Dr. Jill Guzman, William Paterson Director of Counseling, Health, and Wellness, Selected as a 2024 NJBIZ Healthcare Hero Honoree

Dr. Jill Guzman, DNP, director of counseling, health, and wellness at William Paterson University, has been selected as a 2024 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes honoree. The awards recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor the efforts of individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey. Guzman is being honored in the Health Care Professional category.

The NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Award honorees were chosen by a panel of independent judges and include individuals and organizations across 11 categories.

“We are proud of Dr. Guzman for this well-deserved recognition,” says President Richard J. Helldobler. “Now, all of New Jersey is aware of what everyone at William Paterson has long known about Dr. Guzman’s expertise and dedication to the University community, including her tremendous leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Guzman leads the development and administration of outstanding, innovative, and comprehensive medical and behavioral health services for students. Her role encompasses a wide variety of responsibilities including supervision of primary health care, personal counseling, health education, prevention services, and co-curricular educational opportunities for a student population of nearly 10,000.

Her leadership has been central to the launch of recent programs. Guzman received a $462,000 Mental Health in Higher Education: Community Provider Partnerships and Professional Development Grant from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to expand student mental health services on campus, including creation of an innovative student relaxation lounge for the neurodivergent population. As co-chair of WP’s annual Wellness Day program, which she helped establish in 2022, she organizes community health and wellness activities on a day when no classes are scheduled.

A critical member of WP’s emergency response leadership team, she has serves as co-chair of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team. Her expert counsel to the administration regarding pandemic policy and evolving protocols allowed the University to maintain business continuity with minimal incident or outbreak. Her work during the pandemic was recognized by the state with a 2023 New Jersey Governor’s Team of Excellence Award, and by William Paterson University with the President’s Medallion at the 2023 Commencement ceremony.

Prior to joining William Paterson in 2003, Guzman was an emergency department nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic and later a patient care coordinator in the emergency department at Wayne General Hospital. She also served as a pediatric nurse practitioner at North Hudson Community Action Health Centers in West New York from 2000 to 2013.

Guzman is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She holds a master of science in nursing, pediatric nurse practitioner, from Seton Hall University, and a doctor of nursing practice from William Paterson University. She is a resident of Wayne.