The New Jersey Public Health Association (NJPHA) has announced that Stanley H. Weiss, MD, a professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ-NJMS), is this year’s recipient of the Dennis J. Sullivan Award, the association’s highest honor.  In addition, a fourth-year medical student at UMDNJ-NJMS, James Zasadzinski, is receiving the association’s Ronald Altman Student/Resident Award, and Usman A. Khan, a first-year MPH candidate at UMDNJ-School of Public Health, is a recipient of the association’s President’s Award.  The awards ceremony is on December 11 at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton.

Dr. Weiss, a resident of Livingston who just marked 25 years as a UMDNJ faculty member, is founder and director of the Essex County Cancer Coalition (ECCC), which has expanded into the Essex-Passaic Chronic Disease Coalition, which helps to implement community-based education, outreach, screening and prevention of cancer.  He is a public policy advocate who has authored more than 350 published, peer-reviewed medical articles, chapters and abstracts, and is a member of numerous professional associations including the New Jersey Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society. 

The award he receives this year is named for Dennis J. Sullivan, who was a health officer who dedicated his life to improving the public health of New Jersey.  The award is presented to an individual for dedicated and outstanding public service and contributing to the cause of public health in New Jersey.  The NJPHA previously honored Dr. Weiss in 2007 with its Dr. Ezra Mundy Hunt Award, given for outstanding service and leadership to the cause of public health.

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James Zasadzinski, who resides in Denville, has done work in public health since he was an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 2009.  While a medical student at NJMS, he has been involved in several projects as a student employee at the ECCC.  He also is primary author of a manuscript based on the results of an ECCC research project involving a simplified means of calculating cancer prevalence at the county level.  The manuscript is to be submitted for publication shortly.  He receives an award named for Dr. Ronald Altman, who for many years was the State Epidemiologist for the New Jersey Department of Health.  The award honors outstanding work in a health-related course of study.

In addition to being a Masters degree candidate at UMDNJ, Usman A. Khan is a research assistant at the Essex-Passaic Chronic Disease Coalition.  His career goals include increasing cancer awareness through education, reducing health disparities and increasing access to health care services in underserved populations.  The NJPHA President’s Award honors Khan and his fellow recipients for outstanding work in the field of public health that help improve or protect the health of the people of New Jersey.  Khan is a lifelong resident of Jersey City.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey’s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three medical schools, the State’s only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the State.