Advisory Council

Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden is immensely grateful for our advisory council members. This dedicated team of innovative and cross-disciplinary experts work to help our school shape the future of health care in southern New Jersey, the region, and beyond.

Mark Baiada
Founder and President, Bayada Health Care

Mark Baiada founded Bayada Nurses in 1975 with the mission to help people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity. More than three decades later, Bayada Nurses has grown from its humble beginnings to provide home health care to clients in 20 states from more than 200 offices. A renowned entrepreneur, Baiada is also an active humanitarian and philanthropist. He received two degrees at Rutgers—an MBA in 1970 and a B.A. in 1969.

Helene Burns, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Chief Nursing Executive, Kennedy Health

Helene Burns holds a BSN and an MSN from Widener University. She was the 1994 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Nursing during her graduate studies. With more than 30 years of nursing experience, Burns is a board certified Nurse Executive, Advanced through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Elsa Candelario
Executive Director, Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey

Elsa Candelario has served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (HFC) since 1997. In this role, she is responsible for the overall administration of the organization, founded in 1976 as a nonprofit agency that provides a wide range of social services and advocacy programs to nearly 10,000 individuals annually across Southern New Jersey. She serves as a strong voice for the community through her participation in a wide-range of activities and advocacy.

Tracy Carlino, RN, BSN, MA, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer, Virtua

Tracy Carlino establishes and facilitates the Standards of Nursing Practice at Virtua and coordinates nursing strategy and goals for organizational success and quality.  She has been an editor for Springhouse Book Publications on the subject of diabetes, and participates in numerous professional associations, with a particular interest in the American Diabetes Association. Carlino holds a BSN from LaSalle University and an MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, and completed the Johnson & Johnson/Wharton fellowship program for nursing executives at the University of Pennsylvania.

Linda Diekmann, RN, BA, CPUR, CPUM, CPC, CCP
President/CEO, Prizm – People Process Technology

Linda Diekmann has over 35 years of clinical and professional experience in the development and implementation of state-of-the-art customer service initiatives, workflow analysis, staffing and training models, Quality Assurance programs and medical management software.  Diekmann holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rutgers University, an RN from Virginia Community College and certifications in utilization review (CPUR), utilization management (CPUM), and professional coding (CPC, CCP).

Carol Germain, EdD, MSN, BSN
Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Director, Rutgers-Camden Nursing Program Development

In addition to serving on the emeritus faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, Carol Germain directs Nursing Program Development at Rutgers-Camden’s School of Nursing. Her nursing specialties are adult health and illness, and she holds certificates in alcohol studies, bioethics, and phenomenological research. Germain earned an Ed.D. from Rutgers, an MSN from St. John’s University, and a BSN from Seton Hall University.

Eric Gonzalez
SNC'16, Student Nurses Association President (Ex Officio)

Eric Gonzalez is the current president (ex officio) of Rutgers-Camden’s Student Nurses Association. The officers of the Student Nurses Association are responsible for governance, service, and fundraising, and through their activities identify community needs and create ways to finance projects. The group also connects students with local, national, and international health care providers and aid organizations.

Regina “Jean” Grazel, MSN, BSN
Project Director, Critical CHD Screening Program and Zika Infant Surveillance –
New Jersey Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics

As the Project Director for the CCHD and Zika Infant Surveillance programs, Jean Grazel oversees systems integration, grants management, project coordination and implementation, data collection and analysis, and collaboration with other public health entities. As a distinguished nurse with more than 25 years of experience, she has served in advanced leadership roles for several prominent nursing associations and health systems including past president of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.

Hurdis M. Griffith, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Dean Emeritus, College of Nursing at Rutgers University, Newark

Hurdis Griffith is emeritus dean and professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers College of Nursing, Newark, NJ. She currently serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Local Initiatives Funding Program. Her professional roles have included health care administrator, researcher, educator, consultant, and clinician. Griffith holds a PhD from the University of Maryland (Baltimore), an MN from the University of Washington, and a BSN from Jamestown College.

Sidney Hargro
Executive Director, Community Foundation of South Jersey

In 2009 Sidney Hargro joined the Community Foundation of South Jersey, which since that time has grown from approximately $300,000 to over $8 million in assets under management and surpassed $1 million in grant investments throughout the region. Hargro currently sits on several boards that serve Camden, southern New Jersey, and greater Philadelphia. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary and an MS in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University.

Robert G. Hess Jr., PhD, RN, FAAN
Executive Vice President, Education Content and Credentialing, OnCourse Learning

A renowned educator, award-winning author, editor, and scholar, Bob Hess is the founder of the Forum for Shared Governance, an international clearinghouse for promoting and disseminating research.  Hess holds a degree in comparative religion from Temple University, a nursing diploma from Frankford Hospital in Philadelphia, a master’s degree in nursing administration from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where he studied organizational theory at the Wharton School.

Gina Marone, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Healthcare Services, Einstein Healthcare
Adjunct Professor, Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden

Gina Marone is a highly experienced nurse executive and capable leader of complex healthcare organizations. At Einstein, Gina serves as a member of the senior executive management team responsible for nursing practice, clinical operations and performance. Gina's professional expertise –operations management, nursing, change management, and process improvement– is tempered with a personal passion for service and the patient experience. She holds an MSN from Drexel University, is a board-certified nurse executive, and member of the American Nursing Credentialing Center. In addition, she serves as an adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden and is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives.

JoAnn Mower
Dean's Leadership Council for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University–Camden

A Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives, JoAnn Mower has served as president of Lourdes Health Network and CEO of the Mercy Health System in Philadelphia.  Mower holds an MA from Rutgers-Camden, a Bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College of Maine and her Master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Greg Passanante, RN, BS, BSN, MBA, CNOR
Chief Nursing Officer, Wills Eye Hospital

Greg Passanante has oversight of all hospital operations including clinical care, regulatory compliance, operational and capital budgets, patient scheduling, and surgeon block time utilization.  Prior to this position, Passanante was the clinical director for perioperative services at Christiana Hospital in Newark, DE and the clinical director for med/surg nursing at Penn Presbyterian Hospital. He has also held various leadership positions and was an OR staff nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Passanante holds a BS from Rutgers School of Business Camden, a BSN from Drexel and an MBA from Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, and he is a CNOR, which denotes competency in the specialized field of perioperative nursing.

Elyse Perweiler, MPP, RN
Associate Professor, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
Co-Director, NJ Institute for Successful Aging (NJISA)
Director, NJ Area Health Education Center

Elyse Perweiler is the Co-Director of the recently funded DHHS-HRSA Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant and also serves on the NJ Medicare Board of Trustees for Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. and the NJ Nursing Home Administrators’ Licensing Board.

Susan Reinhard
Senior Vice President, AARP Public Policy Institute and
Chief Strategist, Center to Champion Nursing in America

As a senior vice president at AARP, Susan Reinhard directs the organization’s Public Policy Institute, the focal point for public policy research and analysis at state, federal, and international levels. She also serves as chief strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America AARP, a national resource and technical assistance center for nurses. Reinhard was previously co-director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. She received a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers and an MSN from the University of Cincinnati.

Al Smith
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Kennedy University Hospital

Al Smith has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Kennedy University Hospital since 2007. He is also chairman of the Board of Trustees of Professional Medical Management and Subsidiary Kennedy Medical Equipment. Smith has sat both on Kennedy’s boards and on the advisory board of Rutgers- Camden’s School of Business for more than 20 years. He holds a BS in accounting from Rutgers.