LIVINGSTON, NJ — Michael Knecht, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications, RWJBarnabas Health, was recently appointed chair of the Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the only national professional development group devoted exclusively to the role of institutional advancement in academic medicine.

GIA resources and peer-to-peer connections enable members to increase awareness, understanding, and support for medical education, health care and biomedical research.

In his new role, Knecht will support and interact with all advancement professionals from the country’s top medical schools and teaching hospitals who work within five broad disciplines: alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and public affairs.

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“RWJBarnabas Health trains more than 1,000 residents and interns annually and embraces the mission of academic medicine, which includes quality clinical care, joined with groundbreaking research and a commitment to medical education,” staid Barry Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of RWJBarnabas Health. “Michael’s chairmanship of this important AAMC group ensures that our academic health system will continue to be well positioned nationally with other like institutions. We are extremely proud that our colleague has undertaken this leadership role.”

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 has nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare strategy, marketing and communications. 

Prior to assuming his present position at RWJBarnabas Health in 2016, Knecht served for seven years as Corporate Vice President, Communications and Community Relations for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System, where he led the marketing, communications, community relations and health outreach functions for the academic medical center.

Previously, Knecht was a director with Winning Strategies Public Relations and senior vice president for University Affairs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, both in Newark. He also served as vice president for planning, darketing and Development at Bayshore Community Health Services in Holmdel.

Knecht is currently chair of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey and a board member of New Brunswick Tomorrow as well as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Temple University, and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Health Administration from the same institution.

Knecht and his family are residents of Middletown.