Staff Leadership

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Frances L. Palm, MPA
President and Chief Executive Officer

Fran Palm was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Zufall Health in February 2023 after serving as Chief Operating Officer for nine years.

From a young age, she had a natural curiosity and affinity for social justice, which ultimately inspired her to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Seton Hall University.

As a leader, Palm’s dedication to mission has always guided her vision for an organization’s future. As Zufall Health COO, she led the launch of seven new service locations, oversaw numerous facility renovation projects to elevate delivery of patient care, and implemented new patient communication systems and strategies. She also managed the health center’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and implemented a trauma informed care practice transformation for Zufall Health, including staff development activities to foster a patient-focused, collaborative team culture.

Previously, after six years as Executive Director of Women’s Health & Counseling Center (WHCC) in Somerville, N.J., a family planning focused health center, she negotiated its successful merger with Zufall Health. The merger secured the sustainability of the Somerset County health center and vastly widened its scope to include comprehensive health services for underserved residents of all ages and genders.

Earlier in her career, she served as Executive Director of 2-1-1 First Call for Help, Inc. in Parsippany, NJ for 11 years. There, she grew 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.

Palm currently serves as President of the Family Planning Association of NJ and is a member of the National Association of Community Health Center’s Committee on Training & Technical Assistance; the Healthier Somerset Steering Committee; and the NJ Cover All Kids State Organizing Committee.

Outside of Zufall, Palm likes to stay physically active – biking, hiking, and gardening with Ernesto, her husband of over 25 years.

Rina Ramirez Alexander, MD, FACP
Chief Medical Officer

Rina Ramirez, M.D, FACP, is an internal medicine physician and Chief Medical Officer at Zufall Health. She joined Zufall Health in 2007 and has helped the organization adopt a patient-centered, integrated approach to care that focuses on quality, team collaboration, communication, and patient engagement. During that time, she has guided Zufall’s expansion of clinical services through participation in collaboratives, development of interdisciplinary care teams, and implementation of a trauma-informed primary care practice.

During Ramirez’s tenure, Zufall has achieved NCQA PCMH recognition, is a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion and a Target BP Gold Member from the AHA. The center has received numerous quality performance and program awards from HRSA and other national and state organizations. Ramirez continues to promote innovative practices and excellence in patient care and health care outcomes by fostering teamwork, supporting a strong QA/PI framework and championing staff wellness. Her passions include teaching, project implementation, data analysis, reading and the fine arts.

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.

Annette Gonzalez, DHA, MPA
Chief Operating Officer

Annette Gonzalez, DHA, MPA, joined Zufall Health in 2023 as Chief Operating Officer with over 30 years of health care leadership experience.

Most recently, she directed ambulatory care services for NYC Health + Hospitals Lincoln for nine years. In this role, she was responsible for the operation of 47 practices in 17 physical locations with over 304,000 patient visits and the administration of the HIV, family planning, cancer screening programs. Previously, she held leadership roles with Memorial Sloan Kettering and with Morris Heights Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, as the director of an outpatient women’s health and birthing center. Gonzalez is fully committed to serving diverse communities and advancing health equity.

Gonzalez earned her doctor of health administration from Capella University, master of public administration from John Jay College, and bachelor of science in psychology from Fordham University.