New Tax Law Affects Executive Compensation

The final tax reform bill signed by President Trump on December 21, 2017 makes substantial changes to executive compensation paid by private and public companies and non-profit organizations. But it could have been worse. Significant restrictions on nonqualified deferred compensation plans were removed from the final bill. This article briefly summarizes the major changes:

Private Companies: Employee Deferral of Stock Option Gains

The law adds a new Section 83(i) to the Tax Code that, subject to a number of conditions, allows employees to elect to defer the inclusion of income arising from the exercise of stock options and the payment of restricted stock units (RSUs) in stock for up to five years. Key conditions and requirements include the following:

Eligible Company Requirements. The company must be privately held and at least 80% of the company’s employees must receive stock options or RSUs. The 80% requirement is intended to incentivize companies to broaden the employee group that receives stock.

Eligible Employee Requirements. To be eligible to defer tax recognition, the employee must not be the CEO or CFO or a family member of the CEO or CFO, a 1% owner of the company within the past 10 years, or one of the four most highly compensated officers in any of the past 10 years.

Deferral Requirements. Eligible employees may elect to defer the recognition of stock option or RSU income until the earliest of (a) five years after the date the stock is first vested; (b) the date the stock becomes transferable or publicly traded; or (c) the date on which the employee is no longer eligible for the deferral or revokes the deferral election.

Notice Requirement. Effective January 1, 2018, the company must provide a written to notice to employees of their rights to defer. Failure to provide this notice results in IRS penalties on the employer of $100 for each missed notice, up to an annual cap of $50,000.

Effect of Election to Defer. When income is included at the end of the deferral period, the amount included is based on the value of the stock at the time of exercise or settlement, rather than at the time of income inclusion. This rule applies even if the value of the stock has declined during the deferral period.

Bottom Line: These rules apply to stock options exercised, and RSUs settled, after 2017. As a result, privately held corporations will need to determine if they can and want to apply the new rules to outstanding option and RSU awards and, if so, be ready to satisfy the notice requirements. This legislation is intended to allow employees of private companies which do not have access to public markets to readily sell their shares to cover taxes arising on the exercise of stock options and RSUs to delay the tax event for up to five years. The restrictive conditions imposed in order for the income deferral election to apply may hinder its use by private companies.

Public Companies: Expansion of $1 Million Compensation Limit

Performance-Based Compensation Exception Repealed. Under Section 162(m) of the Tax Code, compensation over $1 million to certain public company executive officers is not deductible by the company. Historically, performance-based compensation paid only on the attainment of performance goals, has not been subject to the $1 million deduction limitation. This exception is repealed by the new law.

CFOs Subject to Section 162(m). The legislation amends Section 162(m) to specifically include a public company’s principal financial officer as a “covered employee” subject to the $1 million compensation limit. This corrects an unintended gap that left CFOs generally not being subject to Section 162(m) due to changes in the SEC’s executive compensation disclosure rules.

Once Covered, Always Covered. If an executive is a “covered employee” for 162(m) purposes in 2017 or any later year, the new law provides that he or she remains a covered employee for all future periods, including after termination of employment for any reason (including death). This eliminates the ability to deduct severance payments made after termination of an executive’s employment to the extent that the severance results in compensation in excess of the limit.

Expansion of Covered Companies. The definition of a public company subject to Section 162(m) is expanded by the new law to include any corporation that is required to file reports under Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This change would subject private companies with public debt that triggers Section 15(d) reporting to the $1 million deduction limitation.

Limited Grandfathering Rule. The new law grandfathers compensation provided pursuant to a written binding contract in effect on November 2, 2017, so long as it is not materially modified after November 2, 2017.

Bottom Line: The changes could result in a significant loss of deductions to companies, but the corporate tax rate reductions would mitigate some of the impact. In addition, given the expansion of employees covered, it could result in many more companies subject to the $1 million pay limit.

Non-Profits: Excise Taxes on “Excess” Compensation

Excise Tax on Compensation Over $1 Million. In general, annual compensation in excess of $1 million paid to any of the top five most highly paid persons at a non-profit employer results in 21% excise tax on the employer for compensation paid that exceeds $1 million.

Excise Taxes on Large Termination Payments. A 21% excise tax is also imposed on separation payments that exceed a specified level. This excise tax, payable by the non-profit, is imposed if severance payments to any of its top five most highly compensated persons equal or exceed three times the person’s average compensation over the preceding five years.

Bottom Line: This legislation, along with the proposed changes to the intermediate sanctions rules, may materially impact executive pay at tax-exempt organizations. Many large tax-exempt organizations compete with for-profit organizations for senior executive talent, and these changes would likely put tax-exempt organizations at a substantial cost disadvantage relative to similar for-profit companies. In addition, by placing downward pressure on tax-exempt executive compensation levels, the changes could jeopardize the ability of some tax-exempt organizations to achieve their missions due to the inability to pay competitive compensation packages to qualified executives.

As Healthcare Marketplace Evolves, Holy Name Focuses on Delivering High-Quality, Affordable Health Care

Recently, Holy Name Medical Center was the only hospital in Northeast New Jersey — and one of only three in the entire state – to achieve five stars in the latest federal rankings for overall quality of care by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are proud to once again be recognized as a national leader in patient care and safety, while also being one of the most affordable and cost-efficient providers in the state.  These rankings — on metrics ranging from quality to safety to cost — are critical to helping patients make informed decisions in how they spend their healthcare dollars.

As New Jersey’s healthcare market continues to evolve, we remain committed to providing patients with high-quality, affordable care in a transparent, cost-effective manner.  With the proliferation of tiered and narrow networks, policy-makers need to ensure a transparent framework that rewards high-quality, low cost healthcare delivery.

