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Hunterdon County Cancer Education and Early Detection Program

NJ CEED Hero

Since 1997, Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center has been the recipient of a health grant that offers free cancer screenings.

WHAT DO WE OFFER?

*Other tests needed after an abnormal result may also be covered.
Clients receive screenings at several healthcare offices
throughout Hunterdon County.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

The NJCEED cancer screening services are available to individuals:

  • Who do not have health insurance.
  • Are underinsured, or with a high deductible.
  • Who don’t have Medicare or Medicaid
  • Income and age restrictions may also apply.

“Those without sufficient health insurance don’t have to postpone potentially lifesaving cancer screening exams because of the financial burden of paying these exams.”

SERVICES FOR WOMEN:

BREAST CANCER SCREENING:

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. It is more treatable when it is found in its early stages. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. 80% of all women with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

  • Yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40.
  • Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) every 3 years for women in their 20’s and 30’s and every year for women age 40 and over.

 

CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING:
** For women who have not had abnormal pap smear tests:

  • Women between 21 and 29 years old should get a:
    • Pap smear
    • Pelvic exam
  • Women between 30 and 65 years old should get a:
    • Pap smear
    • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) testing
    • Pelvic exam

Women who have cancer of the cervix may not have any symptoms, so regular checkups are crucial.

COLON CANCER SCREENINGS:
(BOTH MEN AND WOMEN)

Colorectal cancer (CRC) can develop from polyps (grape-like growths on the inner lining of the colon and rectum).

All women and men aged 50 and older are at increased risk of developing CRC since that is when polyps usually begin to form. Regular screening is crucial since there are no typical symptoms in early stages of CRC, when the cancer is more curable.

Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

  • FIT test (fecal immunochemical test) and/ or colonoscopy (if applicable)

 

SERVICES FOR MEN:

PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING:

Symptoms from cancer may not appear until the cancer is in its later stages, so men who choose to undergo screening should begin at age 50.

However, the NJCEED Program recommends, based on the American Cancer Society’s guidelines, that men in high risk groups should begin screening at age 45.

These groups include:

  • African Americans
  • Men whose brothers or fathers have had prostate cancer before age 65

 
How do I decide when to begin screening?

Men should make an informed decision with their health care providers about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. If you and your healthcare provider decide that you should get tested, men 50 years or older and those in high risk groups should get a:

  • Prostate –specific antigen (PSA) blood test
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE)

How often a man should be tested depends on his PSA level

NJ CEED Logo

For more information, or to see if you are eligible:
Please call 908-237-5409.

 
For more information about NJCEED please visit the NJ Department of Health website at: http://www.nj.gov/health/cancer/njceed/index.shtml

For more information on screening guidelines please visit the website for the American Cancer Society at: http://www.cancer.org

Cancer Incidence (Hunterdon & Mercer County)

Hunterdon and Mercer County Demographics

 

Hunterdon and Mercer Counties are located in Western-Central New Jersey.

 

Hunterdon County

Hunterdon County is the 8th largest county within New Jersey consisting of 429.96 square miles. According to the US Census State and County 2012, Hunterdon County is home to 126,319 residents, which is an increase of 4.4% from 2000 levels.  This makes it the 8th largest county within New Jersey.  Hunterdon County’s population is comprised of 92.2% White, 3.5 % Asian, 2.9% African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native and 0.1 Other.  Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin make up 5.7% of the population.

In 2013, the US Census estimated that there were 370,414 people residing in Mercer County. This is an increase of 8% from the population in 2010.  The resulting population density of 1,632.2 people per sq. mile is higher than both the Hunterdon County population density and the state average.   Although the poverty rates for Mercer County are slightly higher than the state average, this figure varies greatly between municipalities. For example, the poverty rate for individuals in Trenton, which is a dense urban population, is 26.6%.

MAP – Hunterdon County

 MAP – Hunterdon County, New Jersey

 

 

Mercer County

In 2005-2009, among NJ women ages 20 or older, about 400 were diagnosed with and 120 died of invasive cervical cancer each year. Nearly all invasive cervical cancer can be prevented by a combination of Papanicolaou (PAP) screening and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination.  The three significant areas accounted for 14% (n=296) of the cases and had relative risks ranging from 1.9 to 2.6: northeast (primarily Newark and Elizabeth), central (primarily Trenton, n = 35, RR = 2.6), and south (primarily Camden).  The Trenton invasive cervical cancer case demographics were primarily African-American women without insurance or receiving Medicaid health coverage.  Cervical cancer prevention, screenings and HPV vaccination education is much needed in Trenton. Coalition efforts are also needed to educate Mercer County, particularly Trenton healthcare providers, on the importance of HPV vaccinations, series completion and reducing cervical cancer rates.

 

MAP – Mercer County

 MAP – Mercer County, New Jersey

 

Epidemiological Profile of the Cancer Burden

All incidence and mortality rates cited here in are per 100,000 and age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. population standard. All incidence rates are average annual rates during 2005-2009. All mortality rates are average annual rates during 2003-2007 (which is the latest data available).

Overall, Hunterdon County ranks 15th out of 21 counties in overall cancer incidence (500.2), and 21st out of 21 counties in overall cancer mortality (164.0).

Mercer County ranks 8th out of 21 counties in overall cancer incidence

(527.9) and 14th out of 21 counties in overall cancer mortality (179.5). Only

Mercer County’s overall cancer incidence is higher than state average (508.3).

There are a few specific types of cancers within each county that exceed the state average incidence rates.

In Hunterdon County some of these include:

1) breast (81.8 vs. 71.1 for NJ); and 2) melanoma (38.2 vs. 21.4 for NJ).

When comparing Hunterdon County’s incidence rates and gender specific rates to those of the other twenty counties in New Jersey, Hunterdon ranks 2nd highest for melanoma in both men and women, highest for breast cancer in women, and 3rd highest for oral cavity and pharynx cavity cancers in women.

In Mercer County, cancers whose incidence rates exceed state average include: 1) oral cavity and pharynx (10.5 vs. 10.0 for NJ); 2) colon and rectum (51.2 vs. 49.4 for NJ); 3) prostate (190.1 vs. 172.0 for NJ); and 4) breast (73.5 vs. 71.1 for NJ).

For some cancers, certain genders and/or races have higher-than-average incidence rates. For instance, females in Mercer County of all races have a higher-than-average colorectal cancer incidence rate. For men, the colorectal cancer incidence rate is higher than average in the black non-Hispanic population (70.8 vs 61.5 for NJ).

American Cancer Society Cancer Burden Profiles

Hunterdon County Cancer Burden

According to the ACS 2011 Hunterdon County Cancer Burden Profile, each week, 13 residents are diagnosed with cancer and 4 die from cancer.

In Hunterdon County, 49.6% of all new cancer cases and 49.4% of all new cancer deaths can be attributed to four cancers:

1) Lung/bronchus (10.7% of new cancer incidence, 23.5% of new cancer mortalities)

2) Prostate (13.0% of new cancer incidence; and 6.4% of new cancer mortalities)

3) Female Breast (17.0 of new cancer incidence; 9.0% of all cancer mortalities)

4) Colorectal (8.9% of all new cancer incidence; 10.5% of new cancer mortality)

Mercer County Cancer Burden

Mercer County’s cancer burden follows a similar pattern to Hunterdon County. According to the ACS 2011 Mercer County Cancer Burden Profile, 52.0% of all new cancer cases and 48.4% of all new cancer deaths can be attributed to the aforementioned cancers –

1) Lung/bronchus (12.2% of new cases, 24.7% of new cancer deaths)

2) Prostate (15.7% of new cases, 5.0% of new cancer deaths)

3) Female Breast (14.0% of new cases, 8.6% of new cancer deaths)

4) Colorectal (10.1% of new cases, 10.0% of new cancer deaths)

In contrasting the cancer burdens within Hunterdon and Mercer Counties, the difference between burdens of the two counties comes in percentage of cases detected at an early stage. In Hunterdon County, only 39.8% of colorectal cancer cases in men and 40.1% of colorectal cancer cases in women are detected at an early stage, while in Mercer County, the early detection rate for men and women is 48.0% and 46.5%, respectively.

Trenton, Mercer County Cervical Cancer Burden

In 2005-2009, among NJ women ages 20 or older, about 400 were diagnosed with and 120 died of invasive cervical cancer each year. Nearly all invasive cervical cancer can be prevented by a combination of Papanicolaou (PAP) screening and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination.  The three significant areas accounted for 14% (n=296) of the cases and had relative risks ranging from 1.9 to 2.6: northeast (primarily Newark and Elizabeth), central (primarily Trenton, n = 35, RR = 2.6), and south (primarily Camden).

The Trenton invasive cervical cancer case demographics were primarily African-American women without insurance or receiving Medicaid health coverage.  Cervical cancer prevention, screenings and HPV vaccination education is much needed in Trenton. Coalition efforts are also needed to educate Mercer County, particularly Trenton healthcare providers, on the importance of HPV vaccinations, series completion and reducing cervical cancer rates.

