PRINCETON, N.J., March 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A nursing leader from the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University will join the New Jersey Hospital Association to lead its clinical efforts to improve care and health outcomes across the state.

NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett today announced the hiring of Sandy Cayo, DNP, FNP-BC, as NJHA's vice president of clinical performance and transformation. Cayo, a clinical assistant professor at NYU, is a family nurse practitioner who holds a doctorate in nursing practice from Fairfield University. She also is completing her PhD in nursing research at Duquesne University.

"We found the right nursing leader, and we're thrilled to bring her to New Jersey," said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett. "Sandy has a wealth of expertise spanning research, to social determinants, to global health. She is an excellent fit for NJHA's focus on improving health not just in our healthcare facilities, but across New Jersey's diverse communities."

In her new role, Cayo will lead efforts within NJHA and its Health Research and Educational Trust related to clinical quality, patient safety, workforce, clinical education, research, licensure and regulatory issues related to the delivery of high-quality healthcare.

Cayo's research focuses on social determinants of health, especially for African American patients who often face disparities in outcomes and access. She serves as an adviser and mentor for NYU student groups including Student Nurses for Advocacy & Policy, Black Student Nurses Association and Nursing Students for Global Health. She also serves as director of education for the Health Education Action League (HEAL) in Haiti and director of quality improvement and partnerships for Amazing Grace Children's Foundation in Ghana. She completes medical mission trips annually to both Haiti and Ghana.

Cayo, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., has racked up a long list of honors, including Top 45 Under 40 by the National Black Nurses Association, O Magazine's Nurse Hero recognition, and the Star Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence.

Cayo joins NJHA as the Association redefines several key roles to focus on priorities including social determinants of health and forging new collaborations to promote wellness for all New Jerseyans. The following NJHA team members are filling new roles and responsibilities in support of improved health for the people of New Jersey:

  • Theresa Edelstein, MPH, LNHA, is promoted to senior vice president of the Center for Partnerships Transforming Health (PaTH.) In her new role, she will oversee an initiative to connect services for patients and residents throughout the continuum of care, ensuring well-coordinated and seamless provision of both healthcare and social support services.
  • Karen Ali, Esq., formerly NJHA's general counsel, has been named senior vice president of community partnerships, using her many relationships with community-based and philanthropic organizations to advance NJHA's collaborations with stakeholder groups that share NJHA's commitment to health and well-being.
  • Mary Ditri, DHA, FHELA, FACHE, has been promoted to vice president of community health. This new role will advance NJHA's strategic efforts in the critical areas of behavioral health, substance use disorder and maternal/child health issues. Her work will include identifying and overseeing grants to bring new resources, investments and partnerships in support of these critical health topics.
  • Abate Mammo, PhD, has joined NJHA as chief of healthcare informatics in the Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation. He comes to NJHA from the N.J. Department of Health, where he most recently served as executive director of healthcare quality and informatics.
  • Omna Syed, MPH, has joined NJHA as a policy analyst. Formerly a health policy scholar at Rutgers' Center for State Health Policy, she brings a strong background in population health.

"We are extremely fortunate to have these talented and versatile team members who bring experience, intellect, insight and – perhaps most importantly – a future vision for healthcare and a healthier population in our state," said Bennett.

NJHA, based in Princeton, is a not-for-profit trade association committed to helping its members across the healthcare continuum provide quality, affordable, accessible care to their patients, residents and communities.

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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)