New Jersey’s healthcare market is currently dominated by some very large players, as nearly half of the state’s residents get their healthcare coverage from one insurance company. The provider side of this equation is also evolving with the accelerated consolidation of hospitals and physicians into large systems. However, when it comes to healthcare delivery, Holy Name is proving that bigger isn’t always better.

Study after study has proven that monopolistic healthcare systems only drive costs higher. A competitive, transparent, market with as many participants as possible is the only way to achieve the goal of higher quality and lower cost.  Only through greater transparency and competition can we incentivize healthcare systems to keep patients healthy and costs low.

If we want to effectively lower the cost of healthcare in New Jersey, we need transparency on both sides of the equation. Consumers deserve to know how they’re spending their healthcare dollars, and that means providing transparency in quality, safety, and costs in a publicly accessible format. You wouldn’t shop for a new car or other major purchase without knowing the price, so why is it acceptable that healthcare costs remain hidden from consumers?

Finally, with individuals demanding to play a much more active role in choosing where and how they spend their healthcare dollars, we need to ensure that patients receive high-quality, patient-focused care.  Our healthcare system is moving away from a procedure-driven model toward a relationship-building model that is more patient-centric, focusing on the unique needs of every individual.  These include linguistic, dietary, cultural, religious, familial and financial needs, as well as personal and social considerations.

Holy Name’s outreach programs and culturally-sensitive initiatives such as Asian Health Services, Familia Y Salud and our faith-based services have become national models for addressing the diverse needs of various populations. To extend our reach to every neighbor we serve, Holy Name recently appointed the first vice president of patient engagement and chief experience officer in New Jersey.

As New Jersey’s healthcare market continues to evolve and change, we look forward to working with policymakers and stakeholders to accomplish our mutual goal of providing quality healthcare and lower costs.

Introducing Our Annual Salute to New Jersey Companies that Care

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CARING, compassion, generosity and teamwork are a driving force for good, shared by New Jersey companies that embrace giving back to the communities they serve. In addition, these businesses have expanded their focus to include helping the hungry, the homeless, veterans, children and the elderly, and protecting the environment through sustainability projects and programs. These caring companies embody the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s mission “to make New Jersey a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

CIANJ, in partnership with COMMERCE, will salute corporate philanthropy at the 5th Annual Companies that Care Awards on March 20, 2018, at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville. As always, we are pleased to provide a venue for honoring corporate philanthropy and, at the same time, inspire more businesses to adopt a cause, volunteer, donate and support worthy charities from food banks to youth programs to local support groups for the most vulnerable among us.

In the following special section, “Companies that Care,” CIANJ and COMMERCE honor New Jersey businesses that care for veterans; help children; feed the hungry; shelter the homeless; volunteer to help the needy; raise money for charities; protect the environment; and support employees and their families during emergencies.

AKRF’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day raised money for breast cancer research and treatment. To help raise awareness and money for the cause, employees were encouraged to wear pink, and AKRF made a financial contribution for each participant. Additional funds were raised from a bake sale, and through the purchase of pink office supplies.

Atlantic Environmental Solutions, Inc. supported longtime client Foot Locker’s annual “Week of Greatness,” during which money and footwear were collected and donated to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. AESI supports the Footlocker Foundation’s Scholar Athletes Program, which awards 20 college scholarships for leadership and academic excellence.

Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center’s tri-generation power plant generates electricity by harnessing waste heat, reducing replaced-energy costs by 60 percent. The hospital has 10 on-campus beehives producing locally sourced honey, supports a community garden and owns chickens that provide locally sourced food.

Atlantic Stewardship Bank donated more than $508,000 to more than 250 recipients in 2017, including CUMAC, which feeds the hungry; Habitat for Humanity; Oasis, a haven for women and children; and the Christian HealthCare Center, which offers senior living, short-term rehabilitation, and mental health services. The bank donates 10 percent of its annual taxable income (more than $9.3 million to date) as a tithe to area charities.

Baker Tilly’s employees participated in the firm’s Stewardship Day, a firmwide day of service. Its Metropark office painted classrooms at Avenel Middle School in Avenel, and its Cherry Hill office packed meals and stocked the warehouse at the Food Bank of South Jersey. More than 75 New Jersey employees donated approximately 530 hours of time to community service in 2017.

Berkeley College. In 2017, Berkeley College’s Community Service Day became a weeklong initiative. During Community Service Week—just one part of the Berkeley Cares initiative, which supports charities all year long— more than 440 Berkeley faculty, staff, alumni, Board of Trustees members and students provided 2,100 volunteer hours to 43 community organizations in New Jersey and New York.

Boswell Engineering’s employees have provided “Secret Santa” gifts for more than 500 children who are separated from their families and in the care of the Youth Consultation Service (YCS) Foundation. YCS is New Jersey’s premier provider of behavioral health services to children and families. Employees take time during the holidays to shop for gifts or donate money for the “Secret Santa” to ensure a joyful Christmas Day for each child.

Charity Realty President James F. Costanzo’s father was wounded and disabled in 1944 while serving aboard the USS Terror fighting in the South Pacific. In his honor, the firm supports Homes For Our Troops, which builds and donates specially adapted, mortgage-free, custom homes to severely injured post–9/11 veterans. A beefsteak fundraiser was held for the veterans group on Nov. 3, 2017.

Clean Earth, Inc. initiated its first Annual Clean Earth Day in 2017; team members from across the company volunteered and formed teams to partner with local organizations in their Clean Earth community to hold recycling, cleanup and beautification events. In total, Clean Earth held eight events across the country which included local community farm and state park clean-ups, river and cemetery cleanups, and local paint recycling events.

