Joelle Tutela, PhD and MBA

Chief Operation Officer

Dr. Joelle Tutela joined Nirvana Healthcare Management Services (NHMS) in 2021 as Chief Operating Officer (COO) She is located at the corporate office of NHMS in Orange.

As COO, Dr. Tutela oversees the operations of four primary care offices: Salerno Medical Associates (SMA), Metropolitan Medical Group (MMG), Roseville Medical Society (RMS), and North Ward Medical Arts (NWMA), and three specialty medical practices: North Ward Behavioral Health (NWBH), Prospect Spine and Pain Management (PSPM), and Newark Vein and Vascular Center (NVVC). In addition, she manages NHMS’s Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP). She and her staff ensure that NHMS patients continue to receive superior healthcare services, including preventative care and patient education, and that Nirvana’s community service programs are accessible, without disruption, to increasing numbers of residents.

Dr. Tutela’s transition from higher education to healthcare has been seamless, in part because of her extensive experience as mentor, motivator, and innovator, with administrative and management skills honed over the past twenty-five years.

After a decade as a secondary school educator and administrator, Dr. Tutela served as an educational consultant for school systems in Manhattan, including City College of New York (CCNY), Queens and the Bronx. In addition to a PhD and MBA, Joelle earned three master’s degrees (MAs) from CCNY, New York University (NYU), and Columbia University, respectively. She was an award-winning grant writer as well as a prolific researcher and writer, having contributed to numerous presentations, articles, and books.

In 2000, Dr. Tutela founded the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) to encourage student participation in community affairs and to create a student-centered, interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates meaningful community service with courses in computer science, history, and English. More than twenty years later, the Center continues to fulfill its dual mission.

In 2008, as Director of Teacher Education (Urban Teacher Education Program) at Rutgers University (Newark), Dr. Tutela energized teachers-in-training through a revised curriculum and a network of mentorships. During her seven-year tenure, she secured a 2.5-million-dollar federal grant to develop “Excite and Ignite: Building the Next Generation of Teachers.”

In 2016, Dr. Tutela became Director of Accreditation and Educational Innovation at William Paterson University College of Education (Wayne), where, during her six-year tenure, and in collaboration with faculty and administrators, she was responsible for ensuring that fifty-five undergraduate and graduate programs met or surpassed national standards for accreditation. She received, in 2021, the prestigious Frank B. Murray Award, in recognition of “Innovation and Excellence in Self-Assessment of School Teacher and Leader Education Programs.”

The word Joelle uses to describe NHMS is “innovation.” As an innovator herself, she seeks to influence “end-users”—whether students, patients, or colleagues. She values Nirvana’s team approach and is gratified that “Everyone I work with is committed to providing quality healthcare and superior customer service.” Joelle recalls how NHMS responded to the Covid crisis in early 2021. “As the number of cases skyrocketed, we created outdoor Covid testing sites to meet community needs. I’m proud to be a member of an organization with this level of commitment.”