Governor Phil Murphy

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Marcela Ospina Maziarz to Serve as Interim Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health


TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that Marcela Ospina Maziarz will serve as interim Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health. Ms. Maziarz, the current Deputy Commissioner for Health Systems, takes the helm from Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal, who departed the Administration today to serve as Chief Executive Officer of University Hospital in Newark.

Governor Murphy last month announced his intention to nominate Judith Persichilli as Commissioner of Health, and she will begin her role as Acting Commissioner on July 29. Ms. Persichilli served as Acting President and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, a position she held since December 2018. 

As Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Maziarz oversees the Divisions of Health Facilities Survey and Field Operations, Certificate of Need and Licensing, and the Office of Health Care Financing. These programs include 300 staff and a $500 million budget.

Ms. Maziarz has also worked with First Lady Tammy Murphy, national, state, and local partners on maternal health quality initiatives, including strategic plans to address maternal health by reducing deaths and preventable injuries and eliminating racial disparities. This work includes the Department’s Maternal Data Center that houses information on maternal health complications and ways to address them, and the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative, a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders who will oversee the transformation of maternal health care in NJ.

Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Maziarz served as the Assistant Director of Budget and Fiscal Analysis for the New Jersey Senate Majority Office from 2015 to 2018. In this role, Ms. Maziarz staffed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and was instrumental in drafting and passing the state’s FY18 Budget. 

Previously, Ms. Maziarz served as Deputy Press Secretary for former Governor Jon Corzine and a Legislative Director for a State of New Jersey Assembly member. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University. She currently resides in Robbinsville with her husband and two sons.