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Since December 2020, Hunterdon Healthcare has organized and staffed over 50 COVID-19 vaccination clinics administering more than 43,000 shots to individuals aged 5 years and older. This number includes clinics for Hunterdon Healthcare employees, regional healthcare workers, adults, children, adolescents, and several specialty clinics designated for certain underserved groups.
Over the past 13 months, COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been held at various locations including the Hunterdon Medical Center Day Hospital, Hunterdon Medical Group primary care practices, the Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center at Clinton, the 31 North Office Center on Route 31, Hunterdon Central Regional High School, and most recently, 600 Corporate Drive in Lebanon. In April 2021, several “mega clinics” were held at Hunterdon Central Regional High School and hosted over 10,000 people from across the region.
The Hunterdon Healthcare vaccination clinic, located at 600 Corporate Drive in Lebanon, NJ, hosts between 600 to 900 individuals each Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It takes approximately 50 to 60 Hunterdon Healthcare employees and volunteers to staff these large clinics every week. According to Barb Tofani, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President, Outpatient and Ambulatory Services, “Coordinating and managing these large-scale vaccine clinics isn’t always easy, but we have been successful due to the teamwork and ingenuity of our dedicated staff and volunteers.” She continued, “We are very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year; the gratitude and thanks from our patients and community have made it all worthwhile.”
Laurie Greenfield-Esarco from Lebanon, who recently attended the vaccine clinic stated, “Just left Hunterdon Healthcare’s Vaccine Clinic in Lebanon. It is well run and efficient. Thank you Hunterdon Healthcare! I was able to get my kids’ booster shots with no problems!”
Behind the scenes, the Vaccination Scheduling Team, led by Mhegan Harris, Revenue Cycle Operations and System Analyst, Hunterdon Medical Group, is responsible for setting up 1st and 2nd dose appointments, answering questions, educating callers on the various vaccines, calling patients every week for appointment reminders, and on many occasions, helping callers find vaccines closer to their home if unable to make it to one of our clinics. At the height of vaccine demand, this group had over 60 re-deployed staff members answering phones and setting up appointments. To date, over 36,000 calls have come through the vaccine scheduling line.
In addition, Hunterdon Healthcare has organized several COVID-19 vaccination specialty clinics for the immunocompromised, the homeless, those experiencing domestic violence, and one for the non-English speaking population. Hunterdon Healthcare staff also attended the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning for two days last summer to help vaccinate the community and arranged vaccines for dozens of homebound patients. According to Patrick Gavin, President & CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare, “It has been a top priority for us to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to as many people in our community as possible.” He continued, “Our staff has done an amazing job moving tens of thousands of patients through our clinics in a safe and efficient manner. As this pandemic continues on, our staff has not wavered in their commitment to keeping our community healthy and safe.”
Hunterdon Healthcare COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Lebanon, NJ location will continue each Wednesday through March 23, 2022 and will offer:
- 1st and 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine for children age 5 -11
- 1st, 2nd and Booster dose of Pfizer vaccinations only for persons age 12 and over
- 1st, 2nd and Booster dose of Moderna vaccinations for persons aged 18 and over, and
- 3rd dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations for immunocompromised individuals.
Please visit https://www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/covid-19-vaccine-appointment-scheduler/ to schedule an appointment or call (908) 237-4238 if you need assistance.
Pictured below: Anitra Grant-Myles, CPhT, Advanced Pharmacy Technician draws the vaccine.
Everyone is at Risk for Skin Cancer – Early Detection Can Save Lives!
A free skin cancer screening event will be held on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
More skin cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. each year than all other cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society. It is estimated that one person dies from melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – every hour. Hunterdon County has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the state. The key to prevention and the fight against skin cancer is early detection when most skin cancers can be treated successfully.
Risk factors for the development of skin cancer include sunlight exposure, blistering burns in childhood, indoor tanning beds, and having greater than 50 moles. Everyone is at risk regardless of age, sex, or skin color.
A full body screen will be conducted by an experienced health care provider by appointment only with the goal of educating community members about the importance of early detection and skin health. The visual exam is painless, only takes a few minutes. This screening is open to people ages 18 and older that have not been screened within the past 24 months, are not under the care of a dermatologist, and have no prior history of a skin cancer diagnosis.