Other Disease Burden

Other chronic diseases have risk factors in common with cancer.  For instance, tobacco users have a higher incidence of not only cancer (especially lung cancer), but also heart disease and chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.  In New Jersey, the age-adjusted death rate due to diseases of the heart from 2004-2008 (the last year for which data is available) was 204.7 per 100,000.  Mercer County’s death rate for this cause was 206.0, while Hunterdon County’s death rate due to heart disease was 148.9.

Seniors

Senior citizens are also more vulnerable to poverty and therefore in need of affordable care options.  According to the 2013 Hunterdon County Community Health Assessment, the elderly population increased in Hunterdon County from 10% in 2000 to 13% in 2010, and the percentage of adults 45-64 years of age is much higher than the state average.  It is projected that by 2030, County residents 65 years and over will make up 24% of Hunterdon County’s population. Seniors aged 65 and over are considered the fastest-growing age cohort in Mercer County.  This group is expected to increase in population in Mercer County by 49% from 46,347 seniors in 2010 to a projected 69,200 in 2028.  More importantly, the growth in the senior population is outpacing general population growth, in that seniors are expected to encompass a larger proportion of the general population in the future, a trend expected to be mirrored nationally.  As seen in Figure 5, currently seniors aged 65 or more years old make up 12.6% of Mercer County’s population, whereas in 2028, they are expected to comprise 17.2%.  Since prevalence of chronic conditions increases with age, it is imperative to focus prevention and healthy lifestyle initiatives in this population now to prevent or minimize healthcare challenges later.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Hunterdon County has a growing number of Latinos that are not assessed by traditional strategies such as the Census or BRFSS. Recent needs assessments conducted on Latinos have clearly indicated that significant health inequities exist within Hunterdon County. These findings are especially true for Latinos living in the municipalities of Flemington, Lambertville, and Clinton. According to the U.S Census Bureau, Hunterdon County’s Latino population increased by 103% between 2000 and 2010. A recent survey conducted by the United Way of Hunterdon County revealed that this growing population experiences significantly more health disparities compared to the general population.  Sixty percent (60%) have no health insurance.  This lack of access to health care was reflected in self-reported health status.  Seventy percent (70%) of Latinos surveyed reported they are overweight, obese or morbidly obese compared to 55% of the general population.  Forty-two percent (42%) reported that their health was fair or poor, compared to 8% of the general population.

Overall, the non-White population in Mercer County is approximately 45%, which reflects the region’s diversity as discussed in focus groups and interviews from the Greater Mercer Partnership for Health.  This diversity varies across the County. According to the US Census, Mercer County has a significantly higher minority population than Hunterdon County with African-American/Black (21%), Hispanic/Latino (16%) and Asian alone (10%).  West Windsor and Trenton have the most substantial diversity although their populations differ. Trenton’s population is over one half Black and one third Hispanic/Latino while West Windsor’s population is over one third Asian.

Poverty

The changing demographics in Hunterdon County have resulted in an increase in the number of low-income residents. The number of residents living at or below 199% of the Federal Poverty Level is at 4%, a rise from 2.6% in 2007.  Hunterdon County experienced a 281% surge in the number of children receiving food stamps (SNAP).  National data shows that low-income, food- insecure families tend to be at a higher risk for obesity, because they try to stretch their budgets with cheaper, energy dense foods that have low nutritional content, such as fast food.  According to the 2013 Hunterdon County community Health assessment, “In a location such as Hunterdon where the cost of living is higher than average, the above numbers actually underestimate the level of poverty.  “Hidden Poverty” was a term used by the 2013 Hunterdon County Community Health Assessment focus group participants to refer to individuals who were financially well off, but are now experiencing financial difficulties.  Many of them are either too embarrassed to ask for assistance or do not know where to go for assistance, as they never had to do so before.

In Mercer County, there are stark contrasts by income within very wealthy to less affluent municipalities, with pockets of residents struggling during the economic recession.  According to the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, Mercer County communities have poverty rates above the state (11.4%) and national (13.8%) averages, such as almost one quarter of Trenton’s individuals had incomes below the federal poverty line (24.5%).  Poverty has also been increasing over the past decade. The percentage of individuals below the poverty line in Mercer County increased 1.5%, a change greater than for the state as a whole (0.6%).

 

Behavioral Risk Factor Prevalence
Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle

According to the 2013 Hunterdon County Community Health Assessment, 6% of Hunterdon County residents experience both financial and geographical barriers to accessing healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.  According to the 2012 Health County Rankings, 3% of the Mercer County population report limited access to healthy foods; however, 50% of the population in Mercer County report having access to fast food, which equals the NJ data but is 25% higher than the national benchmark.   In Hunterdon County, it is interesting that the BMI data is considerably higher with objective data recorded in the Electronic Medical Record during an office visit (31%)  than the self-reported data from the BRFSS (18.8%).  In Mercer County, according the 2012 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, adult obesity rate was reported at 25%, equal to state average and national benchmarks.  Hunterdon County is slightly below the national benchmark for physical inactivity at 19% while in Mercer County is slightly above the national benchmark at 25%.

Tobacco Use

Certain behavioral risk factors for two of the four cancers identified in the ACS Cancer Burden Profiles, lung/bronchus and colorectal, contribute to both risk of contracting the disease and the stage of diagnosis. The chief behavioral risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco use. According to the 2010 Hunterdon County BRFSS, 8.7% of residents reported smoking cigarettes every day or some days. The 2012 County Health Rankings reports an adult smoking rate of 15% for Hunterdon County and 14% for Mercer County.  Relying on the County Health Rankings report, both counties are below the New Jersey adult smoking rate of 17%.  Secondhand-exposure to tobacco smoke can also increase risk of contracting myriad of tobacco-related diseases, including cancer, coronary heart disease and chronic lung diseases. The Indoor Clean Air Act has eliminated many non-residential sources of environmental tobacco smoke; however individuals of all ages can still be exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at outdoor public recreation facilities. Global Advisors Smoke-free Policy (GASP) reports that eight of Mercer County’s thirteen towns have some version of tobacco use ordinance on the record. These municipalities include: East Windsor, Hamilton, Hightstown, Lawrence Township, Pennington Boro, Princeton Boro, Washington Township, and West Windsor. Of these eight municipalities, only one (Princeton Boro) has an ordinance pertaining to the outdoor use of tobacco products near public parks and recreational facilities.  Collaboration with the ACS and UMDNJ’s Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey, the coalition was able to pass an outdoor tobacco use ordinance in Princeton for the FY 2013.  Continued support would allow for additional ordinances in progress to be enacted in the FY 2014. Furthermore, only four of Hunterdon County’s twenty six municipalities have an outdoor tobacco use ordinance on the record. These municipalities include: Clinton Township, Flemington Boro, Lambertville City, and Raritan Township. Three of these four municipalities do cover use in public parks and recreational facilities.  Increasing the number of municipalities in both counties with comprehensive outdoor tobacco use bans can increase the health and safety of residents and decrease dangerous exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal cancer risk is associated with high fat diet, and low consumption of fruits and vegetables. In addition, obesity plays a critical role in colorectal cancer risk. Part of a healthy lifestyle can include appropriate screening for cancer and other diseases.  In the case of colorectal cancer, removal of polyps during a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy can prevent the polyp from becoming cancerous and can allow for the detection of early-stage disease.  However, colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy are not the only accepted screening methods and the public should be aware of this. In 2009, the Hunterdon County Colorectal Prevention Workgroup conducted a needs assessment study that revealed opportunities for colorectal cancer prevention/education within primary care provider offices in Hunterdon. Specifically, messaging is needed to encourage healthcare consumers to discuss colorectal cancer screenings with their healthcare providers.  Healthcare provider offices also offer an opportunity to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. The 2013-2014 Hunterdon and Mercer County Regional Chronic Disease Coalition Grant focused on increasing Colorectal screening through physician and patient education and appropriate messaging using motivational interviewing.  As a result of those interventions, as well as improving the data integrity in the medical records, we saw a 45% increase in colorectal screening documentation within the three Hunterdon County practices.

Sunscreen use and Sunburn Frequency

Melanoma incidence and mortality rates in Hunterdon County are some of the highest in NJ.  Fair-skinned endo-Europeans (German, Irish, Polish, and English) account for greater than 67% of the ethnicity of Hunterdon County residents. Ultraviolet radiation exposure in youth creates the greatest risk for melanoma in young, middle and late adulthood. According to the 2010 Hunterdon County BRFS results, 39% of Hunterdon County residents reported having been sunburned within the past 12 months.  Furthermore, only 37.6% of Hunterdon County Residents report “always” or “nearly always” wearing sunscreen when going outside on a sunny day for more than an hour. The Hunterdon and Mercer County Regional Chronic Disease Coalition has continued to provide ongoing sun safety educational programs in numerous elementary schools within both counties.  Including direct education and train-the-trainer sessions, we provide resources and incentives for the participating students to promote and maintain good sun safety behaviors.

 

Cancer Focus/Facts

Cervical Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Oral Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Skin Cancer/Melanoma
Breast Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer affects a woman’s cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina.  Cervical cancer can initially appear as dysplasia, or a change in the type of cells that line the cervix.  This early change in cervical cells can be detected on a Pap Smear, before they become cancerous.