Columbia Bank volunteers frequently assist food banks, while also regularly serving hot meals to the homeless, most recently at Eva’s Village in Paterson and Cathedral  Kitchen in Camden. The bank’s Fourteenth Annual Food Drive provided more than 700 shopping bags of food and $2,000 in supermarket gift cards. Food bank “community” grants also funded the purchase of a storage freezer, a refrigerated delivery vehicle, an emergency generator and a warehouse fire suppression system.

Connell Foley LLP volunteers have worked with Rebuilding Together Jersey City—the local chapter of a national non-profit that rehabilitates the homes of low-income, elderly or disabled persons—and helped rehabilitate either a low-income home or a community facility. For the past 16 years, firm volunteers have put in thousands of hours working on these projects.

Corporate Ladders’ principals have played Santa Claus for the underprivileged children at PS 28 in Paterson for the past eight years. CEO Bill Taylor Sr., began six years ago and, for the past two years, Bill Taylor Jr., has taken over the duties. It is a volunteer effort in conjunction with Guardian Angel Church in Allendale, where the gifts are also collected for some of these children.

Deloitte created Deloitte Academy Princeton and Deloitte Academy Parsippany, workshops that provide high schoolers with programs aimed at college readiness, including mentoring around general academics and professional development in addition to instruction in accounting. In New Jersey, more than 45 Deloitte professionals have donated more than 450 hours to the Academies, impacting 75 students.

Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. sponsored New Jersey’s first-ever Mission of Mercy-Smiles for Our Heroes event, which provided free dental care to more than 200 veterans from North and Central Jersey. Delta Dental helped bring together 140 volunteer dental professionals and support staff to provide services ranging from cleanings and X-rays to root canals, extractions and dentures.

Dream on Me, Inc. has partnered with Good+ Foundation, Red, White & Babies, Jersey Cares, Operation Shower and Delivering Good. Through these partnerships, the company has been able to bring some aid and joy to military families and people in need—most recently, the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Eastwick College holds philanthropic efforts to feed the hungry, which have resulted in thousands of meals served; hundreds of full grocery bags donated; and $100,000 given to the Center for Food Action, Paterson’s Community Outreach Services, Jewish Family Services, Meals on Wheels of Rockland, Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels and Table to Table.

EisnerAmper LLP’s Give Back Week involved 70 employees volunteering at several nonprofits, including hospitals and food banks, as part of EisnerAmper Cares, which assists more than 25 community-based organizations nationwide. For example, 11 staff members made some furry friends at the Somerset New Jersey Regional Animal Shelter.

Estro Digital and CFS, LLC sponsored a small business networking event at Prestige Lincoln in Paramus, where more than 75 professional service providers attended. More than $1,000 was raised and donated to Convoy of Hope a Hurricane Relief Fund, a faith-based relief organization that provides life-sustaining food, water and medical supplies.

Georgian Court University students, faculty and staff provided 94,745 hours of service (2015 to 2016) to charities. The men’s soccer team volunteered with Vincent’s Legacy, collecting and distributing furniture for families. In partnership with the Lakewood Police Department, the GCU team stuffed 190 toy animals for Teddy Bears for Tykes, a service project to help reduce trauma suffered by children exposed to violence and abuse.

GKG CPAs has supported Baking Memories 4 Kids since 2015, an organization that sells chocolate chip cookies made from an old family recipe to raise money to send kids with terminal or life-threatening illnesses to an all-expense paid trip to the Orlando theme parks. For the past three years, GKG has been giving these cookies to clients as gifts.

H2M architects + engineers presented a check to Interfaith Nutrition Network for $6,200—a $5,000 donation from the firm and $1,200 raised from an Employee Appreciation Day and Pie Day; with a $5 donation, an employee gets to wear jeans for the day and have pizza on the firm. H2M employees also volunteer their time, from sorting donated goods in the receiving area, to prepping lunch in the kitchen.

Hackensack Meridian Health formed an innovate partnership with the Montclair State PSE&G Sustainability Institute, collaborating to offer the only hospital-based Green Team of college students in New Jersey. Embedded over the summer at The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center, students helped to drive engagement in environmental initiatives.

Herbert Law Group LLC’s John Herbert, a recipient of the Bergen County NAACP’s Thurgood Marshall Award, supports the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, North East New Jersey Legal Services, Bergen County Black Business Network, Bergen County Black Lawyers Alliance, NAACP of Bergen County and the African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ.

Holman Frenia Allison, P.C. teams assist with preparing and giving food for the homeless. The firm hosts “From the heart” activities, including annual holiday secret Santa for Big Brothers Big Sisters and gift-giving drives. Last February, the staff gave 24 units of blood in their first annual Blood Drive. Last September, they collected and donated more than $3,000 for Harvey and Irma Hurricane Relief.

Holy Name Medical Center’s Asian Health Services provides healthcare to 250,000 Asians living in the NJ/NY area—mostly first-generation immigrants. More than 30 HNMC clinical staff and 20 AHS physicians volunteer to provide free care. The annual Walk for Mom Breast Cancer Awareness Walkathon has raised more than $1 million to fund 1,030 mammograms over 10 years—and 14 cases of breast cancer were identified and treated.

JCP&L’s Harvest for Hunger campaigns have raised more than $104,000 for local food banks and pantries; along with the FirstEnergy Foundation, employees have contributed more than $640,000 to support local United Way campaigns; and with the New Jersey Audubon Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, JCP&L helped create new habitats for bees, butterflies and birds.

Jefferson Health in New Jersey collaborates with the New Jersey Hospital Association on a program to assist veterans in need of mental health services, funded by a $1.4 million New Jersey Department of Health grant. Another joint effort works to reduce hospital readmissions among veterans. The healthcare system also hosts an annual awards ceremony for Camden County veterans.

Konica Minolta works with The American Red Cross during the holiday season to thank active duty military members and veterans for their service through the Holiday Cards for Heroes program, which allows employees to send greeting cards to military stationed overseas and to veterans and their family members across the United States.

