Health & Wellness

RWJBarnabas Health Leader to Chair Ronald McDonald House of Central & Northern New Jersey


WEST ORANGE, NJ — Michael Knecht, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Strategic Messaging and Marketing at RWJBarnabas Health, was recently inducted as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ronald McDonald House of Central & Northern New Jersey.

In his new role, according to RWJBarnabas Health, Knecht will work with the board members, volunteers and staff to ensure that the organization continues to provide its mission of “keeping families close” while its ill children are undergoing treatment at area medical facilities. He will also oversee the next phase of the expansion to the New Brunswick House and direct the future growth of the organization to ensure that as many families as possible are receiving assistance.

“Michael brings a great deal of knowledge and expertise to the position of chair,” said Susan Collin, Executive Director. “We look forward to benefitting from his continued support and the enthusiasm he brings to this position.”

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Since joining the board of trustees in 2010, Knecht has served on many board and fundraising committees. He was elected to the executive committee in 2013.

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a respite for thousands of families with seriously ill children
while they receive care at nearby medical facilities. The Houses and Family Rooms offer comforting surroundings where family members can stay together during a time of 
uncertainty and stress.

“Ronald McDonald Houses are nationally recognized for providing stability and compassion for families whose children are facing difficult challenges,” said Barry Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “We are extremely pleased and proud that our colleague is devoting his time and energy to help ease the lives of New Jersey families.”

At RWJBarnabas Health, Knecht is responsible for leading the strategic marketing, internal communications, digital/interactive communications, media relations and executive communications efforts of the system.

He previously served for seven years as Corporate Vice President, Communications and Community Relations for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System. He has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare strategy, marketing and communications.

Earlier, he held leadership positions at Winning Strategies Public Relations, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Bayshore Community Health Services.

Knecht and his family are residents of Middletown, NJ.

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