The List: A Ranking of the Top 10 Healthcare Lobbyists in New Jersey

Influential backers are only one aspect of a profession in which intelligence, expertise, and experience all contribute to authority

1. Randy Minniear, New Jersey Hospital Association

Minniear heads the list due to the importance of the hospital association in healthcare issues, as well as his effectiveness and knowledge. He spearheads a strong lobbying effort under the leadership of NJHA President Betsy Ryan.

2. Ward Sanders, New Jersey Association of Health Plans

Not only does Sanders represent a crucial industry, but also he’s respected for his knowledge and his approach. But insurers don’t have quite the same pull with state officials as the hospitals, at least partly because they employ far fewer people.

3. Jeanne Otersen, Health Professionals & Allied Employees

The top healthcare union lobbyist, Otersen has taken a visible role opposing the expansion of for-profit hospitals into the state. This has put her at odds with the state’s other major nurses union, JNESO, on the proposed sale of northern New Jersey hospitals to Prime Health Care of California.

4. Christine Stearns, New Jersey Business & Industry Association

Stearns represents a broad range of businesses on a variety of healthcare issues, generally with a focus on how proposed legislation will affect employers’ bottom lines.

5. Katherine Grant-Davis, New Jersey Primary Care Association

Grant-Davis has played an increasingly important role as the providers she represents — the state’s federally qualified health centers — are asked to meet the needs of more residents. She was cited as a dedicated advocate.

6. Suzanne Ianni, Hospital Alliance of New Jersey

Ianni has been a prominent advocate for the state’s urban hospitals as New Jersey prepares for the large-scale changes in federal funding that will occur under the Affordable Care Act. She was credited by multiple sources as possessing both expertise and the ability to persuade.

7. Sonia Delgado, Princeton Public Affairs Group

Delgado is one of the top contract lobbyists in healthcare, using a range of experience in both the public and private sectors.

8. Mary Kathryn Roberts, Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti

A wide range of clients rely on Roberts, one of the top contract lobbyists in healthcare.

9. Raymond Castro, New Jersey Policy Perspective

Castro is primarily known as a policy analyst for the liberal-leaning think tank, but also is a registered lobbyist whose position carries weight in policy debates.

10. John Leyman, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Leyman assembled the lobbying team for the state’s most important insurer. He’s built up extensive knowledge of the issues his industry faces, according to fellow lobbyists.

Interviews with healthcare experts were used in compiling this list.