Lakeland Bank has supported Pass It Along (PIA) for nearly a decade, a nonprofit organization that helps teenagers with self-worth, through self-discovery, volunteerism and leadership programs. In addition to the bank’s $10,000 scholarship program, members of the Senior Executive Team spent an afternoon working at a home site with a significant amount of maintenance and landscaping issues. After a few hours and with assistance from Lakeland’s landscape vendor, the property was transformed for a family in need of the assistance.

LAN Associates offers pro-bono services to Habitat for Humanity. Staff helped design and construct a mixed-use building for the Builder’s Blitz. LAN volunteers for, and sponsors, the annual Philadelphia Spring Clean Up and Sussex County Trail Clean Up to further develop various parks and recreation sites by sending a volunteer team to clean up local parks and facilities.

Lassus Wherley has consistently supported the Community Service Association (CSA) of New Providence Holiday Wish List Program. CSA assigns two needy families based on the firm’s record of generosity, which remains anonymous. This cause is popular with employees as it epitomizes the true essence of the holiday season.

Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC supports two local food pantries—Christine’s Kitchen at Holy Trinity Church in West Orange and the Bobrow Kosher Food Pantry at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange. The firm sent a letter to its clients asking for one nonperishable food item to be brought to the office when they have their tax returns prepared, and the response was overwhelming.

LG Electronics USA Inc.’s new “Life’s Good: Experience Happiness” initiative is dedicated to advancing the Science of Happiness and bringing research-based Sustainable Happiness Skills to 5.5 million youth across the U.S. by 2021. LG partnered with Inner Explorer, which teaches Sustainable Happiness Skills through Mindfulness and has demonstrated a 15 percent increase in G.P.A. and a 60 percent reduction in behavioral issues.

Marsh & McLennan Agency’s Northeast region participated in donation-based dress-down days with proceeds going toward the purchase of 1,500 solar lanterns for children in Haiti faced with stopping their studies once darkness set in. The childrenused kerosene lamps for light when doing their homework, requiring expensive oil and emitting toxic fumes. Using solar lanterns, the students gained two to three additional hours of study time.

Mazars USA LLP participated in an annual food drive for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, sent volunteers to collect frozen turkeys during the holidays and sent a team of volunteers during the firm’s Days of Service to the FoodBank to sort food. Mazars employees regularly volunteer at the Community FoodBank, and the firm plans to donate $100,000 to organizations dedicated to fighting hunger in each of its geographic locations in the United States.

McCarter & English, LLP partnered with Kids In Need of Defense, and its attorneys advocated in asylum cases and special immigrant juvenile cases, where minors living here without guardians take the first steps toward stable lives in the United States instead of facing danger in their homelands. Working with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, the firm hosted naturalization clinics and handled several DACA dreamers’ petitions.

McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP works with Operation Holiday, a partnership between the Women’s Club of Morristown and the Daily Record to aid charities and social agencies who fulfill holiday wishes for families in need. In 2017, MDM&C’s Morristown office adopted three families, and its employees were able to purchase items from a wish list or donate money and the firm’s HR Department would shop for gifts.

New Jersey Institute of Technology created an alternative spring break program in 2013 to help devastated New Jersey communities clean up, rebuild and preserve their heritage following Hurricane Sandy. NJIT assembled a crew that spring of nearly 570 student volunteers who assessed damages, swept beaches and parks and demolished and reconstructed wrecked homes and buildings. Since then, nearly 1,000 students, staff and alumni have taken part in the ongoing recovery.

Next Level Performance partnered with the Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick during its annual HOPE Week initiative. Its team and their children created activity bags and motivating décor for hospitalized kids and provided healthy snack packs and welcome kits for parents and siblings. The firm also collected coats for the homeless in New Brunswick in partnership with Elijah’s Promise.

NJMEP partnered with CIANJ and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey where virtual donations made through NJMEP provided close to 20,000 meals in 2017. Its summer golf outing funds scholarships for young adults and military veterans/families, and it works with Employment Horizons and Easter seals to help place people with disabilities in manufacturing jobs.

Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. launched a charitable initiative to support active soldiers and veterans—hosting fundraisers and collection drives throughout the year to benefit charities, including Pets for Patriots, Your Grateful Nation, United War Veterans Council, Operation Gratitude, and Wounded Warrior Project, all of which support active soldiers, veterans, and/or their families. Nine veterans are employed at the firm.

NPZ Law Group, P.C. is working closely with a married couple, both Coptic Christians, who fled Egypt to escape religious persecution. The firm successfully filed and received an approval for the I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative and is assisting in a Removal Proceeding. If the client’s husband is deported to Egypt, his life will be in danger, and he will be separated from and unable to support his U.S. citizen wife and child in America.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank runs annual drives collecting thousands of school supplies and holiday gifts for children in need in cooperation with the United Way of Northern New Jersey. The bank’s book drive was the model and inspiration for the United Way Book Buddy program which now provides reading material to support youth summer literacy programs, local school libraries and literacy education for students of all ages.

PKF O’Connor Davies LLP collected 168 pounds of food and raised nearly $7,000 for Food Bank for Westchester; and sponsored a team of 20 employees at the Golden Scoop Competition, which provided 19,079 pounds of packaged food to thousands in need. Using money contributed by employees during Charity Jeans Days, the firm bought groceries for 10 families.

Ramapo College of New Jersey student-athletes collected more than 10,800 canned food items that were distributed to food pantries in 2016-17; held “Tacos for Texas and Florida” with other campus groups and collected $6,000 for hurricane victims; held an on-campus event that raised $3,230 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; and donated and distributed Thanksgiving baskets to the Mahwah Center for Food Action.

