Somerset County has been named a finalist in the “Corporate Achievement” category in the 2013 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards program for health initiatives created and promoted by its Wellness Committee.

The award program, produced by NJBIZ, a New Jersey business news publication, is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Hackensack University Medical Center, Comcast Business Class, New Jersey Hospital Association and WithumSmith+Brown, PC.

The Healthcare Heroes awards program honors individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.  Finalists were selected in eleven categories:  Corporate Achievement, Education Hero-Individual, Education Hero-Organization, Hospital of the Year, Innovation Hero-Individual, Innovation Hero-Organization, Nurse of the Year, Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility of the Year, Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center of the Year, Physician of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

“Somerset County is proud of the efforts of its Wellness Committee in promoting greater health awareness by providing information, activities and services designed to support healthy life choices,” said Freeholder Director Peter S. Palmer. 

“The Committee has provided seminars on developing exercise routines and has offered stress management classes.  Additionally, it hosted a Healthy Employees Day with representatives on hand to address topics on eating nutritious foods, practicing yoga techniques, scheduling flu shots and joining a gym, to name just a few,” he said. “In January of this year, nine teams of employees joined the “2013 Get Fit Challenge” and to date have lost close to 400 pounds.  The positive response from employees to the many programs has been tremendous.

“Since Somerset County is self-insured, all efforts toward developing healthy lifestyles can eventually be reflected in lower insurance costs,” said Freeholder Palmer.  “More importantly, the programs are making for a healthier workforce who possess the tools and knowledge to keep up the momentum on their own.”

Finalists and winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges including: Dean Paranicas, Healthcare Institute of New Jersey; Pat Barnett, RN, JD, New Jersey State Nurses Association, and The Institute for Nursing; Wardell Sanders, New Jersey Association of Health Plans; Sonia Delgado, Princeton Public Affairs Agency; and Claudine M. Leone, Esq., Government Affairs Consultant.

The Healthcare Heroes awards finalists will be recognized and the winners in each category will be announced during a breakfast awards ceremony on June 18 at the Palace in Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey.

For more information about the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards program or to reserve seats to the event, visit or contact Melissa Sullenberger at or (732) 246-5737.

For more information about Somerset County’s Wellness Committee and its wellness programs, contact Linny Mahedy at (908) 231-7081 or or Yvonne Childress at (908) 203-6019 or