Injury Services for all three Kessler facilities located in West Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester.  Dr. Jasey is a Fellow in the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; a Member of the CNS Rehabilitation Council of AAPMR; and is Board Certified by ABPMR.  He was awarded the Henry H. Kessler Award for Medical Excellence in November 2012; has presented at medical facilities, schools, conferences, symposia and organizations; is the author of numerous publications; and has made media appearances to discuss the treatment of concussions.

Dr. Jasey congratulated the other honorees adding, “It’s also good to see so many other UMDNJ graduates”.  “I’ve spent my entire life here in Essex County; I grew up here, I now work here, and my wife and I are raising our children here.  This is my home, so it’s especially nice to be recognized by the people here.”

Hemant G. Patel, MD, has been in private practice since 1989.  He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Geriatric Medicine.  He earned his undergraduate and MBBS medical degrees in his native India; began his Internal Medicine residency in the US at the United Hospital Medical Center and was appointed Chief Medical Resident.  He served his Pulmonary Fellowship at UMDNJ, Newark Beth Israel Hospital, East Orange VA Hospital and University Hospital in Newark; and in critical care medicine at the Mayo Clinic (MN).  He also held administrative positions at local hospitals and currently serves as the medical director at many local nursing homes.  Dr. Patel actively promotes Indian culture in the United States through the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), where he served as national president in 2007-08, and has been deeply engaged in its philanthropic efforts in the United States and India as the former national and current local chairman of its charitable foundation.  He also supports Indo-US relations and the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement as Chairman and Founder of the Indian American Committee.  Among his many awards is the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2010), which pays tribute to the immigrant experience and individual achievement.  Dr. Patel resides in Livingston, is married to his wife, Nayana, and they have two sons, Rahul and Raj, both of whom are medical residents.

District 2 Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley (right) presented Hemant G. Patel of Livingston with his commendation from the Freeholder Board.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

“I’ve received other awards during my career, but this one is very special”, said Dr. Patel, “because it is from you, my neighbors right here in Newark and Essex County, where I started my professional career many years ago, where I have my practice, and where I live.”  He also expressed his thanks to the freeholders for all the improvements he’s seen across the county, saying “you are doing wonderful things and have changed the face of Essex County.”  He added, “I, and all of my fellow honorees, are committed to Essex County and ready to pitch-in wherever we can to meet the health care needs of its residents.” 

Martin L. Waltz, DMD, of Orange (left), receives his commendation from Freeholder Rufus Johnson. PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Martin L. Waltz, DMD, of Orange, whose dental practice is located in East Orange, was born and raised in Newark, dropped out of high school at the age of 16, and then enlisted in the Marine Corps to serve six years during the Vietnam conflict.  After his discharge, he pursued his high school diploma by attending Central High School evening classes and then earned a degree in Biology from Kean College, followed by his DMD from UMDNJ in 1978.  He spent a year in residency at University Hospital and then began his own dental practice in East Orange.  He is also employed with the City of East Orange Dental Health Department, where he has been treating disadvantaged school-age children for well over 30 years.  Dr. Waltz has been a member of the National Dental Association for 30 years and has served two terms as President of the Commonwealth Dental Society, where he was instrumental in organizing and raising scholarship funds for minority dental students.  He also volunteers his time to visit grammar schools in the community to speak with students about the importance of education and good oral health.  Dr. Waltz has been married to his wife, Marlene, for 43 years, and they have 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren.

Dr. Waltz spoke about the fact that many students have come out of the Newark public school system and gone on to become doctors and lawyers and other professionals.  “Who said nothing good came out of Newark?  Well I can tell you that a lot of good has come out of Newark.”  He also spoke with alarm about the rising costs of health education, saying, “With the cost of health education today, I’m a dying breed.  If we don’t get a handle on health education pretty soon you’re not going to have practitioners out there like me.”  He also expressed his gratitude to his wife “who has supported me in every way possible and thanked the freeholders for honoring him saying, “You have recognized something I have done in my life, but I’m not the kind of person who likes to brag about what I’ve done or from where I’ve come, because I owe it all to God.”

The program included performances by trumpeter Bruno Lee and vocalist Denise Thompson of University Hospital and the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, respectively.  The opening and closing prayers were offered by Reverend Kelvin Ward, Volunteer Chaplain at Newark Beth Israel Hospital, and college student Khari Motayne of Newark led off the program with the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.  At the conclusion of the program, the honorees and their guests were invited to a reception of light refreshments.

            

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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452
Gkroessig@freeholders.essexcountynj.org

 

 

 

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695