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP sponsored the Paterson Music Project’s first annual 5K walk at Garret Mountain. PMP is an El Sistema inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that provides low-tuition music education to more than 200 Paterson students in grades 1-8 after school. Attorneys and staff from Riker Danzig, including those involved in its School Law Practice, participated in the event.

Robert Half’s New Jersey offices hosted a client appreciation event and fashion show at the Coaches Club at MetLife Stadium to benefit Suits for Success and Dress for Success of Hudson County. The firm also presented a $3,000 check to the charities, that went toward providing business attire to those applying and interviewing for new jobs in Hudson County.

RWJBarnabas Health physicians completed two relief trips to Puerto Rico in a recovery mission to provide medical care and supplies to victims of the hurricane-ravaged island, as well as to ease the burden on overworked responders providing care to the population. RWJBH physicians set up mobile clinics to help with patient demand at Centro Medico Hospital in San Juan and Hermanos Melendez Hospital in Bayamon. They treated more than 360 patients over three days.

Sax LLP supports St. Joseph’s Regional Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Department, which provides quality-of-life programs to pediatric patients. The 2017 4 Miler at Garret Mountain presented by Sax raised $67,000 for the department. Since 2012, Sax LLP has raised over $365,000 for the Children’s Hospital and has become the Child Life Department’s largest financial contributor.

Selective Insurance has partnered with Sussex County-based non-profit Project Self-Sufficiency for the past 30 years to help make a difference in the lives of local low-income individuals and families. The Selective Insurance Group Foundation annually donates a minimum of $50,000 to the cause, and Selective hosts a Build-A-Bike event to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency.

Sobel & Co., LLC employees and interns participated in fundraising programs and fun events designed to generate $11,054.24 in revenue for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. The firm invested an entire day in August to assist with packing and re-packing food items at the CFBNJ warehouse for distribution across the state.

Stockton University’s Martin Luther King Day of Service reaches out to local and global communities—from clearing brush on a local horse-rescue farm, to feeding the hungry in Atlantic City’s Rescue Mission, loading thousands of books to be shipped to schools in Zimbabwe, and wrapping toys for children in war-torn Syria. These efforts involve some 900 students doing projects with 36 community partners.

SUEZ employees volunteer for “days of caring” at Oceans Harbor House in Toms River, an emergency shelter for youth ages 10 to 21. Volunteers have assembled basketball backboards, power washed the home’s siding, installed a paver patio, planted flowers, trimmed shrubs and painted common rooms and presented the residents and leadership with a new American flag that was expressly flown over the U.S. Capitol in recognition of Oceans Harbor House.

The Curchin Group annually hosts The Curchin Open Miniature Golf Tournament, which has raised and donated more than $177,000 to local charities. Clients, sponsors, and friends play a round of putt-putt golf on a nine-hole course that runs through the firm’s Red Bank office. The 2017 event raised $22,000 for The Arc of Monmouth and Breast Intentions.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center gives free books to every child that visits its Pediatric Clinic to help reduce the anxiety that young children feel when undergoing a minor medical procedure or checkup. It recently reached a milestone of 100,000 books since the inception of the program, Reach Out and Read, 15 years ago.

UPS. Last year, 95 UPSers took to the runway at Teterboro Airport for the 20th Anniversary 5K raising $30,000 to benefit Bergen County United Way’s Compassion Fund. UPS has supported Bergen County’s United Way for 55 years. For the last 20, UPS has helped raise more than $500,000 for the United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline, the Compassion Fund and Very Special Homes.

Valley National Bank raised nearly $100,000 for breast cancer research during its ninth annual breast cancer walk, titled “Valley Goes Pink!” More than 1,000 Valley associates, family members, friends and neighbors gathered at 1460 Valley Road in Wayne for this year’s event. All proceeds raised are used for research and conferences at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and other national and international research facilities.

Wakefern Food Corp., through the ShopRite Partners In Caring program, donates $3 million annually to Feeding America foodbanks in ShopRite’s trading area. ShopRite associates volunteer and donate food to pantries and soup kitchens and engage customers in a “Round Up Your Change” register donation program. Since 1999, Wakefern’s donations total $45 million, more than a million pounds of turkeys, and many million pounds of food to local Feeding America food banks.

Walters Group held a fundraiser at the Laurel Oaks Apartments that raised $4,000 for 14-year-old resident Nikolas Falco, diagnosed with cancer. The three-hour benefit drew in more than 100 participants. Entertainment at the fundraiser included a Chinese auction, 50/50 raffle, Shawn Clancy, a magician from Simply Silly Magic, and NASCAR  driver Tyler Truex.

Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. employees teamed up to find a cure for breast cancer and support survivors via the Susan G. Komen Central & South Jersey Race for  the Cure®, a fundraiser for breast health education and cancer treatment. As a first-time corporate participant, Wilentz ranked third among corporate teams, raising $10,310, and ranked fourth overall.

WithumSmith+Brown, PC hosts Bike Night events to benefit the GI Go Fund and Christine’s Hope for Kids. 2017 marks the sixth year the firm has supported Bike Nights, where guests pay for tickets to watch motorcycle events and contests at Chickie & Pete’s in Bordentown. The restaurant donates 10 percent of the total food bill for each customer, which has raised more than $10,000 to benefit these charities.

