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Physicians from Saint Peter’s Healthcare System receive recognition awards

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Saint Peter’s Healthcare System recognized The Institute for Spine & Scoliosis, PA. with the prestigious Bishop’s Award and three of its distinguished physicians with the 2019 Physician Appreciation Award at the Saint Peter’s Foundation Gala at The Heldrich in New Brunswick on April 13.

Honorees include Meena Murthy, MD, FACE, chief, Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism at Saint Peter’s University Hospital; Elizabeth Cherot, MD, MBA, vice president, Medical Affairs, Axia Women’s Health/Brunswick Hills Obstetrics & Gynecology; and Attila Kett, MD, MBA, of Anesthesia Consultants of New Jersey and chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

M. Darryl Antonacci, MD, FACS, Randal Betz, MD, and Laury A. Cuddihy, MD, the physicians who make up the surgical team at the institute, accepted the Bishop’s Award from the Most Reverend James F. Checchio, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, and Leslie D. Hirsch, interim CEO and president, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System.

Antonacci, a nationally renowned spine and scoliosis surgeon, leads the team at the Institute for Spine & Scoliosis, along with Betz internationally recognized for his expertise in pediatric spinal cord injury, and Cuddihy, who performs ASC surgery with Antonacci at Saint Peter’s.

A lifelong advocate for those in need, Murthy found her calling at Saint Peter’s while a resident in training at the hospital. Today, she’s not only at the helm of the Division of Endocrinology, but she is the director of the Thyroid and Diabetes Center and the director of the South Asian Institute housed at the hospital. She has also taken the lead in partnering with the Shri Krishna Nidhi Foundation in developing the South Asian Diabetes Education and Resource Center at the Saint Peter’s South Asian Institute, a comprehensive prevention program providing education, screening, referral and support.

Kett and Cherot worked together to introduce the first Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Obstetrics in the United States at Saint Peter’s. Using a multidisciplinary approach with a standardized patient-centric care model, the ERAS program helps patients who undergo Caesarean sections by reducing their length of stay and recovery time while also decreasing or eliminating the need for opioid pain medications. The app allows patients to track milestones in their care while at home and provides health tips, while allowing healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely in real-time.


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