“This free program aligns with the American Academy of Dermatology screening efforts to create a world without skin cancer. Prevention services like this are an important part of the Cancer Center’s role in supporting a healthy community,” said Dr. Barbara Tofani, Assistant Vice President of Outpatient and Ambulatory Services at Hunterdon Medical Center.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, many people are spending more time than usual outdoors increasing their sun exposure. And, many may have avoided going for their routine checkups. This is a good opportunity to take advantage of a potentially life-saving skin cancer screening.
Registration is required and space is limited. Call 908-237-5445 to register and determine eligibility. Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is located at 2100 Wescott Drive in Flemington, NJ.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Hunterdon Healthcare and the Hunterdon & Mercer Regional Chronic Disease Coalition will host a free online health series featuring important women’s health issues starting Thursday, March 4th from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm and running weekly through March 25, 2021.
Women are invited to participate in the series which will address topics unique to women’s health including breast care, gynecological health, emotional wellness and nutrition and lifestyle. “The program will feature local experts who will share prevention and health management strategies that can last a lifetime,” noted program organizer Bonnie Petrauskas, Regional Coordinator for the Hunterdon-Mercer Chronic Disease Coalition. “Speakers will include Jennifer Montes, MD, MPH, Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center, Manisha Abeysinghe, MD, Advanced Obstetrics and Gynecology, LLC, Ellen Gantner, PsyD, Hunterdon Behavioral Health, and Jeanne Gee, RDN, CSO, CDE, Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
Celebrated annually in March, Women’s History Month is a perfect time to celebrate and recognize women for the important role they play in shaping the future. Women experience unique healthcare challenges from pregnancy and menopause to gynecological conditions. In addition, chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of death for women; and conditions such as depression, anxiety and osteoarthritis affect more women than men. Since women often spend time helping others, this program series provides an opportunity to take some time for themselves. “We are delighted to offer an engaging experience for women in the community to get the latest information to help them live a healthier life,” stated Dr. Barbara Tofani, Assistant Vice President, Outpatient & Ambulatory Services at Hunterdon Medical Center.
To register for this educational program, visit Hunterdon Healthcare website: https://www.hunterdonhealthcare.org/service/cancer-care/regional-chronic-disease-coalition/announcements-events/ or for more information call 908-237-2328.
Dear Hunterdon County Community,
For the past 32 years, Hunterdon Healthcare’s School-Based Youth Services has provided critical mental health counseling, youth development, substance abuse education, and prevention, learning support, healthy youth development, crisis intervention and information and referral to local community resources for the students at Hunterdon Central Regional High School.
As of October 1st, Governor Murphy has proposed in his budget to defund the School-Based Youth Services Program under the Department of Children and Families for the fiscal year 2021. This is an enormous loss to the students at Hunterdon Central and our community. In a time where stress, anxiety, social isolation, and depression are at an all-time high, cutting such a vital program for our youth will be devastating. School-Based Youth Services is a safety net for these teens and allows them to speak to a therapist at their school in an environment where they feel safe.
Hunterdon Central is our largest high school in Hunterdon County. They cannot afford to lose such critical resources at this time as they struggle to deal with COVID-19, and navigate remote and safe-in-classroom learning.
Hunterdon Healthcare strongly opposes the defunding of School-Based Youth Services. We are asking Hunterdon County residents for their support. You can write letters, call or send emails to Governor Murphy https://nj.gov/governor/contact/all/ and the local Assembly and State leadership https://nj.gov/governor/contact/all/ asking for them to reinstate funds for School-Based Youth Services.
The students of Hunterdon Central do not deserve to be without this important service.
President and CEO
The 18th Annual Cynthia K. Critelli Memorial Basketball Tournament Raises $5,300 for Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center
The 18th annual Cynthia K. Critelli Memorial Basketball Tournament run by Hunterdon Horizon Girls Non Profit AAU basketball club presented the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation with a check for $5,300 to support the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. Over the past eight years, this event has raised a total of $81,450 to support the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
The event was run on March 7th and 8th 2020 at Readington Middle School and attended by many people. Special thanks to the Readington Township Board of Education for allowing the event to be held there.
The tournament included eight girls basketball teams (4th Grade, 8th Grade) and four boys basketball teams (6th Grade). Teams from Flemington-Raritan Youth Basketball, Montgomery Basketball Association, North Hunterdon Lions, Princeton Basketball Club, Readington Township Recreation, and South Brunswick PAL participated in the event. Each team participated in a three-game round-robin tournament over the two days with the championship and consolation games held on March 8th. All teams received a trophy while each player received a trophy or a medal and a T-shirt. Special recognition goes to our local teams which include the Flemington-Raritan Youth Basketball 8th Grade Girls who won their bracket and Readington Township 4th Grade Girls who were the runner-up in the Championship game. Congratulations to South Brunswick PAL (4th Girls Champions) and Montgomery Basketball Association (6th Grade Boys Champs) and all the teams who all gave an outstanding effort.