THANK YOU SPONSORS: Platinum Sponsor—Inserra Supermarkets, Inc.; Gold Sponsor—Lakeland Bank; Silver Sponsors—Hackensack Meridian Health,  RWJBarnabas Health, Wakefern; Bronze Sponsors—Columbia Bank, LG Electronics

USA, Mazars USA LLP, PSE&G, Selective Insurance; Caring Circle Sponsors—Atlantic Health System, Atlantic Stewardship Bank, Connell Foley LLP, JCP&L, NJIT, Sax LLP;  Supporting Sponsors—Archer Law, Berkeley College, Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc., Herbert Law Group, Holman Frenia Allison, P.C., LAN Associates, Marsh & McLennan Agency, McCarter & English, LLP, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., Plast-O-Matic

Valves, Inc., Riker Danzig, SUEZ, The Curchin Group, Valley Health System, Valley National Bank, WithumSmith+Brown, PC; Photography Sponsor—Eastwick College.

 

2018 Chief Medical Officers Roundtable: Advances in Patient Care for Women

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MARCH IS WOMEN’S HISTORY Month, and women are shaping the future of healthcare, as they make approximately 80 percent of healthcare decisions. Hospitals and physicians are pursuing state-of-the-art medical care for breast cancer, maternity care and other conditions that affect so many women.

This year’s Chief Medical Officers Roundtable, which explores the latest advances in patient care for women, features AtlantiCare, a Member of Geisinger; Atlantic Health System; CentraState Medical Center; Englewood Hospital and Medical Center; Hackensack Meridian Health; Holy Name Medical Center; Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; RWJBarnabas Health; Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Valley–Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care.

AtlantiCare, A Member of Geisinger

By Marilouise Venditti, M.D., VP and Chief Medical Officer

Advances in breast cancer screening and management include enhanced imaging techniques, refined surgical techniques, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and new radiation treatment. Through high dose rate brachytherapy, we shorten the length of time breast cancer patients, who qualify, get radiation therapy from six-and-a-half weeks and more than 30 treatments, to five, twice-a-day treatment days, saving time while sparing healthy tissue and organs. Another example is that we place a biodegradable cage within the breast tumor bed at the time of resection for patients who qualify. This more clearly defines the portion of the tumor we’ve removed. We better target radiation and decrease radiation exposure to healthy tissue and organs. The body absorbs the biodegradable material. As the industry learns more about the pathophysiology of breast cancer, it will develop more targeted treatments with fewer side effects. A critical part of breast cancer care is our precision medicine approach of accounting for individual variability in genes, environments and lifestyles of patients. Research, including clinical trials, will continue to play a key role in how we evolve cancer care.

Atlantic Health System

By Jan Schwarz-Miller, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Chief Academic Officer

Combining the most advanced technology with an array of patient support services has made Atlantic Health System a leader in breast cancer treatment. The most recent example is the TrueBeam™ Radiotherapy System. It’s a large jump forward in terms of surface guided radiation therapy, and it gives us the ability to provide faster, more targeted radiation treatments for all types of cancer patients. It’s the very latest technology, and, in the case of left breast cancers, it also helps minimize radiation dosage to critical organs such as the heart and the lungs. Previous machines also did not consistently account for contour of the breast, which could change slightly according to the position of the patient, during treatment. With the new surface image guided radiation technique that’s part of TrueBeam™, we’re able to have a completely accurate setup and get more precise radiation doses to the parts of the breast being targeted. When it comes to patient care, Atlantic Health System has always been on the forefront of using new technology as part of the most advanced treatments in our field.

CentraState Medical Center

By Edward Soffen, M.D., Medical Director, the Karen Olbis Radiation Oncology Dept., Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist

Going through breast cancer treatment is emotionally and physically difficult for women. It’s also a major disruption to a woman’s everyday life. In the case of radiation therapy, women have traditionally received daily treatments for at least six weeks. At the Statesir Cancer Center at CentraState Medical Center, we offer an accelerated, updated approach to radiation therapy following lumpectomy surgery for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancers. This new approach, called hypofractionation, allows women to complete radiation therapy in nearly half the amount of time. Hypofractionation is as effective as conventional radiation protocols in preventing recurrence of breast cancer. It has also been shown to be equal in limiting potential cosmetic and other side effects of radiation. Hypofractionation delivers the same biologically equivalent dose of radiation to the breast as traditional therapy, just in fewer days, with more radiation each day. That allows us to shorten the treatment course to roughly four weeks of daily treatments. Hypofractionation is appropriate for women who have lymph node-negative breast cancer— early stage cancers that have not spread beyond the breast; have had lumpectomy surgery, with or without chemotherapy; and do not have other medical conditions that may put them at higher risk for side effects from a higher radiation dose.

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center

By Michael T. Harris, M.D., Senior VP, Chief Medical Officer

Cancer affects every patient differently, so it’s crucial that we take an individualized approach to each patient we treat. Starting with screening and diagnosis, we read results in real time, with same-day physician consult, which minimizes anxiety and reduces callbacks for diagnostic mammograms. We’ve also begun using new targeted therapies in place of chemotherapies. These include drugs that overcome hormone resistance, and drugs that induce, enhance or suppress an immune response. As a result, there are more pharmacologic options for cancer treatment and prevention, with fewer side effects. Another improvement in cancer treatment involves a radiation therapy technique called deep-inspiration breath hold (DIBH), which maximizes the benefit of radiation therapy, and lessens the risks of whole-breast radiation therapy.

As a patient takes a deep breath, a system of digital projectors and cameras detects skin contours, determining proper orientation and inspiration before each treatment dose, minimizing the heart and lung exposure within the treatment area. In addition, current surgical innovations have improved to preserve muscle, limit pain, reduce recovery time, and provide more favorable aesthetic outcomes. These innovative approaches allow patients with breast cancer to experience a higher quality of cancer care, which ultimately leads to better health outcomes.