 

Who is at Risk for Developing Cervical Cancer?

  • Women who begin having sexual intercourse, or sexual contact at a young age.
  • Women who have had many sexual partners, or whose partner has had many partners.
  • Women infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Women with other sexually transmitted infections (i.e. Chlamydia).
  • Women with a family or personal history of cervical cancer.
  • Women who have a compromised immune system, due to another condition or infection (i.e. HIV).
  • Women who smoke tobacco products.
  • Women who are overweight and/or have a diet low in fruits and vegetables.

 

Is there Any Way to Prevent Cervical Cancer?

  • Annual Pap tests can detect abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix, before they become cancerous.
  • Get vaccinated against HPV.  Gardasil has been approved by the FDA for use in girls and women ages 9-26 and in men.  Cevarix has been approved by the FDA for use in girls and women ages 10-25.
  • Employ safe sexual practices.  Using condoms, delaying first sexual intercourse and limiting the number of sexual partners are all ways of reducing exposure to HPV.
  • Have a healthy lifestyle.  Eliminating tobacco products, maintaining a healthy weight and eating healthily are ways of preventing cervical cancer.

 

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • Visit the websites for the HPV vaccines at www.gardasil.com and www.cervarix.com.
  • Visit Planned Parenthood’s website for more information about HPV and other sexually transmitted infections at:www.plannedparenthoodnj.org.
  • View the American Cancer Society’s Overview Guide to Cervical Cancer here.
  • If you are uninsured or underinsured and need a Pap test, contact your local NJCEED office for assistance by calling 1-800-328-3838 or by visiting the NJCEED website here.

Sources: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control, and Planned Parenthood

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the colon or rectum.  This type of cancer usually begins as a polyp (or bump) in the lining of either the colon or rectum. Some polyps are benign and never become cancerous.  However, other polyps slowly become cancerous as they grow through the many layers of the colon/rectum and into surrounding tissue.

 

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

No one knows why, exactly, certain people get colorectal cancer.  However, many studies have identified behavioral and environmental factors that increase or decrease an individual’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.  These factors include:

  • Age – as an individual ages, the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases.
  • Family History – an individual whose close relative (brother, mother, etc.) has had colorectal cancer is at an increased risk of developing the disease.
  • Personal History – an individual who has already had a colorectal cancer is at an increased risk of getting the disease again.
  • Personal Health – individuals who have a history of large or numerous polyps have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer.  Also, individuals with diabetes, and individuals certain bowel conditions such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis have an increased risk of having colorectal cancer.
  • Poor Diet – studies suggest that a diet high in fiber and in fresh fruits and vegetables protects an individual from developing colorectal cancer.
  • Physical Activity – studies suggest that maintaining a healthy weight, especially in adulthood, lowers an individual’s risk of having colorectal cancer.

 

 What Are The Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?

There are frequently no or few symptoms of colorectal cancer.  Some of the possible symptoms include:

  • A change in bowel habits – increased diarrhea, constipation, or a feeling of being unable to empty the bowels.
  • Bright or dark red blood in stool.
  • Abdominal discomfort – bloating, cramping, and gas pain.
  • Unintended weight loss.
  • Unexplained fatigue.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Please understand that many other health problems can cause the same symptoms that are listed above. Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. However, anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor so that any problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible!  Please remember that early stages of cancer usually do not cause pain. It is important not to wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.

 

How Can Colorectal Cancer Be Prevented?

  • Maintain a healthy body weight through diet and exercise.
  • Increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce fat and alcohol consumption.
  • Stop using tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and chew.
  • Discuss colorectal cancer screening methods with your family physician.

 

How is Colorectal Cancer Detected?

There are many ways to screen an individual for colorectal cancer.  Regular screening is important because it can detect disease in a person who may not have any symptoms and may have an earlier stage disease.  Individuals with early-stage disease tend to have a better prognosis than those with later-stage disease.  Certain types of screenings find polyps before and after they have become cancerous.  Other types of screenings only find cancer in individuals.

 

Screenings that Find Benign and Malignant Polyps

Flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and double contrast barium enema are all types of screenings that detect cancerous and non-cancerous polyps.  Flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are the most commonly performed screening types:

  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy – During this procedure, a thin, flexible rod is inserted to the lower half of the colon through the rectum.  A light on the end of the rod enables the physician to examine half the colon for polyps.  Small polyps are removed during a flexible sigmoidoscopy; however the patient will need to revisit the doctor for a colonoscopy to examine the other half of the colon.  Very little preparation and recovery time is needed for this type of screening.
  • Colonoscopy – This procedure is similar to a flexible sigmoidoscopy, however the rod is much longer, enabling the physician to visualize the entire colon.  During a colonoscopy, polyps are removed and abnormal-appearing areas are biopsied.  Colonoscopies typically take longer than flexible sigmoidoscopies and require more recovery time.

 

Screenings that Find Cancer

Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT) and Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT) are types of non-invasive tests that detect blood in fecal matter, an indicator of colorectal cancer.  These blood tests do not detect the presence of polyps and individuals with non-cancerous bowel conditions may test positive.  Individuals who test positive for blood in the feces may be sent for a screening colonoscopy.  Many people prefer this type of screening because they can do the test in private, at home, and it is non-invasive.

 

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • View the American Cancer Society’s Colorectal Cancer Overview here.
  • Visit the American Dietetic Association’s website for information about a healthy diet and cancer prevention here.
  • Visit the C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition website for information on research and advocacy here.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov
  • Visit the National Cancer Institute website at www.cancer.gov

 

Source: American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control

Oral Cancer

The term “oral cancer” refers to cancers, which begin in the mouth, tongue, lip, tonsils and throat.  As the cancer develops and grows, it invades and damages neighboring areas of the oral cavity and oropharynx.  Each area of the oral cavity has its own type of oral cancer and the prognosis differs from location to location. Like with all cancers, early detection is linked to a good prognosis and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important prevention technique.

 

Who is at Risk for Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco users – including users of smokeless tobacco products- have a much greater risk of developing an oral cancer.
  • Individuals who consume and/or abuse alcohol have an increased risk of developing oral cancers.
  • Current research is suggesting that individuals infected with the human papillomaviruses (HPV) have an increased risk of developing oral cancers.  Certain strains of HPV are also risk factors for developing cervical cancer in women.
  • Individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun have an increased risk of developing oral cancer, specifically cancer on the lips.
  • Individuals with a compromised immune system may be at risk of getting an oral cancer.

 

How can Oral Cancers be Detected and Prevented?

One of the most effective ways to prevent oral cancer is to abstain from alcohol and tobacco products.  Consumption of these products is responsible for most oral cancer cases.  They are also linked to increase risk of other cancers such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Oral cancer can be detected by a dentist, dental hygienist, doctor, or nurse during a routine visit.  If symptoms are present, visiting an ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor may be necessary for further testing using fiber optic scopes, mirrors, and lights.

 

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The most common symptoms of oral cancer are mouth sores and mouth pain that does not subside.  Other symptoms or oral cancers include:

  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speaking.
  • Lumps in the cheek, tongue, and throat.
  • Jaw pain, discomfort, and swelling.
  • Weight loss.
  • Bad breath that does not subside.
  • White or red patches in the mouth and throat that do not go away.

These are all symptoms of conditions other than cancer, however they all warrant further exam by a physician.

 

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • View the American Cancer Society’s Detailed Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer Guide here.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control website on oral cancer here.
  • Visit the National Cancer Institute oral cancer home page here.
  • Visit the Oral Cancer Foundation website here.

 

Source: American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer found in the prostate gland of men.  The prostate gland is located below the bladder and is responsible for producing the semen that protects sperm during reproduction.  Prostate cancer develops slowly and often proceeds undetected.  In some men, prostate cancer develops so slowly that it never invades other parts of the body and poses little threat.  For many men, however, their cancer invades the rest of the prostate and, untreated, will invade other areas of the body.

 

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

  • Age – a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer increases as he ages, especially after the age of 50.
  • Race – African-American men have an increased incidence of prostate cancer compared to men of other races.  Prostate cancer is found at similar levels in Hispanic and white men, while it is found less frequently in Asian men.
  • Nationality – North America and Northwestern Europe have higher rates of prostate cancer compared to other continents and regions.
  • Diet – Men with a diet high in fat and red meat tend to have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer
  • Fitness – Men who have a healthy body weight and men who exercise regularly tend to have a lower risk of having advanced disease.

 

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Many of the symptoms of prostate cancer involve a man’s ability to urinate normally.  These symptoms could also be indicative of conditions besides prostate cancer.  Speak with your physician if you’re experiencing these symptoms:

  • Inability to urinate
  • Frequency, or the need to urinate more often than normal
  • Weakened urinary stream, or a stream that starts and stops
  • Nocturia, or needing to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain, pelvic pain, or pain in the upper thighs

 

How Can Prostate Cancer Be Detected?

