Dr. Alexander Salerno is CEO of Nirvana Healthcare Management Services (NHMS). He is both a dedicated physician and a dynamic entrepreneur.
His primary care practice—Salerno Medical Associates (SMA), 613 Park Avenue, East Orange—is one of seven divisions of NHMS, and represents the merger of Dr. Salerno’s parents’ two medical practices. It reflects the best aspects of the old and the new: caring for patients like family by using the latest knowledge and technologies.
NHMS, established in 2020, comprises four primary care practices 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).
Seeking to improve the patient experience—as well as working conditions for his employees—the SMA building underwent major renovations over a two-year period (2005-2007), so that, “When patients enter our offices, the experience is welcoming and comfortable—not sterile and forbidding.”
Honoring the legacy of Dr. Salerno’s physician parents (who made house calls) and committed to expanding services to the community, Dr. Salerno established, in 2005 Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP), which serves homebound senior patients and those with mental health issues.
In 2010, Dr. Salerno launched Urban Healthcare Initiative Program (UHIP), which provides educational programs that promote preventative medicine and that teach individuals how to be proactive patients. These programs operate out of community centers, churches, temples, and mosques, and retail establishments, such as barber shops, beauty salons, and gyms.
The salutary effects of CHOP, UHIP and SMA on the community have not gone unnoticed. All have received formal recognition. Dr. Salerno is particularly proud of the Francis Black Humanitarian Award in Healthcare given to CHOP in 2005 and the recognition by United Healthcare of SMA’s patient-centered home program.
Dr. Salerno is a retired Captain, US Air Force Medical Reserves. He is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and has a master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA). His affiliations include eight New Jersey medical centers and hospitals; three of them are University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Hackensack University Medical Center, and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. He has been an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Nurse Practitioners since 2008 and has served as a consultant and speaker for nine major pharmaceutical companies.
NHMS represents the logical outcome of Dr. Salerno’s conviction that all medical professionals should be both healers and educators and that quality healthcare is the right of all individuals, not the privilege of the few. NHMS came into being to make a range of healthcare services accessible to individuals who had previously been ignored and to support the efforts of community healthcare providers. A major objective of NHMS outreach is to influence individual behaviors as they relate to improving healthcare outcomes.
Dr. Salerno believes that medical practitioners should be culturally sensitive, meeting patients “on their home ground.” For this reason, ninety-five percent (95%) of NHMS healthcare professionals are bilingual—as comfortable speaking Spanish as they are speaking English. He is a staunch advocate of multi-disciplinary, “Patient Centric” treatment approaches and of ongoing patient education. Finally, he is committed to supporting organizations that provide healthcare services for underserved populations.
Like all visionaries, Dr. Salerno is an optimist. He is confident that “As public awareness increases, the paradigm will gradually shift from reactive medicine—treating a condition after it has been identified—to proactive, preventative medicine, which virtually always leads to better outcomes.”
Dr. Salerno’s sense of mission was instilled early. “As a child and adolescent, I often accompanied my parents on hospital rounds and house calls. Although the knowledge gained from observation was empowering, I was even more affected by my parents’ compassion for their patients and their commitment to community service. I am humbled that successive generations have chosen SMA as their primary care practice. First, the grandparents, then the parents, then their children, now their children’s children!”
“SMA—and now NHMS—are the continuation of the passion, and compassion, of my parents. Excellent medical care, of course! But even more, the professionals of NHMS are about listening, understanding, caring, and connecting!”