TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (S3984/A5933) designating the New Jersey Department of Health State office building in Trenton as the “Judith M. Persichilli Building” in honor of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. The building is named in honor of Commissioner Persichilli’s past and ongoing service to the people of New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Commissioner Persichilli has been a steadfast leader and partner during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “Judy’s selfless and honorable service to the people of our state has undoubtedly saved lives and protected the public health of New Jersey. All those who walk the halls of the ‘Judith M. Persichilli Building’ will be reminded of her leadership and dedication during the greatest public health crisis in our nation’s history.”
Primary sponsors of the legislation include Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Shirley Turner, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.
“This is a fitting tribute to the tireless efforts of Judy Persichilli to safeguard the health and safety of New Jerseyans during one of the most critical health emergencies in history,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. In the face of daunting and ever-changing challenges, she provided leadership that was smart, steady and reassuring. Thanks to her efforts as the state’s top public health official, our state was able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and this was only the latest achievement in a long and impressive career in health care. I am proud to call Judy a friend, and equally proud to see her name on this impressive new headquarters for the Department of Health.”
“Commissioner Persichilli has been one of the many key individuals that has stepped to the forefront and led our state in uncertain times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Shirley Turner. “I fully support the Department of Health State office building being renamed in her honor to acknowledge the hard work that she has put forth for the betterment of the health of all New Jerseyans.”
“On the front lines of New Jersey’s pandemic response, it comes as no surprise Commissioner Persichilli has become a household name,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “Working to keep New Jerseyans informed, but above all safe and healthy, the renaming is a fitting honor to memorialize her incredibly diligent and dedicated leadership of the NJDOH.”
“The efforts of the Commissioner and her team throughout this once-in-a-century crisis have truly saved countless lives,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “Even before her role as Commissioner, she dedicated her life to serving the people of New Jersey as a health care professional. Her many awards are testament to that. Naming this building in her honor is a befitting way to recognize her bravery, dedication and leadership.”
Commissioner Judy Persichilli began serving as Acting Commissioner of Health on August 5, 2019. She was confirmed by the State Senate on January 9, 2020.
Prior to leading the department, Commissioner Persichilli served as the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of University Hospital in Newark. Commissioner Persichilli was president emerita of CHE Trinity Health, the health ministry formed in May 2013 by the consolidation of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health of Livonia, MI. She previously served as the interim president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CHE Trinity Health. Prior to this appointment, Commissioner Persichilli was President and CEO of Catholic Health East.
Commissioner Persichilli joined CHE in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Division. She was promoted to Executive Vice President of acute care for the system in 2008 and then to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2009 before assuming the role of CEO. Prior to joining CHE’s System Office, she served for eight years as CEO at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton.
Persichilli received her nursing diploma from the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing summa cum laude from Rutgers University, and a Master of Arts in Administration summa cum laude from Rider University. She also received an honorary Doctor of Health degree from Georgian Court University in 2009. In May 2011, Commissioner Persichilli received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.