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HINJ Honors Six at Inaugural Life Sciences Celebration

(l. to r.) HINJ Chair Kevin Rigby, Gov. James Florio, Gov. Brendan Byrne, Gov. Thomas H. Kean and HINJ President and CEO Dean Paranicas

(l. to r.) HINJ Chair Kevin Rigby, Gov. James Florio, Gov. Brendan Byrne, Gov. Thomas H. Kean and HINJ President and CEO Dean Paranicas

New Brunswick, NJ, September 26, 2013 ― The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) honored five New Jersey leaders and a nationally recognized high school last evening for their contributions in human health, public service, patient advocacy, life sciences, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. 

The awards were presented at HINJ’s inaugural Life Sciences Celebration, which was held at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ.

Those recognized included former Governor Thomas H. Kean, the late United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Dr. Christopher J. Molloy, Dr. Joseph R. Bertino, Dr. Debra L. Wentz, and Biotechnology High School.

HINJ was pleased to host three former New Jersey Governors.  In addition to Governor Kean, Governor Brendan Byrne and Governor James Florio attended the event.

To view a video from the celebration, click here.

Presiding over the event, the Honorable Kevin Rigby, U.S. Country Head of Public Affairs and Vice President of Public Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Chair of the HINJ Board of Trustees, said, “There is much to celebrate in New Jersey’s life sciences community.  HINJ is delighted to recognize the achievements of this distinguished group, who, like our HINJ member companies, have demonstrated a sustained commitment across a broad spectrum of activities to improving the human condition.”

“New Jersey has earned the reputation of being the ‘Medicine Chest of the World,’” Rigby added.  “Our member companies are proud of their unwavering dedication to innovation, their contributions to New Jersey’s economy, their corporate social responsibility, and tirelessly working to expand patient access to the medicines, therapies and medical technologies that improve and save lives all around the globe.”

HINJ President and Chief Executive Officer Dean J. Paranicas shared Mr. Rigby’s enthusiasm.  “It is entirely fitting that we honor the efforts of those who share our industry’s ideals,” Paranicas said.  “The life sciences in New Jersey has a long and distinguished history.  New Jersey’s life sciences community is, and, I am confident, will long continue to be, a global leader — and New Jersey’s premier industry.”

Rutgers Scarlet Knight Eric LeGrand was the special guest speaker at the HINJ event.  Mr. LeGrand, who suffered a severe spinal injury during a Rutgers football game that left him paralyzed from the neck down, is a source of inspiration, hope and perseverance for New Jerseyans and sports fans around the globe.

HINJ presented honors in four categories — public service, research, patient advocacy and STEM education — as well as two special recognitions.  The recipients of HINJ’s inaugural honors were:

The Honorable Bob Franks Public Service Award:  HINJ presented the Honorable Bob Franks Public Service Award — named in honor of the late former U.S. Congressman and HINJ President Bob Franks — to the Honorable Thomas H. Kean, former New Jersey Governor, for his leadership in public health through his service on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Board of Trustees and the restructuring of higher education in New Jersey.

Special Recognition (In Memoriam):  HINJ honored the Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg, the late United States Senator, in recognition of his dedicated work on behalf of patients in New Jersey and around the world.  Mrs. Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg accepted the award on behalf of her husband.

Special Recognition:  HINJ honored Christopher J. Molloy, Ph.D., R.Ph., Interim Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, in recognition of his leadership in integrating Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Research:  In recognition of his many contributions to life sciences research, HINJ honored Joseph R. Bertino, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; University Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Interim Director, Rutgers Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Patient Advocacy:  HINJ honored Debra L. Wentz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc., in recognition of her leadership in patient advocacy in New Jersey. 

STEM Education:  HINJ honored Biotechnology High School, Monmouth County Vocational School District (Freehold, NJ), in recognition of leadership and achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in New Jersey.  Principal Linda Eno, Ed.D., accepted the award on behalf of the high school.

 

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