Depending on the symptoms a man is experiencing as well as his personal medical history, a physician may perform one of the following tests to detect prostate cancer:

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – the prostate gland backs into the rectum.  With prostate cancer, a man’s prostate can become enlarged.  In a DRE, the physician inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to see if the prostate is enlarged or if it has an abnormal texture.
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test – PSA can be produced by the prostate at a higher level when cancer is present.  This test measures the amount of PSA in the blood stream.  A high PSA level does not indicate that an individual definitely has prostate cancer, and further evaluation may be necessary.  Conversely, a low PSA level does not indicate an absence of prostate cancer.  If a man has a low PSA, but also has other symptoms, further evaluation may be warranted.
  • Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS) – During this type of ultrasound, the probe is inserted into the rectum.  Through the use of a computer, an image of the prostate is produced which a physician can evaluate for abnormalities.

 

 

How Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented?

No single cause of prostate cancer has been found yet.  However, management of risk factors like weight, diet, and physical activity can reduce a man’s risk of developing late stage of the disease.  Screening for the disease early also enables the disease to be caught at an early stage.  The American Cancer Society recommends that men with a low risk (no family history) of prostate cancer should speak with their physicians when they reach the age of 50.  Men with an elevated risk (limited family history) of prostate cancer should begin speaking with their physicians about screening when they reach the age of 45.  Men with a very high risk (extensive family history) of developing prostate cancer should speak with their physicians about screening when they reach the age of 40.

 

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • View the American Cancer Society’s Prostate Cancer Overview guide here.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control website here.
  • Visit the National Cancer Institute website here.
  • Visit the Prostate Cancer Foundation website here.

 

Source: American Cancer Society

Skin Cancer / Melanoma

There are two kinds of skin cancers, melanomas and non-melanomas.  The skin is a large and complex organ and each type of skin cancer starts in a different location in the skin, has different risk factors, and different prognoses.  Non-melanomas are the most common kinds of skin cancers.  Non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas.  These non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun, typically develop very slowly, and are usually red or brown in color.

Melanomas are rarer than non-melanomas, however they are faster to develop and metastasize to other organs which makes them more dangerous.  Melanoma is named after the type of cell in the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, that they originate in – the melanocyte.  Melanocytes are the cells responsible for the production of melanin, or pigment, in the skin.  When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes become active to produce melanin, or pigment, which gives the skin a tan color.  This process is one way the skin protects the rest of the body’s organs against damage from the sun.  After continued exposure to the sun, melanocytes can produce too much melanin, damaging the melanocytes and leading them to becoming cancerous.

Melanomas are more dangerous than non-melanomas because grow quickly and are highly likely to metastasize, or spread to other organs.  If found early, melanoma is easily treated.  Melanoma is a cancer of focus of the Hunterdon County Cancer Coalition because of the County’s high melanoma incidence and mortality rates.

 

What Are the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer?

  • Genetics – An individual with fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes has an increased risk of developing melanoma because their melanocytes produce less melanin, or pigment.
  • Sunburn History – An individual with a history of blistering sunburns, especially in childhood, has an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Tanning Booth Exposure – Individuals who use tanning booth have a much greater risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Family History – Individuals with family members who have had melanoma have an increased risk of developing the disease.

 

How to Detect and Prevent Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Detection

Melanoma can initially appear as a mole that has changed over time, or as a new mole on the skin.  It can also appear as a sore or lump on the skin.  Once a month, check your skin from head to toe using a hand mirror or a close family member to look at hard-to-see areas.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends following the ABCDE rule for determining if a mole is suspicious or not:

  • A – Asymmetry- one half of the mole’s shape does not match the other half
  • B – Border – the mole does not have a defined border or the border of the mole is blurry
  • C – Color – the mole does not have a uniform color.  It may be brown or red mottled with blue, black, or yellow.
  • D – Diameter – the mole has a diameter greater than 6mm
  • E – Evolving – the mole has changed in texture, size, or color

In addition to monthly self-exams, the American Cancer Society recommends that adults ages 20-40 be screened by a dermatologist once every three years and that adults ages 40 and older be screened yearly by a dermatologist.

 

Skin Cancer Prevention

The easiest way to prevent skin cancer is to limit time spent in the sun.  Other ways to prevent skin cancers include:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 15 or higher twenty minutes before going outside – even in the winter.
  • Wear protective clothing that covers the skin and eyes.  In the summer, this includes long sleeve shits, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Minimize exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10 AM and 3PM, when the sun is more directly over the Earth.
  • Refrain from using tanning oils and tanning booths.

 

 Where Can I Find More Information?

  • View the American Academy of Dermatology’s Melanoma Fact Sheet here.
  • View the American Cancer Society’s Melanoma Overview Guide here.
  • Visit the Centers for Disease Control website here.
  • Visit the National Cancer Institute website here.

Source: American Cancer Society, American Academy of Dermatology

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast tissue of both men and women.  It is one of the most common cancers in women and, in rare cases, occurs in men.  There are several types of breast cancer.  The type of cancer depends on where in the breast the cancer began and the degree to which the cancer has spread into surrounding tissue.

Risk Factors for Developing Breast Cancer:

  • Age – breast cancer is more common in women over the age of 60
  • Family History – Women whose mothers, sisters or daughters have had breast cancer are more likely to develop the disease themselves.  Also, if a woman has had breast cancer, she is at an increased risk of developing the disease again.
  • Reproductive and menstrual history:

 

If a woman got her first period before the age of 12

 

She may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer

If a woman goes through menopause after age 55If a woman has never given birthIf a woman gives birth after the after the age of 30If a woman takes hormone therapy (For 5 or more years after menopause)If a woman has recently used birth control pills

 

  • Race- breast cancer occurs more frequently in white women than women of other ethnic groups
  • Breast density- women with mostly dense breast and less fatty tissue are more likely to develop the disease.  Dense breast tissue also makes potential tumors harder to detect on mammography
  • Weight – women who are overweight or obese, especially after menopause
  • Inactivity – women who regularly exercise have a lower risk of developing breast cancer
  • Alcohol consumption – women who consume more than one alcoholic beverage per day are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer

 

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • A change in how the breast or nipple feels or looks
  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
  • Nipple tenderness
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • The nipple is turned inward
  • The skin of the breast, area around the nipple, or the nipple may be scaly, red, or swollen.
  • The skin may have ridges or pitting (May look like the skin of an orange)
  • Nipple discharge- blood or some kind of fluid substance

If women are experiencing pain in the breasts they should seek medical attention from their health care provider.  Most often, breast pain is not cancer, but is still important to have it checked by a health care provider.

 

Breast Cancer Screening

There are several ways to screen for breast cancer.  These screening methods include: breast self-exams, clinical breast exams and mammograms.

Breast Self-Exam

Regular breast self-exams enable women to become aware of the breasts’ normal appearance and feel.  Having this baseline appearance is important because women are then able to recognize changes early, and seek appropriate medical attention.

How to Conduct a Breast Self-Exam

  • Look for Changes
  • Stand in front of mirror and look for any changes in the size, shape, or appearance of the breast
    • This should be conducted by placing arms at side, above the head, and on hips
    • Feel for Changes
    • Lie on a flat surface with a pillow under one shoulder with that arm raised above the head
    • Women should use the pads of their three middle fingers to check their breasts
    • Three types of pressure should be use when conducting a self breast exam- light, medium, and deep.
    • Be sure to use a spiral, vertical, or horizontal pattern when  examining breasts- this ensures that all areas of the breast will be covered
    • Also be sure to check the armpit and collarbone areas because breast tissue is present in these areas
    • Be sure to check both breasts using the same procedure

 

Clinical Breast Exams

Clinical breast exams should be conducted every 2-3 years by a healthcare professional such as a primary care physician or a gynecologist.  Women should begin getting clinical breast exams in their 20’s.  The first clinical breast exam is also a good time for women to learn how to properly do a breast self-exam.  As a woman reaches her 40’s, a clinical breast exam should be performed more frequently.

 

Mammograms

Mammograms are a type of imaging done of the breast.  Women should begin getting yearly screening mammograms at the age of 40.  A screening mammogram is done on women who have no other symptoms of breast disease.  If a woman has symptoms of breast disease such as discharge, abnormal screening mammogram, or pain, she may be sent to have a diagnostic mammogram.  A diagnostic mammogram takes additional views or pictures of the breast to determine if there is an area that needs to be biopsied.

 

Where Can I Find More Information?

  • View the American Cancer Society Overview Guide on breast cancer here.
  • View the Susan G. Komen Foundation Breast Cancer Guide here.
  • Visit the website for the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov
  • Visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

 

Source: American Cancer Society

Portfolio of Educational Programs

Portfolio of Educational Programs Available On-Demand

 

BREAST CARE
Presenter: Jennifer Montes, MD

Headshot of Dr. MontesDr. Jennifer Montes is a breast surgeon at Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center and believes in treating the patient as a whole body, mind, and spirit and is a strong proponent of integrating Eastern holistic medicine modalities with traditional Western medicine to do so.  This program provides a look at women’s breast care and support for those affected by breast cancer.

Please click here to view the program.





