Palliative Care Task Force

The Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey (GOCCNJ) Palliative Care Task Force launched in 2022 with a guiding vision, clarity of mission, and specific goals that will underpin GOCCNJ’s advocacy efforts to secure a Medicaid benefit for community-based palliative care (CBPC). The Task Force has identified four key priorities:

Define palliative care; identify the population in need

Identify gaps in the current Medicaid coverage for beneficiaries with serious illness

Set a baseline of services based on past experience and experiences from states currently implementing the benefit
Work with government agencies and state legislators to determine the policy route to take

GOCCNJ Task Force Members:


Gregory J. Rokosz, D.O., J.D., FACEP, FACOEP; Chief Medical Officer, Raritan an Old Bridge Medical Centers, Former Sr. Vice President Clinical Affairs, Research, and Education/Chief Academic Officer, RWJ Barnabas Health; Assistant Vice Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine-Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School; GOCCNJ Board Chair

Joel C. Cantor, Sc.D., Director, Center for State Health Policy, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research; Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy; Professor, Rutgers School of Public Policy


Ayse Akincigil, PhD, Associate Professor School of Social Work Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Core Member Institute for Health and Health Care Policy and Aging Research Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Divya Bhagianadh, Post Doctoral Associate in Aging and Health Equity, Rutgers Hub for Aging Collaboration, School of Social Work, Rutgers University

Alex Binder, Vice President of the Parker Advanced Care Institute

Katie Bisaha, Community Health and Policy Associate, New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

David Barile, MD, Founder & Chief Medical Officer, GOCCNJ; Director Palliative Medicine Service & Medical Director of the Acute Care for the Elderly Unit, Penn Medicine Princeton Health

Katie DeMarco, DNP, MSHS, FNP-BC, APN, ACHPN, Clinical Supervisor & Palliative APN, HMH – Hackensack University Medical Center, Pain & Palliative Medicine Institute

Susan Dulczak MSN, PPCNP-BC, CPON, CHPPN, Director, Valerie Center, Pediatric Medical Day Stay, Pediatric Palliative Care, RWJ Barnabas Health, The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, Monmouth Medical Center

Theresa Edelstein, Senior Vice President, Center for Partnerships Transforming Health at New Jersey Hospital Association

Nancy Fitterer, President and CEO at Home Care & Hospice Association of NJ

Stephen Goldfine, MD; Chief Medical Officer at Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice

Himabindu M. Lanka, MD; Hospitalist, Cooper University Health Care;

Adelisa Perez, MSN, RN, Director of Quality, NJ Health Care Quality

Cathy Rowe, DrPH, Executive Director at the NJ Advocates for Aging Well

Jill Schwartz-Chevlin, MD, MBA, Regional Chief Medical Officer, WellBe Senior Medical

Ted Taylor, Chaplain, Director of Chaplaincy & Volunteer Services at RWJBarnabas Health