Local players Brianna Mastriano (8th Grade) from Flemington-Raritan Youth Basketball and Sofia Durka (4th Grade) from Readington Township were recipients of the Cynthia K. Critelli MVP awards in the championship games for their respective teams.
Individual players were also recognized with awards in the Championship and Consolation post-game ceremonies in memory of James T. Byrnes (All-Tournament Team), Kevin Gilbert (Hustle Award), and Maria Lynn Hartman (Sportsmanship Award).
Special congratulations go to Meher Vig, South Brunswick Vikings 8th Grade Girls, who was awarded the Drew O’Donoghue Memorial Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the Tournament.
In addition, Chris Mastriano from Flemington-Raritan Youth Basketball was recognized for his participation as a coach in this event for 12 years.
I-Pathmedia of Flemington, The Allorto Family (Readington Township), Eliot Runyon (South Brunswick), Darrows Sporting Edge, Crown Trophy of Flemington, The Drew O’Donoghue Fund and Sorellas all made generous donations to the event. Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who made donations to the tournament booklet.
Special thanks to Patti Marcine of Readington Township for her continued support of this event as it could not happen without her. Sincere thanks to all the people who volunteered their time at the door and scoring games. This event is not possible without their volunteer work.
All proceeds from the tournament were donated to Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center in memory of Cynthia K. Critelli, a Readington teacher and beloved community member who died in 2004 after battling breast cancer.
Tournament Director, Ron Armellino, was extremely appreciative of all these teams and individuals stepping up to continue to support the event. The 19th Annual event date for 2021 is still being determined and will be announced in the future. Any person or organization who would like information on how they can support the event can contact Ron Armellino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured Left to Right: Tournament Director, Ron Armellino, Barbara Tofani, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President, Outpatient and Ambulatory Services, and Phillipe Beekman, Senior Vice President, Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation.
During the quarantine, local Hunterdon Central Regional High School graduating senior and athlete, Bella Almeida, wanted to help support our frontline workers with the fight against COVID-19 in our community. Bella and her mom created a design featuring what teens in our community were living through…“Socially Distant – United for Life.” With the help of local business, Sneakers Plus in Flemington, 500 “#Quaranteens” t-shirts were sold. Today, Bella presented a check for $2,686.00 representing the proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts to President & CEO, Patrick Gavin and Senior Vice President of Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, Phillipe Beekman. Bella, who will be attending Duke University in the fall to study Neuroscience said, “I am thrilled by the strong response from our community to support our local healthcare heroes working tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19. Thank you to everyone involved for turning a small idea crafted at the kitchen table into a fantastic community fundraiser!”
Each year, the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation awards scholarships to individuals pursuing careers in the healthcare industry. The recipients received scholarships from the Jean Alvater Baker Scholarship, Wingover Scholarship for Nursing Education, Albert Kahn and Mary Kahn R.N. Scholarship, the Patricia M. Psenisky Nursing Scholarship, Millie E. Apgar Scholarship for Nursing Education, ERS Charitable Fund, Inc. and Dr. Reinhard and Dr. Helga Schwartz Nursing Education Scholarship.
Scholarships were awarded to: Naima Ahmad of Whitehouse Station; Nooran Amin of Branchburg; Madeline Bill of Bloomsbury; Ashley Blanda of Flemington; Deborah Brunetti of Ringoes; Joanne Bulmer of Raritan; Marcie Carvale of Hamilton; Allisa Marie Conover of Ringoes; Paige Cordero of Pittstown; Lidia DeSapio of Frenchtown; Beth Flegler of Easton, PA; Nancy Gibney of Annandale; Shalini Gossain of Flemington; Kaleigh Higgins of Pittstown; Constantine Kapetanakis of Asbury; Lydia Kleber of Flemington;Morgan Kneller of Pittstown; Lydia Lampert of Milford; Kenzie Lane of Flemington; Rachel Martino of Stockton; Nicole Myers of Glen Gardner; Anuva Anan Nabiha of Flemington; Allyson Naiken of Ringoes; Deanna Nguyen of Stockton; Ellen O’Connor of Harmony; Kailey Paieda of Bridgewater; Grace Palahnuk of Clinton; Jaclyn Papalski of Flemington; Della Porzl of Washington; Shelby Pyatt of Frenchtown; Wendy Lynn Rauen of Stockerton, PA; Avery Schaefer of Lambertville; Alexis Shafer of Upper Black Eddy, PA; Caitlin Snee of Lebanon; Susan Stark of Bethlehem, PA; Stephanie Ann Stone of Washington; Sydney Stoter of Califon; Natalie Sweet of High Bridge; Patricia Titus of Oxford; Leona Tomy of Belle Meade; Leanna Tucker of Phillipsburg; Lauren Tully of Flemington; Diane Vence of Washington and Rachel Vence of Washington.
The Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation, the fundraising organization for Hunterdon Healthcare System, seeks gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources to assist the Hunterdon Medical Center and its affiliated non-profit organizations, such as Hunterdon Regional Community Health and Hunterdon Hospice, in fulfilling their mission to meet the community’s need for high-quality healthcare. Annual charitable gifts to Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation provides the essential support needed to expand clinical services and programs and maintain and enhance our facilities. For more information on the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation visit, foundation.hunterdonhealthcare.org
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center Partners With New Jersey’s First National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center as a National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). Hunterdon Healthcare’s Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center will be one of the major health systems and medical centers throughout northern and central New Jersey that make up the Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium (AHCC) NCORP. As New Jersey’s first and only NCORP, AHCC will help develop and implement NCI cancer prevention, screening, care delivery, and treatment studies with leading healthcare systems across the state.
“When it comes to cancer care, our focus is always on what is best and benefits our patients. We are pleased to be part of this consortium of hospitals and be able to provide our patients with the most advanced clinical trials right here in Hunterdon County,” stated Barbara Tofani, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Assistant Vice President, Outpatient and Ambulatory Services at Hunterdon Healthcare.
The AHCC NCORP Health Systems include:
- Hunterdon Healthcare – Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center
- Atlantic Health System
- Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center, Newton Medical Center and Hackettstown Medical Center and Goryeb Children’s Hospital
- CentraState Healthcare System
- Holy Name Medical Center
- Saint Peter’s Healthcare System
- Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital
The incidence of cancer in New Jersey is 477.5 cases per 100,000 versus 441.2 cases per 100,000 nationally. Warren (511.5/100,000) and Monmouth (497.8/100,000) counties have even higher cancer rates, while the pediatric cancer rate for New Jersey is above the national average at 17.1 versus 16.3 cases per 100,000.
The grant will enable all sites to participate in cutting-edge research from the NCI and National Clinical Trials Network, and will significantly enhance access to these trials for cancer patients throughout northern and central New Jersey. The clinical trials will focus on cancer control, prevention, screening, care delivery, treatment and medical imaging, and many will include a quality-of-life component. These studies will also incorporate the needs of diverse populations and will be integrated with cancer disparities research.
Specific goals of the consortium will be to increase adult and pediatric participation in the above-referenced types of NCI and National Clinical Trials Network clinical trials, including members of groups that are currently underrepresented in clinical trials, such as ethnic and racial minorities. The consortium will also collect tissue samples in order to support advances in genomics and molecularly targeted therapies.
Additional goals include enhancing community involvement and the involvement of community-based physicians in cancer control, prevention and care delivery research through a variety of targeted community outreach and engagement efforts, and to support and mentor community oncologists and other medical specialists.
The consortium will also help develop and implement clinically significant studies that incorporate the unique research needs of New Jersey’s diverse population. A special emphasis will be placed on involving non-English speaking individuals.
“Clinical advancements in prevention and treatment approaches must benefit all cancer patients. The best way to make that a reality is to ensure clinical research is conducted in diverse populations—both ethnic and geographic diversity,” said NCI Acting Director Douglas R. Lowy, MD. “Communities of color and rural communities face disadvantages in access to cutting-edge cancer care. We believe that clinical trials provide access to high quality cancer care. NCORP enables us to make this available to more communities.”
NCI grants went to 32 Community Sites and 14 Minority/Underserved (M/U) Community Sites, who have assembled more than 1,000 affiliates across the country to carry out cancer research. The NCORP network now covers 44 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam, the largest geographic coverage in the program’s history.
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center
Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is committed to providing high-quality care to every patient who enters our doors for consultation, education, treatment or follow-up care. Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).
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