New Jersey holds special meaning for Bill Healey, executive vice president of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) in Hillside for the past nine years. Healey was born in Denville, graduated from Denville's Morris Catholic High School in 1974, went on to graduate with a communications degree from Seton Hall University in West Orange and a Master's in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison and has built a diverse and fulfilling career in the Garden State ever since. He is truly a homegrown success story.
As Healey's career has grown, through important positions in government and as head lobbyist for the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, so too has the industry that Healey now promotes with a passion--pharmaceuticals and medical technology. "Pharmaceuticals and medical technology have taken over the leadership role in New Jersey," explains Healey, whose organization, HINJ, supports the industry and helps raise awareness about its importance in the state. "People now clearly recognize the economic force of the industry. New Jersey is home to more pharmaceutical companies than any other state in the country, or any other country in the world."
And that means it is home to lots of great jobs in this industry, as well. But Healey wants students to think beyond the beakers when they are considering a career in this field. "This industry is more than white-coated lab scientists," he says. "There are opportunities in marketing, communications, administration and logistics. The decisions that are made in New Jersey companies affect the health care of the world. Make a very personal point of contact with someone who works in the industry and find out about the jobs that interest you."
Healey, for one, could not have predicted that he would end up lobbying on behalf of drug and medical technology companies. His first passion was politics, which he began to develop as a college freshman when his best friend's dad ran for Mayor of Denville. "That had more to do with the career path that I took than anything," says Healey. "I literally got hooked on politics working on that campaign. I did internships for state legislators while I was in college." He went on after college to work on a congressional campaign for Jim Courter, a then-unknown young attorney from Hackettstown. Courter was elected to Congress and is now CEO and vice chairman of IDT, a telecommunications company based in Newark.
These days Healey is still connected to politics, lobbying with New Jersey's congressional delegation, the Governor and the state legislature about laws and issues that affect the pharma and medical technology industry. Healey also helps to link the industry and its interests with other health care and business sectors in the state, such as colleges and universities, the media and groups like the New Jersey State Nurses Association. "There is no typical day for Bill Healey," he says. "That's what I like about the job."