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Staff Leadership

Zufall Health Center  >  About Us  >  Staff Leadership

Eva Turbiner
President and Chief Executive Officer

Eva Turbiner has dedicated her professional life to improving community health. Serving as President and Chief Executive Officer since 2006, she has led Zufall Health’s evolution from a small, volunteer community clinic in Dover to a vibrant network of community health centers that now provide quality, affordable health care to the underserved populations in six counties across northwest and central New Jersey. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry, she has implemented an innovative program incorporating continuous quality improvement, sustainable corporate growth, and value-oriented program expansion which has enhanced access to quality medical and dental services and improved health outcomes for tens of thousands of the area’s most vulnerable residents. Her success has won both her and the health center local, statewide, and national recognition.

 

During her tenure, she was honored by the National Association of Community Health Centers with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Most Valuable Player Award for her work in advocacy on behalf of community health. She was also honored with the New Jersey Primary Care Association Statewide Quality Improvement Initiative Senior Leader Award, named Outstanding Community Leader in Family Services by Family Intervention Services Inc., and was awarded the Outstanding Executive Leader Award from the National Patient Safety and Clinical Pharmacy Services Alliance. In March 2017, she was named one of the state’s Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ Magazine.

Currently, she is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Community Health Centers, the New Jersey Primary Care Association, and the Community Foundation of New Jersey. She was also appointed by the Morris County Freeholders to serve on the Morris View Nursing Home Advisory Committee and is a member of the Hastings Center for Bioethics, Advisory Committee on Immigrant Health.

Before joining Zufall, she served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hudson River HealthCare, where she was responsible for the operation of 14 sites. Prior to that, as President of Palisades Planning Associates, Inc., she was a consultant to hospitals, community health centers, and managed care organizations throughout the U.S.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree from Temple University and has completed candidacy requirements for a PhD in Public Policy Analysis at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rina Ramirez Alexander, MD, FACP
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Rina Ramirez Alexander joined Zufall Health in 2007 bringing to the organization a patient-centered approach to care that focuses on quality, team collaboration, enhanced communication, and health education. As Chief Medical Officer, she has guided Zufall’s expansion, and spearheaded its impressive achievements in superior clinical quality and health outcomes.

Under her direction, Zufall received PCMH Level 3 accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. It was also one of only ten community health centers nationwide designated a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion by the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, it has received numerous quality performance and program awards from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and other national and state organizations.

She has consistently demonstrated leadership in her field. Cited as an Outstanding Executive Leader by HRSA, she was recognized for Significant Contributions to Women’s Health Care by the New Jersey Primary Care Association, and was cited for exemplary service by Morristown Medical Center. For the last five years, she headed a team in its successful participation in the Patient Safety and Pharmacy Services Collaborative, a national effort led by HRSA, and served as Field and Coach Faculty to the collaborative from 2009 through 2011. She also was team leader in the NJ Health Disparities Collaborative, is a medical staff representative with the New Jersey Primary Care Association, and is a Peer Mentor for the 340B Pharmacy program. An active member of the National Association of Community Health Center’s Clinical Practice Committee, she has served on many HRSA-sponsored expert panels and has presented at several national, regional, and local medical meetings on clinical and improvement practices.

She is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry-Rutgers Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. She completed her internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York. Earlier in her career, she worked at North General Hospital in Harlem and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manhattan where her experience included serving as Assistant Chief of the Emergency Department and Instructor to medical students.

Sam Wakim, DMD
Chief Dental Officer

Under the leadership of Chief Dental Officer Dr. Sam Wakim, Zufall Health has triple dental service capacity and more than quadrupled the number of Zufall patients receiving dental care. Joining the organization in 2009, he has had a long career in public health dedicated to making quality services and education accessible to the underserved.

At Zufall, he is responsible for the general administration of the Dental Department as well as community health and education initiatives. Collaborating with the medical staff, he was instrumental in integrating oral health as a critical part of the overall wellness plan for adult and pediatric patients. His Mobile Dental and School-based Programs bring services and education to elementary schools, nonprofit agencies, farms, and other outlying locations where access to care is difficult. Further, his outreach efforts support events like Give Kids A Smile Day, National Rural Health Day, Make A Difference Day, and other activities that serve special populations like veterans and the homeless.

His accomplishments also include establishing many opportunities for professional development. In addition to offering a program of Continuing Education courses, the health center is a preceptor site for the Northeast and Caribbean Aids Education and Training Center (AETC), where he is a faculty member. Additionally, he is the Site Dental Director for the Lutheran Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program (AEGD) and hosts dental residents at Zufall Health.

Among his notable citations, he was named a Top Dentist by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, was recognized by the New Jersey Dental Association with the “Give Kids A Smile Pioneer Award”, and was designated a “Real Doc Hollywood” by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

Before joining Zufall, he ran the school-based dental program at the Paterson Community Health Center and was the Dental Director for University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s (UMDNJ) University Dental Center in Newton.

He is a graduate of UMDNJ and earned a Master’s degree in Dental Public Health from UMDNJ – School of Public Health.

Frances L. Palm, MPA
Chief Operating Officer

Since 2014, Frances Palm has served as Chief Operating Officer at Zufall Health where she is responsible for the smooth and efficient operation of all services offered at its nine centers and on its two mobile units. Her oversight ensures that the necessary processes and systems are solidly in place and effectively deployed to deliver on the organization’s commitments to improve the health of our patients and communities.  Additionally, she supervises several programs including the Title X Family Planning program, the N.J. Cancer Education & Early Detection (NJCEED) program, the Improving Pregnancy Outcomes Initiative, and Intensive Senior Services. She is also responsible for Zufall’s compliance with federal and state guidelines and the organization’s policies and procedures.

Previously, after serving six years as Executive Director of Women’s Health & Counseling Center (WHCC) in Somerville, N.J., she negotiated its successful merger with Zufall Health to increase services to Somerset County’s underserved residents. At WHCC, she managed oversight of the multi-program agency, including the health center, teen prevention programs, and sexual assault support services.

Earlier in her career, she served as Executive Director of 2-1-1 First Call For Help, Inc. in Parsippany for 11 years. There, she successfully expanded the organization’s service coverage from one to six New Jersey counties and provided leadership to build a coordinated statewide network of help line organizations.  She also served in different capacities at Fairleigh Dickinson University and United Way of Morris County.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Drew University.

Peter M Bebel
Chief Financial Officer

Peter Bebel brings more than 25 years of experience in accounting, finance, and information systems to his responsibilities as Zufall Health’s Chief Financial Officer. He began his career at Zufall in 2011 and his direction of its financial operations played a key role in the organization’s successful expansion over the next five years . Following a brief stint as Chief Business Officer at Rutgers School of Health-Related Professions, he re-joined Zufall’s leadership team in 2017.

Earlier in his career, he held financial positions in the health care industry serving as Director of Budgets and Reimbursement at three major area hospitals — Bayonne Hospital Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, and St. Clare’s Health System.  Prior to those posts, he was Assistant Director of Budgets and Decision Support at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and worked at Bayshore Community Health Services as Project Manager of its Information Services Department and as Manager of Budget, Reimbursement and Financial Reporting.  He was also Auditor and Audit Supervisor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.

He holds a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Seton Hall University and a Masters in Business Administration in Finance from St. John’s University.