GYNECOLOGICAL/CERVICAL HEALTH
Presenter: Manisha Abeysinghe, MD

Headshot of Dr. AbeysingheDr. Abeysinghe is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with an additional board certification in anti-aging and regenerative medicine practicing at Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC.  In this program, Dr. Abeysinghe discusses what to expect during a gynecology exam, cervical health,  female anatomy, risk factors for HPV and cervical cancer.

Please click here to view the program.





EMOTIONAL WELLNESS
Presenter: Ellen Gantner
, PsyD

Headshot of Ellen Gantner, PsyDDr. Gantner, formerly the Director of Out-Patient Clinical Services at Hunterdon Behavioral Health, since retired, holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her work involved a full range of services supporting mental and emotional health. Emotional wellness inspires self-care, relaxation, stress reduction, and the development of inner strength. It provides a positive sense of well-being that enables us to be able to function in society, adapt to change, and meet the demands of everyday life – especially in difficult times. This program discusses interventions to better cope with stressors such as using breathing techniques.

Please click here to view the program.

NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE
Presenter: L. Jeanne Gee, RDN, CSO, CDE

Headshot of Jeanne GeeJeanne is a dietitian specializing in Oncology Nutrition Services at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Virginia Tech University and completed her dietetic internship program through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is a Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition, a credential held by less than 2% of dietitians in the country. Lifestyle choices can create an environment in our body that tips the scale either toward chronic disease or optimal health. Her presentation entitled, “What is the Environment of Your Body,” addresses lifestyle choices that contribute to an optimal nutritional state.

Please click here to view the program.

EATING RIGHT:  LET’S TALK NUTRITION & EASY RECIPES
Presenter:
Shauna Alvarez

Shauna Alvarex cutting vegetables in kitchenShauna is Executive Chef & Program Lead at America’s Grow-a-Row, an organization that grows, gleans and delivers fresh produce at no cost to the food insecure. Shauna earned a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University and a Baking and Pastry Certificate from The Culinary School at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She served as a Nutrition Educator before shifting her focus to public health. Shauna oversees the culinary and nutrition education programs and partnerships. In this program, she discusses nutrition guidelines including the Healthy Eating Plan developed by Harvard School of Public Health, reading food labels, and a cooking demonstration that provides easy-to-follow steps to creating balanced meals.

Please click here to view the program.

MANAGING CANCER-RELATED FATIGUE
Presenter: Ruth Kolody, PT, CLT

Headshot of Ruth KolodyRuth is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncology Physical Therapy at Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy and is a member of the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. She is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. Cancer-related fatigue is overwhelming tiredness or lack of energy and decreased focus related to cancer and/or treatment. This program explores the causes of cancer-related fatigue, the resources available, and the interventions to consider that can help to reduce fatigue and minimize debilitating fatigue.

Please click here to view the program.

MANAGEMENT OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN
Presenters: Varun Doddapaneni, MD and 
Gabrielle Winther, MSW, LCSW

Headshot of Dr. Varun Doddapaneni Head shot of Gabrielle Winther Dr. Doddapaneni is a Palliative Care specialist and Medical Director for Hunterdon Palliative Care and the Center for Healthy Aging at Hunterdon Medical Center. Gabrielle is a licensed clinical social worker at Hunterdon Palliative Care at Hunterdon Medical Center with experience in hospice and oncology.  Their presentation reviews the physical origins of pain as well as psychological pain and interventions that can be helpful in improving quality of life.

Please click here to view the program.

RESTING THE MIND & BODY WITH CHAIR YOGA & MEDITATION
Presenter: Carolyn Geiger, RYT

Headshot of Carolyn GeigerCarolyn is a registered yoga trainer, certified personal trainer, and certified group fitness instructor at the Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center in Clinton, NJ. Through her personal experience with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she understands the many benefits complementary therapies such as yoga, breathing, and meditation can have on the recovery process and achieving optimal health. Her approach to wellness includes weight training, indoor cycling, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest.  In this presentation, Carolyn focuses on easy-to-follow movements that can be done while sitting, as well as, breathing and meditation.

Please click here to view the program.

MEN’S HEALTH – PROSTATE
Presenter: Brian Sperling
, DO

Headshot of Dr. SperlingDr. Sperling is a board-certified urologist for Hunterdon Urological Associates and the Medical Director for Bridgewater Ambulatory Surgery Center.  Dr. Sperling focuses on all areas of urology care and specializes in men’s health and incontinence concerns. His presentation provides an overview of men’s anatomy and in particular, prostate health.

Please click here to view the program.




 

MEN’S HEALTH – COLORECTAL HEALTH
Presenter: Howard Garson, MD

Head shot of Dr. Howard GarsonDr. Garson is a gastroenterologist for Advanced Gastroenterology & Nutrition and specializes in gastroenterology and internal medicine. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, completed his residency at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and his Fellowship in Gastroenterology at Albany Medical College.

Please click here to view the program.






 

Spanish Language Programs

(Both English & Spanish narrative is listed)

WOMEN’S HEALTH: ¿Cuáles Son las Pruebas del Cuello Uterino Y Su Importancia?
Presenter: Jimena Rivas, MD

Head shot of Dr. Jimena RivasLa Dra. Rivas es una ginecóloga y obstetra certificada en la oficina médica de Advanced Obstetrics & Gynecology, LLC, con oficinas en Lebanon, Branchburg, y en Flemington, Nueva Jersey. Ella tiene un interés especial en obstetricia general y de altos riesgos,  manejo de menopausia, sangramiento uterino anormal, disfunción sexual y anticonceptivos. La Dra. Rivas es egresada de la Universidad de Caldas en Manizales, Colombia. Sus residencias médicas fueron realizadas en el Centro Medico de Rita Arango Álvarez del Pino en Colombia, en el Morristown Medical Center y Overlook Medical Center en Morristown, Nueva Jersey. Durante su residencia en el Morristown Medical Center fue nombrada Jefe Residente, gano un premio de excelencia en obstetricia, y recibió el  premio de Finn and Kim Wentworth por residente del año.

Dr. Rivas is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Advanced OB/GYN, LLC. She takes special interest in general obstetrics, high-risk obstetrics, menopause management, abnormal uterine bleeding, sexual dysfunction, and contraception. This presentation reviews cervical cancer symptoms and signs, risk factors, screenings, and diagnostic tools to identify and treat precancer, and prevention factors.

Please click here to view the program.

WOMEN’S HEALTH:  Aprenda a Cuidar de Sus Senos
Presenter: Cecilia Perez, DO

Headshot of Dr. Cecilia PerezLa Dra. Pérez recibió su grado médico en el Colegio de Medicina y Osteopatía- Georgia Campus de Filadelfia. La Dra. Pérez se encuentra en su último año de residencia médica en el Hunterdon Medical Center.  Ella disfruta de medicina de familia porque le da la oportunidad de cuidar y causar un impacto positivo en individuos de todas las generaciones. Ella aboga por la medicina preventiva y conservadora, tales como la medicina manipulativa osteopática y modificaciones de estilo de vida. Otros intereses en este campo incluye la ginecología, geriatría, comunidades en riesgos, y procedimientos.

Dr. Perez received her medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- Georgia Campus. She is in her last year of medical residency at Hunterdon Medical Center. She is an advocate for conservative and preventative medicine such as osteopathic manipulative medicine and lifestyle modifications. Other interests include gynecology, geriatrics, and working with medically underserved communities. Her presentation focuses on breast cancer signs, risk factors, evaluations and screenings, prevention methods, and healthy lifestyles.

Please click here to view the program.

MEN’S HEALTH – COLORECTAL HEALTH/GASTROENTEROLOGY:  ¿Cuáles son las Pruebas del  Colon y Recto y su Importancia?
Presenter: Gilbert Cardoso, DO

Head shot of Dr. Gilbert CardosoEl Dr. Cardoso recibió su grado médico en Michigan State University y completó su  Residencia en Medicina Interna y  su Mérito Doctoral en Gastroenterología en Genesys Regional Medical Center en Grand Blanc, Michigan. Él está certificado en Gastroenterología y Hepatología y es miembro del Colegio Americano en  Gastroenterología, la Asociación Americana Gastroenterológica, y la Sociedad Americana de Endoscopia Gastrointestinal. El. Dr. Cardoso ejerce su práctica en el Hunterdon Gastroenterology en Flemington.

Dr. Cardoso is board certified gastroenterologist for Hunterdon Gastroenterology Associates. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Gastroenterology Fellowship at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, MI. He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and Hepatology and is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. His presentation is focused on colorectal cancer symptoms and signs, screenings, and diagnostic testing, with an emphasis on a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Please click here to view the program.

MEN’S HEALTH:  ¿Qué es la Prueba de  la Próstata y su Importancia?
Presenter: Dario Lecusay, MD

Headshot of Dario Lecusay, MDEl Dr. Lecusay está certificado en práctica de medicina de familia y actualmente ejerce como médico en el Hunterdon Family Medicine at Delaware Valley.  El recibió su grado medico en State University of New York Health Science Center en Syracuse College of Medicine, Nueva York. El Dr. Lecusay es un miembro de la facultad del Programa de Residencia de Medicina del Hunterdon Family Medicine.

