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Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey > Things to Do > Women of Achievement > 2014 Women of Achievement Honorees

2014 Women of Achievement Honorees

Poonam Alaigh
MD MSHCPM, FACP, Corporate Consultant, Atlantic Health System and Former Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services, State of New Jersey

Lynne Harwell Algrant
Councilmember at Large, City of Englewood

Collette Liantonio
President & Creative Director, Concepts TV Productions

Essence G. Harris
RN, Intermediate Nursery, St. Joseph's Healthcare System
Elinor J. Ferdon Young Woman of Promise

Jane Bainbridge
Vice President, Global Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Training,
Celgene Corporation

Mitzi Golbek Spirit of Girl Scouting, GSNNJ Volunteer

 

 


 

Poonam Alaigh
MD MSHCPM, FACP, Corporate Consultant, Atlantic Health System and Former Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services, State of New Jersey

Dr. Poonam Alaigh is a Corporate Consultant at Atlantic Health System leading the strategy for designing, developing and operationalizing the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization with over 50K beneficiaries and more than 1300 physicians. She is also the CEO and President of Alaigh Care Associates LLC, a national healthcare consulting company leading in the implementation of healthcare reform and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Common Sense Institute of New Jersey- a nonpartisan think tank that conducts scholarly research and analysis of New Jersey public policy. Most recently she was the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services for New Jersey where she was had responsibility for direct operational oversight and management of the Department of Health and Senior Services with a budget of $3.8B, and 1700 employees. Key responsibilities of the department included state and national health care policy, public health, senior care and quality and regulatory oversight of the healthcare institutions in NJ. Dr. Alaigh has a multifaceted background in health care administration and delivery, including clinical practice hospital practice, hospital administration, managed care, pharmaceutical medicine, and healthcare policy. Prior to being nominated by Governor Christie, she was the Executive Medical Director at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey where she is responsible for the major clinical areas that ensure the delivery of quality, cost effective healthcare for its members. Dr. Alaigh has served as National Medical Director for GlaxoSmithKline where she was working with health plans on a number of national issues, including better use of health care technology, the reduction of disparities in health care and healthcare access to the under and uninsured population.

She continues her clinical work at the New Jersey Veterans Administration at Lyons providing direct patient care and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UMDNJ/ Robert Wood Johnson University Medical School. Dr. Alaigh has had publications in the field of vascular disease and population health. She is a board certified internist with a specialty in vascular diseases and is certified as a Diplomate in Internal Medicine and licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey. She received her MD and her Masters in Health Care Policy and Management at State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY. She is a certified black belt in six-sigma business management strategy. Dr. Alaigh has a number of affiliations and achievements. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, one of the founding members of SATHI (South Asian Total Healthcare Initiative) a program of the UMDNJ-RWJMS in New Jersey, is the past president of the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, Northern New Jersey chapter. She was appointed to serve on Governor-Elect Corzine's Transition Team on health care policy, strategies and issues in 2005 and was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the College of New Jersey in 2007.

Lynne Harwell Algrant
Councilmember at Large, City of Englewood

Lynne Harwell Algrant is the Councilmember-at-Large for the City of Englewood, NJ. In addition, she is the founder and president of H10A Consulting, a practice focused on leadership and effectiveness, especially in the nonprofit sector. Her clients include small schools, social service nonprofits and leadership development Programs. As Executive Director of an educational non-profit, she took the organization from bankruptcy to solvency in 2 years. Upon relocating to Englewood, NJ, Lynne continued to involve herself with civic leadership by first joining a committee designing a civic leadership program in Bergen County. When Bergen LEADS was launched, she was hired to serve as the leadership consultant to the program. Her involvement in Bergen LEADS convinced Lynne to pursue public office—where she now serves on the City Council of Englewood, NJ.

Collette Liantonio
President & Creative Director, Concepts TV Productions

Collette Liantonio launched Concepts TV in 1983. With an MA in Directing from New York University, Collette also attended Harvard University’s Owner/President Program. Collette is a licensed speech and dramatic arts coach and has experience in all aspects of public speaking and directing. Many of her direct response commercials and infomercials have become advertising legends, such as Ambervision Sunglasses, Topsy Tail, The Abdominizer, Contour Pillow and The George Foreman Grill. Concepts TV won over 150 awards for hits like Go Duster, Better Pasta Pot and Finishing Touch. Some Direct Response clients include WD-40, Bissell, QVC, Novartis, Time Warner, Salton, and Conair. Collette has been recognized as “One of the 25 Most Influential People in DRTV”, and has served on the Electronic Retailing Association’s Board of Directors and Backchannel Advisory Board. Collette also co-founded the Broadcast Council of the Direct Marketing Association, and is a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, The Woman’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the Women-Owned Business Enterprise for New York City (WBE).

Essence G. Harris
RN, Intermediate Nursery, St. Joseph's Healthcare System
Elinor J. Ferdon Young Woman of Promise

Essence Gwynaa Harris was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey to Curtis Sr. and Gwendolyn Harris. She started in Girl Scouts of the USA at the age of five with a Daisy troop led by Mrs. Cynthia Eason at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Later, she continued as a Cadette at Second Baptist Church, led by Ms. Nancy Lomax. Essence was educated in both the Passaic and Bergen County school systems, graduating from St. Anne’s Elementary School and then in the top five of her class from Paterson Catholic Regional High School. She then went on to attend Rutgers University in Newark, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing. After being licensed as a Registered Nurse, she accepted a position in the Intermediate Nursery at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. There, Essence cares for premature and newborn babies who require extra attention and lots of TLC to grow into their full potential.

In May 2012, Essence was nominated and awarded the Nursing Excellence Award for the Maternal-Child Division, demonstrating excellence within her area of practice and for always going above and beyond the job requirements.

Working in Paterson has fulfilled Essence’s childhood dream of giving back to the community in which she grew up in. She is just as enthusiastic and passionate about her job as the first day she started. She absolutely loves what she does and knows that none of this could have been possible without God being the head of her life.

Jane Bainbridge
Vice President, Global Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Training,
Celgene Corporation

Mitzi Golbek Spirit of Girl Scouting Award, GSNNJ Volunteer


Jane is passionate about the principles and programs of Girl Scouting. As co-leader of Long Valley Troop 369 for the past 12 years, she has actively encouraged her troop of young leaders, through all aspects of Girl Scout programming, to realize their potential. Four girls from her troop have earned their Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The girls of Troop 369 have courage, confidence and character.

At the community level, Jane has served as Long Valley Service Unit Manager and on several GSNNJ committees where her focus is to maximise the engagement of Girl Scouts, Community and Business leaders. Jane is an advocate for Girl Scouting, bringing the message to friends and business colleagues alike.

During Jane’s more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry, she has held positions in local and regional affiliates, R&D site, and corporate headquarters across multiple areas of pharmaceutical development operations and several geographies (UK, Australia, Sweden, United States). She is an accomplished executive with strong leadership skills, a results focus and a passion for bringing out the best in people through mentoring and coaching. She is an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association whose mission is to further the advancement and impact of women in healthcare worldwide. Jane has BSc and MSc degrees in biochemistry and toxicology from University of Surrey, UK, and an MBA from Seton Hall, NJ.

Jane is married to Toby and is the mother of Isaac, an Eagle Scout and Polly, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. Jane is also a fitness instructor, teaching a spinning class at her local gym once a week. She lives in Washington Township, Morris County with her family.

 

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