Holy Name Medical Center

By Adam Jarrett, M.D, M.S., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

As one of only five hospitals in New Jersey and New York to receive the prestigious “5-star rating” from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for quality, Holy Name Medical Center makes the patient experience a priority at our Patricia Lynch Cancer Center (PLCC). Holy Name provides the full spectrum of state-of-the- art breast cancer care in order to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life for our patients. PLCC’s multidisciplinary breast cancer team specializes in providing culturally sensitive, cutting-edge cancer care, while always making certain we know every patient by his/her first name. Our Breast Center offers the leading edge in screening and diagnostic technologies within a warm and inviting environment. Patients seen in our Breast Center have access to world-class medical oncologists and breast surgeons, who navigate the various needs of breast cancer patients. Holy Name recently expanded breast surgical services with the addition of a second fellowship-trained breast surgeon. Both breast surgeons are skilled in advanced oncoloplastic breast surgery. They collaborate closely with plastic/ reconstructive surgeons to provide patients with excellent medical and aesthetic results. PLCC also offers a range of clinical trials for patients with breast cancer who are interested in expanding the frontiers of cancer care.

Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health

By Verda Hicks, M.D., FACS, FACOG, Chief, Gynecologic Oncology, Medical Director, Gynecologic Oncology, Hackensack Meridian Health Cancer Care in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex Counties

The use of genomic testing for targeted therapy of tumors is a tremendous advancement in the treatment of breast cancer, as well as many other cancers such as cervical and ovarian. This type of “precision medicine” uses information about a person’s genes and proteins to prevent, diagnose and treat their disease. As a scientific field that has progressed a great deal in the past decade, this knowledge opens a whole new area of therapies that were previously unavailable in the fight against cancer.

Today, we are able to utilize targeted therapies—which are drugs or other substances—that block the growth and spread of cancer. They allow physicians to use a particular therapy that affects the target (cancer) in a way that interferes with specific molecules that are involved in the growth, progression and spread of cancer. Many different targeted therapies have been approved for use in cancer treatment, and more continue to be developed by physicians and researchers who are committed to finding cures and helping patients live longer. In fact, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, we are actively involved in clinical trials that are in development, such as a new trial for ovarian cancer.  Offering these advanced treatment options and being involved in exciting clinical research is part of the medical center’s commitment to provide exceptional cancer care, close to home.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

By Deborah Toppmeyer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

For the past decade, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has been using robotic surgery as a standard of care to treat gynecologic malignancies. Because robotic surgery utilizes smaller incisions, patients often go home the same day, and their overall recovery and return to normal activities is quicker. We perform robotic techniques at our flagship facility, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. We are using robotic surgery in conjunction with an infrared camera for sentinel lymph node detection, and we’re performing single-site robotic surgery, which uses only one incision through the belly button. As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designate Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute remains on the cutting edge in developing and offering the latest anti-cancer therapeutics in the treatment of breast cancer and other malignancies. Along with immunotherapy and personalized treatments resulting from genomic analysis, Rutgers Cancer Institute is teaming up with the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium in offering an innovative clinical trial opportunity for patients with triple-negative breast cancer, which is one of the most challenging forms of breast cancer to treat.

RWJBarnabas Health

By John F. Bonamo, M.D., MS, FACOG, FACPE, EVP, Chief Medical and Quality Officer

Our system is taking an active in role in educating our communities about the importance of healthy pregnancies to ensure positive outcomes for moms and babies. On the clinical side, in 2015, we established the RWJBarnabas Health OB Collaborative to assist healthcare providers by instituting evidence-based protocols to address the rising concerns of maternal health. The collaborative brings together the top minds in obstetrics care across the system and takes a multidisciplinary team approach by actively engaging physicians, nurses and support service leadership. Together we are focused on improving the quality and safety of healthcare services delivered to women throughout their pregnancies, deliveries and their postpartum period, and to ensuring that every woman has a voice when it comes to her maternal care. The RWJBarnabas Health’s OB Collaborative meets regularly to identify best practices, review and implement evidence-based protocols, address challenges, and evaluate and implement ways to improve maternal care.

Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center

By Barry Levinson, M.D., Medical Director

If you know anyone who is overweight and has been diagnosed with stage two or three breast cancer, a new study being undertaken at Trinitas Regional Medical Center could provide important answers about weight loss and how it relates to the disease.

Trinitas is participating in a potentially groundbreaking study that looks at the impact of weight loss on breast cancer recurrence. The Breast Cancer Weight Loss (BWEL) study is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. The study admits overweight and obese women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer to test if weight loss can help prevent their disease from returning. The BWEL Study offers both preventative and curative medicine to our breast cancer survivors seeking physical fitness and wellness. It presents a unique way of looking at the relationship between weight and cancer, as there have been no studies examining the effect of weight loss and the risk of breast cancer recurrence. If you have been diagnosed with stage two or three breast cancer within the last 12 months or have completed surgery and chemotherapy and are interested in participating in the Trinitas Weight Loss Study, please contact us at (908) 994 8728.

Valley–Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care

By Ephraim Casper, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

At Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care, women with cancer are cared for by disease specialized physicians who are focused on developing and implementing emerging technologies. For example, IORT (intraoperative radiation therapy) is a breakthrough breast cancer treatment in which an entire course of radiation therapy is delivered in the operating room at the time of a lumpectomy. For many women, this can eliminate weeks of post-surgery radiation, adding convenience, reducing cost, and improving quality of life. Radioactive seed localization allows the surgeon to pinpoint breast tumors, so that the precise area of concern is identified and removed. Advances in drug therapy, unimaginable a few years ago, are making dramatic differences that really matter to women with breast or gynecologic cancer. Analysis of the genes that drive each individual tumor allow personalized treatment. Selective use of new classes of drugs, CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase) 4/6 inhibitors, PARP inhibitors and immunotherapy, improves outcomes and reduces side effects. We are passionate about advancing therapy to help our patients live healthier lives, and offer unique clinical trials and novel treatment modalities. These innovations are offered at the Luckow Pavilion in Paramus, where comprehensive care for women with cancer is available under one roof.

