New Commissioner, Leadership Team Join DOH

January 25, 2018

TRENTON- Acting Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, M.D., M.B.A, joined the New Jersey Department of Health on January 25th and announced the new management team that will shape a new vision for the agency, which oversees health care facilities, public health services, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, emergency medical services and medicinal marijuana.

"I am honored that Governor Murphy has nominated me to lead the Department of Health. It is a tremendous responsibility, and we face many challenges, including improving the quality and delivery of care, closing insurance coverage gaps, restoring funding for women’s health programs, and ensuring an equitable system of charity care," Dr. Elnahal said.

The Department’s new management team includes Andrea Martinez-Mejia, M.A., M.P.A., as Chief of Staff; Jackie Cornell, M.P.A.P., as Principal Deputy Commissioner, and Marcela Ospina-Maziarz, M.P.A., as Deputy Commissioner of Health Systems.

The son of Egyptian doctors who immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt, Dr. Elnahal, 32, is a radiation oncologist who grew up in Atlantic County. He most recently served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality, Safety, and Value at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, managing a workforce of hundreds of employees and a budget of over $180 million. He was appointed to the VA by former President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow in 2015.

As Chief of Staff, Martinez-Mejia will provide leadership to three major branches, 10 divisions, 14 offices, and four commissions. She will oversee administrative, financial and facility management; communications; boards and commissions; ethics compliance; data privacy; diversity and equity services; human resources, recruitment and training; legislative and constituent services. Prior to joining the Department, Martinez-Mejia served as Coordinator of Community Health Services for the City of Trenton’s Department of Health and Human Services.

As Principal Deputy Commissioner, Cornell will oversee the Public Health Services branch which includes the Divisions of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health; Family Health Services; Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness; HIV, STD and TB Services; and the Medicinal Marijuana Program. Before joining the Department, Cornell served in many leading policy and political roles in New Jersey.

As Deputy Commissioner of Health Services, Ospina-Maziarz will oversee inspections and enforcement for 2,200 licensed health care facilities, the Certificate of Need Program, Health Facility and Field Operations; and major hospital finance programs such as Charity Care, Graduate Medical Education, and the Delivery Systems Reform Incentive Payment Program. Prior to joining the Department, Ospina-Maziarz served as the Assistant Director of Budget and Fiscal Policy for the New Jersey Senate Majority Office.