Flaster Greenberg shareholder Alma L. Saravia has been selected by the New Jersey Law Journal to receive the prestigious 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented at a celebratory dinner on June 12th in Florham Park, NJ. Alma is only one of two influential New Jersey attorneys selected to receive this award, alongside Judge John Keefe, Sr.
The New Jersey Law Journal consulted with trusted members of the community for their recommendations of lawyers who have made a distinct impact on the legal profession in the state. Lawyers selected to this prestigious list “have helped shape the law in New Jersey, whether through their work on the bench, their work in-house, building a firm or any other means,” according to the publication.This year marks Alma’s 33rd year of practicing law in private practice as well as at the Legislature where she served as the Executive Director of the Commission on Sex Discrimination in the Statutes. During her tenure at the Legislature, Alma worked on numerous ground breaking bills which became laws, such as recognizing domestic violence as a crime, child support enforcement, revisions to the alimony and equitable distribution statutes and the enactment of the State’s Family Leave Act.
Throughout Alma’s career in private practice, hundreds of New Jersey healthcare professionals have turned to her for counsel on issues ranging from licensure and disciplinary matters, including those before the Board of Medical Examiners, to complex litigation matters. Her clients include physicians, nurses, chiropractors, pharmacists, physical therapists, hospitals, medical staffs, nursing homes and other healthcare organizations.
Alma’s reputation and legal skills as a lobbyist for national and state health care professionals and corporations, decades of involvement in State government and as a leader in professional and community organizations has won her the respect of politicians, colleagues and the health care community. For many years, she lobbied New Jersey’s legislators to permit advanced practice nurses in anesthesia to practice similarly to physicians since they are both qualified to provide anesthesia services. She also advocated on their behalf before the Supreme Court and the licensing boards. In addition, Alma fought for physicians’ rights to practice their profession in this changing healthcare environment at the Legislature and before regulatory agencies. Her lobbying efforts also helped New Jersey become the third state in the nation to engage in joint negotiations with managed care entities.
Working alongside government officials, Alma is also actively involved in shaping aspects of New Jersey’s proposed adult-use cannabis legislation and the pending amendments to the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Since the legalization of medical marijuana in the state of New Jersey in 2010, Alma has been an advocate for physicians and their rights under the bill. She has recently added regulatory guidance for Alternative Treatment Centers and counseling applicants who are poised to enter the anticipated adult-use market to her practice. Her extensive experience and relationships with the members of the New Jersey Legislature have proven beneficial to her practice, and Alma has become a go-to legal source to members of the media seeking commentary on the evolving medical marijuana and adult-use bills in New Jersey.
Throughout her career, Alma has been named a top attorney in healthcare by SJ Magazine, an awesome attorney by South Jersey Magazine and recognized by the Burlington County Advisory Council on Women with the Outstanding Woman of the Year award in the category of law. Additionally, has been profiled in a special issue of the New Jersey Law Journal titled “Women and Minorities in the Legal Profession” as “one of New Jersey’s most expert and accomplished lawyers in the field of healthcare law, both in the public and the private sector.” Alma is also the co-author of the highly-cited Health Care Dispute Resolution Manual, “Techniques for Avoiding Litigation,” Chapter 7, External Review of Health Plan Decisions Aspen Publishers, Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland, 2000. She has been a prolific writer and speaker throughout her career.
Alma is also the recipient of several charity-based and political awards, which include the Rutgers Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship’s Leadership Award given by the Rutgers/LEAP Academy Charter Schools, the Institute for Nursing’s EPIC award recipient and listed on the Family Service Organization’s “Wall of Recognition” in Mouth Holly, NJ. Additionally, one of her most significant public policy achievements was serving as Vice-Chair of Governor Kean’s Commission on Child Support in the mid 1980’s. Alma has also served on several subcommittees for both the Supreme Court Family and Civil Practice Committees.
Information about each award recipient will be included in a special supplement that will be published in the New Jersey Law Journal in June. For a list of this year's recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, click here.
- Alma Saravia