Dr. Lecusay is a board-certified family practice physician and currently practices at Hunterdon Family Medicine at Delaware Valley. He received his medical degree from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse College of Medicine. Dr. Lecusay is also a faculty member of the Hunterdon Family Medicine Residency program. This presentation addresses the importance of informed decisions in prostate cancer screenings, such as the DRE and PSA annual screenings in men above 50, cancer prevention factors, and healthy lifestyles.

Please click here to view the program.

Hunterdon Healthcare Offers Free Virtual Programs for June 2021 National Men’s Health Month to Encourage Men to Take Control of Their Health

To kick off National Men’s Health Month – June 2021, an annual awareness period dedicated to education on the health and wellness of men and boys, Hunterdon Healthcare is offering two free virtual programs called, “Experts Address Men’s Health.” The programs will include education on prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate and colorectal cancers.

• June 3rd presented in Spanish from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm featuring Gilbert Cardoso, DO, gastroenterologist with Hunterdon Gastroenterology, and Dario Lecusay, MD, specializing in family medicine and prostate health with Hunterdon Family Medicine at Delaware Valley.

• June 17th presented in English from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm featuring Brian Sperling, DO, specializing in urology and men’s health, and Howard Garson, MD, specializing in gastroenterology, digestive health, and cancer prevention.

“Recognizing June as Men’s Health Month brings attention to the importance of preventative care. These programs provide an opportunity to learn more about health issues impacting men and to get answers from experts in the field,” states Janet Acosta of the NJ Cancer Education & Early Detection Program.

Raising awareness of the need for men to live healthy lifestyles is critical to their well-being. Men can do their part to help reduce the gap in life spans between men and women by knowing their preventable risk, creating healthy habits, scheduling routine tests for early detection of diseases and sharing family history information with their providers.

According to the American Cancer Society cancers that most often affect men are prostate, colorectal, lung, and skin cancers. Knowing about these cancers and what to do to help prevent them or find them early may help save lives. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men (except for skin cancer); and colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the US. “Awareness and early intervention are both key in preventing chronic diseases, including many types of cancer impacting men,” said Bonnie Petrauskas of the Hunterdon-Mercer Chronic Disease Coalition.

June is the perfect time for men to take control of their health and start getting screened for medical conditions that can be prevented and/or caught early. By breaking through the reluctance to see a health provider, men can live healthier.

To register for the June 3rd program in Spanish, please call 908-237-5409 or register online by clicking here. (Use este enlace para registrarse. Para más información llame al 908-237-5409).

To register for the June 17th program in English, please call 908-237-2328 or register online by clicking here.

Health Resources

The following information can be used as a guide as common symptoms and treatments for many pelvic health disorders.

B
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Bladder Diary
Bladder Prolapse

C
Colorectal Cancer
Common GI Problems in Women

D
Diarrhea

E
Erectile Dysfunction

F
Fecal Incontinence

H
Hematuria
Hemorrhoids

I
Incontinence
Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome

N
Neurogenic Bladder

O
Overactive Bladder

P
Pelvic Floor Muscles
Pelvic Health
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic Pain
Pelvic Support
Premature Ejaculation
Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate Health

R
Rectal Problems in Women

S
Sexual Health
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Surgical Mesh

T
Testosterone

U
Urinary Incontinence
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Urodynamic Tests

V
Vulvar Pain
Vulvovaginal Health
Vulvodynia

Historic Timeline

1966:

  • Three new floors are added.

1967:

  • The intensive Care Unit opens.

1969:

  • The residency program expands to three years.

1970:

  • Phillips-Barber Family Health Center opens in Lambertville.

1971:

  • Community Mental Health Center opens.

1972:

  • Commencement of a teaching affiliation with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Rutgers Medical School.

1973:

  • Child Development Center opens.

1974:

  • Delaware Valley Family Health Center in Milford opens.

1978:

  • New hospital addition opens.

1981:

  • A new telemetry system offers continuous monitoring of cardiac patients, allowing those patients to move out of the ICU.

1982:

  • Same-day surgery and endoscopy lab opens.

1983:

  • Hunterdon Health Services Corporation becomes the new parent organization.

1984:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center auxiliary is formed to expand volunteer fundraising and develop community projects to promote health.

1985:

  • A $780,000 full-body CT scanner replaces a CT head scanner.
  • Ground is broken for the Hunterdon Doctor’s Office Building.
  • A new gamma camera and nuclear medicine computer processing system arrives.

1987:

  • First Mobile Intensive Care Unit hits the road.
  • A helipad is added outside the Emergency Department.

1988:

  • Hunterdon Doctor’s Office Building opens.
  • New mammography facilities provide state-of-the-art equipment in an attractive setting designed for comfort and privacy.

1989:

  • Delaware Valley Family Health Center moves to a new building.
  • $4 million Capital Campaign launches to raise funds for major building and renovation projects.

1990:

  • Robert P. Wise named President and CEO.
  • Nursing staff receives a grant to study and implement “shared governance”, a system aimed at promoting greater professional development, increased job satisfaction, and improved patient care.

1992:

  • The new maternity unit opens with spacious private rooms for women to labor, deliver, recover and receive postpartum care in a single, comfortable environment.
  • New MRI facility brings the latest imaging technology to Hunterdon County.
  • Bright Tomorrows Child Care Center opens.
  • Open House for new hospital wing draws a crowd of 4,000. Features of the new facility includes a new pediatric wing, the new maternity unit, updated patient rooms, and a new main entrance and lobby.
  • Hunterdon Health Services Corporation renamed Hunterdon Healthcare System.

1993:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center is affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center to form the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Program.

1995:

  • Mobile Intensive Care Unit expands into Warren County.

1996:

  • Sleep disorders program established.
  • Occupational health services debuts.

1997:

  • The Cardiac Catheterization lab opens.
  • Surgical robotics introduced in the operating room.
  • “Sustaining the Vision” Capital Campaign seeks to raise funds for major renovation and expansion projects, including the construction of the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.

1999:

  • The Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center opens in Whitehouse Station.
  • The Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center opens as the only hospital-based radiation therapy facility in Hunterdon, Somerset, or Warren counties.
  • The Hunterdon Center for Pain Management and an expanded Endoscopy Program moves into their new facilities on the second floor of the building that houses the Cancer Center.  This new Hunterdon Diagnostic and Treatment Center offers a full complement of next-generation equipment, as well as waiting areas and treatment rooms designed with patient comfort in mind.

2000:

  • Hunterdon County’s first Open Air MRI by Hunterdon Imaging Associates opens in January of 2000.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare is named one of the “100 Most Wired” hospitals in the country according to the results of a survey conducted by Hospital and Health Networks magazine, a national trade publication.
  • New technology is purchased to enhance our security system in the maternity newborn care center. Electronic sensors assure that newborns are kept safe within our 20-bassinet unit.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s surgical team demonstrates clinical excellence with a post-operative infection rate of .29% that represents the best practice among New Jersey’s 90 hospitals.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s emergency team ranks among the country’s leaders in delivering clot-busting medication to heart attack victims in record time.  The average amount of time it takes for a heart attack victim to receive clot-busting drugs from the moment they enter our emergency department is 17 minutes, compared to the national standard of 30 minutes.
  • Kings Court Imaging LLC opens in August of 2000 and is located in the Kings Court Medical Arts building in Flemington. Kings Court provides bone densitometry, mammography, ultrasound, and general radiology to residents of the southeastern portion of Hunterdon County.
  • Neighbor Care Program is launched in August. Through this program, VHSS can place specially-trained companions in the home to provide supervision, companionship, and reminders for meals or medications.  Companions also allow the caregiver to get a well-deserved break.

2001:

  • Neonatology services arrive at Hunterdon Medical Center, allowing care for babies born as early as 32 weeks.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center opens a third Mobile Intensive Care Unit, based in Lambertville, to provide enhanced emergency service to southern Hunterdon County and parts of Bucks County.
  • Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program opens, bringing a multi-disciplinary team approach to care, under one roof.
  • The Diabetes Health Center opens and is staffed by board-certified endocrinologists that work with primary care physicians and specialists to help patients maintain their blood sugar levels.  The program recently received accreditation for the 4th consecutive time by the American Diabetes Association.
  • The Open Air MRI by Hunterdon Imaging Associates earned accreditation from the American College of Radiology.  To earn accreditation, a facility must meet stringent criteria set by the ACR.

2002:

  • GE LightSpeed CT Scanner installed, allowing doctors to capture multiple images in a matter of seconds.
  • Hunterdon Medical Pavilion opens as the new home for the Center for Behavioral Health, the Diabetes Health Center, and Hunterdon Family Medicine.
  • Partners In Healing, a group of volunteer cancer survivors, win the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives the Quality Award from the Peer Review Organization of New Jersey.
  • Cardiac Catheterization lab receives designation as a full-service facility from the state of New Jersey.
  • Ground is broken for a renovation and expansion project to nearly triple the size of the Emergency Department and significantly re-design the ICU.
  • “Fulfilling the Vision” Capital Campaign is launched to raise funds for the Emergency and ICU project.