Hackensack University Medical Center, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack Meridian Health

By Deena Mary Atieh Graham, M.D., Breast & Gyn Medical Oncologist

The use of clinical genomic testing has revolutionized treatment paradigms and standards for patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Tests such as the Oncotype DX, MammaPrint, etc. have become part of the standard of care and have allowed us to better tailor and personalize therapy so that patients receive the most appropriate treatment modalities. These tests look beyond the anatomy (i.e. size, grade or how the cells look under the microscope) of a cancer and provide information on the behavior or biology of a tumor. For example, we can identify patients for which chemotherapy will have little to no benefit and hence be avoided—leading to less short- and long-term side effects for patients. Alternatively, we can provide patients with additional information as to the degree of benefit that chemotherapy can provide, and therefore allow patients to make the most well-informed decisions possible about their cancer care. The use of these tests has been fully validated in lymph node negative breast cancer for the last number of years and is likely to be expanded into lymph node positive disease as well. Reflective of this, the staging of breast cancer now incorporates these predictive and prognostic “scores.”

Governor Phil Murphy’s Roadmap: Clean Energy, Green Jobs, LSRPs

NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR PHIL Murphy’s environmental goals for New Jersey include setting the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050; addressing the effects of climate change being felt along the Jersey shore; building a clean energy economy with well-paying green jobs; and restoring the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

“New Jersey has a long tradition of being a national leader in environmental protection, and the Murphy administration plans to promote solar energy and jumpstart the offshore wind industry, protect air quality and water supply, and focus environmental efforts on low income communities, which are disproportionately impacted by pollution,” says New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe.

McCabe, who was most recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Deputy Region 2 Administrator in New York City, was appointed to head the NJDEP by Governor Murphy, pending confirmation by the New Jersey State Senate.

“I am excited to join the NJDEP and its thousands of expert professionals to help continue the Garden State’s leadership on the issues of climate change and renewable energy, sustainability with economic growth, and environmental protection based on strong science and facts,” she says.

Speaking at a Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) Environmental Forum with Continuing Professional Education Services, LLC (CPES) at Montclair State University, State Senator Linda Greenstein (D-14) acknowledged the challenge.

“I don’t know that we’ve had a USEPA that’s been in a very conservative government versus a government like our state is about to have which I assume will be pretty progressive,” said Senator Greenstein, vice chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. “I’m not sure how we are going to work with some of the things they are putting forth.”

Dennis Toft, Esq., a member of the law firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, and chair of the firm’s environmental group, explained the situation: “What’s coming out of this administration in Washington is this concept called new federalism, in which there is a deliberate effort underway, particularly in the environmental arena, to shift more of the regulatory burden back to the states.”

Irene Kropp, a senior environmental consultant with Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, said she believes money for Superfund sites will potentially be problematic for New Jersey. “With this new federalism, I wish the USEPA would keep their hands off a lot of the things the state can do and can do better.”

Former New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) President Jeanne Fox, now a commissioner with the agency, supported the idea that climate change is a key issue. “Climate change is really the number one issue that affects every species on this planet.” she said.

Senator Greenstein, unsure of any pending action by the New Jersey State Legislature, suggested cooperation as a likely path: “It is important for us to be a part of larger discussions with other states and countries on this issue. I’m also a part of the manufacturing, caucus and I get to hear what businesses think of certain regulations that can be onerous. We need to consider all of the things people care about when making policy.”

Clean energy and renewables, part of the discussion on climate change, were highlighted as key issues.

“By 2050, 80 percent of energy has to be clean energy, and Governor Murphy has said he’d like to see 100 percent clean energy by that time, and I think it is doable,” explained Greenstein. She also mentioned offshore wind as a priority for the legislature to examine.

Amy Greene, president and owner of Amy S. Greene Environmental Associates, explained that “there is a huge emphasis on renewables and off-shore wind; but, if we do offshore wind, siting is an important factor because we need to keep in mind fisheries, sensitive ecological areas and more.”

Resiliency of the coastline as well as the interior of the state is another key issue that needs to be dealt with by the state’s new government, experts agreed. Superstorm Sandy made it clear to many in New Jersey that the state needed to take a long hard look at becoming more resilient in the face of changing weather patterns and rising sea levels.

“We face a challenge in this state, since we have been living with draft FEMA maps since Sandy,” said Toft. “We need to pay attention to see if the science supports these FEMA maps. We need to look at creative ways to make the state more resilient, such as creating oyster reefs along the shoreline and other smart ways to enhance the environment and make the state safer for the next storm.”

Greene agreed with Toft that resiliency must be a priority. “The increased severity of storms not only impacts the coastline but also inland with flooding and erosion and we need to think of natural systems to help remediate these issues like wetlands,” she said.

Site remediation was another key issued cited, and changes to the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program through the NJDEP have been a big improvement, according to Kropp.

“The number of staff required for cleanup of contaminated sites has been greatly reduced, the process is now paperless, and one of the main benefits of cases clearing more quickly is that staff have been freed up to address items requiring immediate action, enforcement for those not complying by deadlines and identifying unknown sources of contamination,” she said.

Toft agreed, saying it is important to examine legislation and policies because as things change, the laws and policies need to change with them. “As programs evolve, and things change, we need new legislation. A new bill to use recycled asphalt for fill more widely is a good example of necessary change by making a clarification on direct oversight.”

Toft also said things could be done under the current program to empower the LSRP board on enforcement.

Experts said the evaluation of natural resource damages (NRD)—hazardous waste sites, oil spills and more along the coastline as well as inland—are also going to be a challenge for the new administration.

“For the last eight years, we haven’t had much on NRD because the state hasn’t pursued it, but I think that will change,” said Toft.