2003:

  • A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner is installed, a powerful tool used in the diagnosis and staging of cancer.
  • Nurses develop a computerized bedside charting system.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is offered at the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
  • The Hunterdon Healthcare System is expanded to include a number of satellite locations throughout Hunterdon and into neighboring counties.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center has 176 beds, and a medical staff of over 200 physicians representing dozens of specialties.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a community party on Saturday, June 28, 2003.
  • On Saturday, September 13, 2003, the hospital holds a symposium and reunion for the Family Practice Residency Program. The event features nationally known speakers, including Edmund Pellegrino, the director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center.

2004:

  • Newly renovated Emergency Department, equipped to handle 40,000 patient visits annually, opens. Features of the upgraded facility include a re-designed entry featuring an enlarged patient registration and evaluation area to help reduce waiting times and 22 additional private, walled treatment rooms to enhance privacy and convenience. This addition added 12,000 square feet to the Emergency Department and nearly 2,000 square feet to the Intensive Care Unit.
  • Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center celebrates its 5 year anniversary.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center expands cardiovascular services to include an interventional cardiologist making Hunterdon Medical Center the first community hospital in New Jersey to perform Carotid Stenting.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center incorporates an innovative medical model in the Hospitalists Program, in which 35 primary care physicians admit all their patients to the hospitalist service, decreasing the length of patient stays, as well as the cost per patient case.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System’s administration, board members, and medical staff come together to develop a five-year strategic plan, to provide the community with the most comprehensive health services available. The strategic plan is focused on clinical services, human resources, information services, quality, and patient safety as well as a facility master plan. The clinical service lines include surgical, cardiovascular, cancer, maternal/infant child care, primary care, ambulatory care, behavioral health, women’s health, and medical specialties. The strategy includes expanding cardiovascular services and advanced information systems such as electronic medical records.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System receives a Quality New Jersey Award for Performance Excellence.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center scores in the 94th percentile for heart failure treatment and in the 92nd percentile for pneumonia treatment.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals Award for performance improvement.
  • Delaware Valley Family Health Center celebrates its 30th Anniversary.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System is highlighted in national magazines such as Hospital and Health Networks for their achievements in the development of an Electronic Medical Record.

2005:

  • Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is recognized by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) for offering the “best cancer care.” Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center was also the only cancer center in New Jersey to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the ACOS. This honor was only presented to 39 hospitals nationally.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center introduces Emergency Angioplasty to its service area. Emergency Angioplasty is a life-saving procedure that saves heart attack patients precious time. The hospital will continue to enhance its Emergency Angioplasty program with a 1 million dollar upgrade to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, which will include state-of-the-art equipment that can treat cardiovascular diseases and peripheral vascular diseases as well.
  •  Community Nutrition Department creates an adolescent weight management program called Weigh to Go. This program teaches children and their parents to make behavioral changes such as keeping food records, improving dietary habits, and increasing physical activity.

2006:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center opens a four-story, 449 space parking deck and also two surface lots, which added another 200 spaces.
  • HCS Realty, a partnership between Midjersey Health Corporation and Flemington Surgical Realty, breaks ground for the new Wescott Medical Arts building. This new facility will house the Hunterdon Center for Surgery, the Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Management, Diabetes & Endocrine Associates of Hunterdon, Hunterdon Medical Center Wound Care Center, and various Hunterdon Medical Center affiliated physicians’ offices.
  • The Latino Healthcare Task Force Committee receives the Outstanding Service Award from the Community Services Council of Hunterdon County.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System invests $500,000 for a new CT Simulator that enables oncology specialists to pinpoint the location of a tumor.

2007:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s medical imaging department moves from film to CDs. The hospital provides digital imaging services through a Picture Archiving Communication System. This system allows for digital images to be sent to physicians wherever they are – the nursing units, their offices, or even their homes.
  • The Cardiology Department implements the MUSE cardiology information system that allows cardiologists to read EKG’s of their patients online. This program helps to improve workflow and communication in a digital environment.

2008:

  • Hunterdon Regional Autism Center is established.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives Magnet(R) Designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious award in nursing.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is designated a Primary Stroke Center by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services for residents of Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, and Mercer counties.
  • National accreditations are received for Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center, The Sleep Disorders Center, Hunterdon Wound Healing Center, Visiting Health and Supportive Services, and Hunterdon Regional Pharmacy.
  • Clinton Health Campus opens. The campus houses the Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center, Physical Therapy, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Hunterdon Pediatric Associates, Riverfield Family Health Center, Hunterdon Cardiovascular Health, a laboratory draw station, and the Sleep Disorders Center.
  • Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program performs digital mammography using the GE Senographe Pristina Digital Mammography. The program also moved to the King’s Court Medical Arts Building.
  • The Latino Outreach Program is recognized at the 89th Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association for Hunterdon Healthcare’s Latino Initiative.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives national recognition for the Antibiotic Stewardship Program identified by the American Hospital Association as Best Practice.

2009:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center renovates and expands the special care nursery and the well-baby nursery. The special care nursery increases from four beds to six beds and provides expert care for babies who are born eight weeks premature or with a medical problem.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is one of 12 hospitals in New Jersey participating in the Physician Hospital Collaboration Demonstration, a Medicare project that will evaluate gainsharing as an innovative method that aims to reduce healthcare costs while improving quality care.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System begins construction on a new radiation oncology wing, which will feature a state-of-the-art radiation therapy machine – the Varian Trilogy™Linear Accelerator.
  • Hunterdon Regional Community Health moves from the Bartles Corner Road location to the 20,000 square foot former Education Services Commission building off of Sand Hill Road.
  • Patients at Hunterdon Medical Center now enjoy room service. Patients can pick up a phone in their hospital room and order from a menu called “A la carte from the Heart.”
  • Hopewell Family Practice in Pennington opens.
  • Charlestown Family Health Center in Hampton and Washington merges with Riverfield Family Health Center in Clinton.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare introduces a new service called Dermedics to provide laser treatments for acne, skin rejuvenation, sun-damaged skin, brown spots, facial veins, and rosacea.
  • Clinton Health Campus celebrates its one-year anniversary.

2010:

  • Hunterdon Wound Healing Center is awarded the new Center Outcomes Award by National Healing Corporation. The Center is credited with healing 91% of chronic wounds, especially those over 30 days in duration.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare makes significant investments in the treatment of brain and spine disorders. The BrainLAB BrainSuite® can digitally integrate an MRI and pinpoint a tumor for removal.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare opens Hunterdon Center for Dermatology.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation announces the public phase of the “Investing in a New Generation of Care” capital campaign. The campaign focuses on raising $15 million for three key programmatic enhancements: Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center’s Radiation Oncology Wing, renovation and expansion of Hunterdon Medical Center’s Surgical Suite, and the centralization of Acute Care Cardiovascular Services.
  • Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center opens the Radiation Oncology Wing which features the Varian Trilogy™ Linear Accelerator.
  • The lobby of the hospital is renovated and the visitor information desk moves to the back lobby so volunteer greeters can provide better directional assistance to patients as they navigate their way through the hospital.
  • The Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
  • Hunterdon County Medication Access program receives the 2010 Health Research and Educational Trust Community Outreach Award for Improving Access and Quality Care. The program helps patients access affordable prescription medications and health education.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 2010 Recycling Award. In 2010, Hunterdon Medical Center recycled 298.71 tons, which equates to 3,356,93 lb per patient bed.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s “door to balloon” time is under 60 minutes. The national average is 90 minutes.

2011:

  • Construction of new operating rooms begins.
  • Center for Advanced Weight Loss opens at the Clinton Health Campus. The Center offers patients surgical options for weight loss including bariatric surgery.
  • Center for Bone & Joint Health established.
  • Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) for offering the “best cancer care.”
  • Hunterdon Healthcare operates Hunterdon Pulmonary and Critical Care.
  • Physical Therapy at the pavilion moves to a new location on Route 31 and is now Hunterdon Sports and Physical Therapy.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation launches “Meet the Challenge – Match the Million” campaign set by an anonymous donor to raise $2 million by December 31, 2011, in order to receive an additional $1 million.
  • Specialty Suite in Raritan, NJ opens. Patients can see an endocrinologist, gastroenterologist or registered dietitian at this location which is in Somerset County.
  • Accredited by the Joint Commission.

2012:

  • Hunterdon Healthcare and Aetna announce a new accountable care agreement. Establishing this Accountable Care Organization or ACO will help to deliver a better patient experience, and improve the quality of patient care while reducing the overall cost of care.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare is honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by the Leapfrog Group, which made public the data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. This “A” rating represents a commitment to quality healthcare outcomes that meet national standards.
  • For the 11th year, Hunterdon Healthcare is named one of the “100 Most Wired” hospitals in the country according to the results of a survey conducted by Hospital and Health Networks magazine.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is ranked in the top 5% in New Jersey as listed by the U.S. News & World Report’s 23rd Annual Best Hospitals Issue.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is ranked among the top five hospitals in New Jersey for patient safety in Consumer Reports magazine.
  • Cornerstone Family Practice and Hunterdon Family Medicine merge to become Cornerstone Family Practice. In addition, the practice moves to a larger suite in the Wescott Medical Arts Center.
  • Hunterdon Women’s Imaging Center moves from Kings Court to what was formerly named the 31 North Imaging Center.
  • Hunterdon Behavioral Health celebrates 40 years of service to the community.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation receives a $1 million gift to build an integrative medicine center.
  • The Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation surpasses the $15 million goal for the “Investing in a New Generation of Care” capital campaign.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare announces it will build a Cardiovascular Center. This expansion will centralize all acute care cardiovascular services.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare and Atlantic Health System announce the signing of a Letter of Intent to form a jointly-owned health care alliance, which will provide patients in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer, and Warren counties greater care coordination and expanded services.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is named one of the 100 Great Community Hospitals in the nation by Becker’s Hospital Review.
  • Lean Six Sigma is in full effect at Hunterdon Medical Center. Sixteen employees have completed green belt training.
  • According to Press Ganey, the Emergency Department reached the 94th percentile nationally and the 95th percentile in New Jersey for patient satisfaction.
  • A Magnet document of over 2,000 pages was submitted and accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which resulted in a site visit in March 2013.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare receives the 2012 Acknowledgement of Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency Award with Honors. The acknowledgment comes as part of an overall Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency Awards Program, which identifies outstanding hospital websites promoting transparency of safety and quality measures in a manner that is useful and user-friendly for consumers. Only seven hospitals received the 2012 Acknowledgement of Excellence in Hospital Website Transparency, with just two of those hospitals also receiving a Distinction with Honors for their outstanding work in hospital website transparency.

2013:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center marks its 60th anniversary with a celebration for the community. More than 3,000 residents come to celebrate and take part in interactive exhibits, games, exercise classes, and more.
  • The Electronic Unified Chart is established in primary care and specialty offices to promote better care by allowing physicians to view one common medical record. The benefits include better healthcare by improving all aspects of patient care including safety, effectiveness, communication, education, timeliness, and efficiency.
  • U.S. News & World Report releases its 24th Annual Best Hospitals rankings and Hunterdon Medical Center made the list at Number 15 in New Jersey and Number 36 in the New York metro area. In addition, the hospital was ranked high-performing in gastroenterology and GI surgery, neurosurgery, pulmonology and geriatrics.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center makes the prestigious 100 Great Community Hospitals list, which is published in Becker’s Hospital Review.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare Partners launches a collaborative accountable care initiative to improve patient access to health care, enhance care coordination and achieve the “triple aim” of improved health, affordability, and patient experience. Over the past year, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has successfully collaborated with Hunterdon Healthcare to improve quality outcomes and reduce unnecessary emergency room visits.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare is re-designated as Magnet(R) status. This prestigious award recognizes hospitals for excellence in nursing care. Only a select group of hospitals in the country achieve this honor. In fact, only about 6% of all health care organizations in the United States have achieved Magnet status.
  • For the fifth year, Hunterdon is ranked the healthiest county in New Jersey based on a study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
  • Hunterdon Health & Wellness Center in Whitehouse Station celebrates its 15th anniversary. More than 4,500 members have reaped the benefits of this medical fitness facility.
  • For the 12th year, Hunterdon Healthcare is named one of the “100 Most Wired” hospitals in the country according to the results of a survey conducted by Hospital and Health Networks magazine.
  • Construction begins on the 40,000 square foot Cardiovascular Center. The new center is constructed above the hospital’s existing 3 West wing. The expansion includes: two new cardiac catheterization labs providing emergency coronary intervention, carotid, and peripheral angioplasty, cardiac critical care unit, expanded space for cardiac imaging and intervention, 20 private patient rooms and the creation of specialty clinics in congestive heart failure and stroke.
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center moves to the 5th floor. The 4,751 square foot center is equipped with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a walking track that expands treatment options for Peripheral Arterial Disease rehabilitation, a conference room with a Smart TV to allow for interactive health education classes, large spacious locker rooms, and a family waiting area. The new space has allowed the department to increase the number of patients seen from 50 to about 70 per day.
  • The Outpatient Laboratory moves to the ground floor of the Doctor’s Office Building and the Child Development Center moves out of the hospital and into a newly renovated office in the Hunterdon Medical Pavilion.

2014:

  • County Line Family Practice and Hunterdon Urological Associates join Hunterdon Healthcare’s network of family practices and specialty offices.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center introduces Robotic Surgery.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives exclusive rights in February 2014 to provide HET system, a non-surgical technology to treat internal hemorrhoids in a single procedure.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare launches an Integrative Medicine Program with two locations, Flemington and Lambertville.  In 2014, 1,031 individuals received services or attended a class through the program.
  • As part of the alliance between Atlantic Health System and Hunterdon Healthcare, a new satellite office of Goryeb Children’s Hospital opens in Flemington.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is among the Most Wired Hospitals in the country for the 13th year according to the results of a survey by Hospitals and Health Networks.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is re-accredited by The Joint Commission and Palliative Care program and earns The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.
  • U.S. News & World Report releases its 25th Annual Best Hospitals rankings and Hunterdon Medical Center made the list at #4 in Central Jersey, #11th in New Jersey and #28th in the New York metro area.  In addition, the hospital is ranked high-performing in gastroenterology and GI surgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, nephrology, and geriatrics.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is listed #8 in the top hospital’s issue for Inside New Jersey magazine for hospitals with under 350 beds.  The hospital is listed as a top hospital for the treatment of prostate cancer, breast cancer, congestive heart failure, neurological disorders, and hip and knee replacement.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is named a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Breast Centers.
  • The Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation opens Yesterday’s Treasures, a boutique thrift shop.
  • The Child Development Center relocates to the Hunterdon Medical Pavilion.

2015:

  • Hunterdon Healthcare welcomes Hunterdon Internal Medicine Associates to our primary care and specialty practice network.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center opens an electric car charging station for the community through a collaborative grant with Raritan Township.
  • Hunterdon County is listed as the healthiest county in New Jersey.
  • The Atrium Cafe opens at the Clinton Health Campus.
  • The Center for Endocrine Health and Advanced Gastroenterology & Nutrition opens an office in the Clinton Health campus.
  • The Speech and Hearing Center moves to 121 Route 31, Suite 300 in Flemington.
  • The Norman and Denise Guilloud Cardiovascular Center opens.
  • The Hunterdon Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program begins offering Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease™ (Ornish Reversal Program), available exclusively from Healthways. The program addresses the root causes of heart disease rather than just its symptoms and offers participants what can be a more appealing option than surgery: lifestyle as treatment.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is named a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Breast Centers, Best Hospital for Cancer Care, and Best Hospital for Obstetrics.
  • On Thursday, May 28th, Hunterdon Medical Center’s Mobile Intensive Care Unit becomes the first in the nation to add a P2Y12 inhibitor (a classification of medications for anti-platelet inhibitors), an anti-platelet drug to their medication boxes on all their mobile units.  For patients who are experiencing an ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of cardiovascular event worldwide, the addition of these agents allows treatment at the point of contact and drug effect early in the course of the heart attack.

2016:

  • Re-certified with the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal Approval® for Hunterdon Healthcare’s Palliative Care program demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care.
  • Inside Jersey releases their top hospital’s issue and ranks Hunterdon Medical Center among the best hospitals in New Jersey under 350 beds as well as a top hospital for the treatment of breast cancer, congestive heart failure, hip and knee replacement, neurological disorders, pain management, and stroke.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare achieves the Women’s Choice Award for Best Breast Center, Best Hospital for Obstetrics, Cancer Care and Patient Safety.
  • The family practices operated by Hunterdon Healthcare change their name to Hunterdon Family Medicine. All practices have been awarded Level III Patient-Centered Medical Home designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the highest designation a family practice can achieve.
  • The Bridgewater Medical Office Building in Somerset County opens. The new location is home to Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, Hunterdon Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Endocrine Health, Hunterdon Urological Associates, Hunterdon Breast Surgery Center, and Physical and Occupational Therapy.  Advanced Gastroenterology and Nutrition will begin seeing patients in this location in the summer of 2017.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare opens two Urgent Care Centers in Flemington, Hunterdon County, and Raritan, Somerset County.
  • Hawk Pointe Medical Office building opens in October 2016. The offices of Hunterdon Family Medicine at Riverfield, Physical and Occupational Therapy, and Hunterdon Behavioral Health moves into the 25,000 square foot new location.
  • The Norman and Denise Guilloud Cardiovascular Center opens the Cardiac Critical Care Unit.
  • Hunterdon Family Medicine at County Line changes its name to Hunterdon Family Medicine at Bridgewater. The office also moves 3.2 miles from Branchburg to Bridgewater.
  • Fitch’s rating is upgraded to an A+ based on Hunterdon Medical Center’s improved profitability, dominant market share, low debt burden, and solid liquidity.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare is honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by the Leapfrog Group in Spring 2016, which made public the data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. This “A” rating represents a commitment to quality healthcare outcomes that meet national standards.

2017:

  • Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is reaccredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and receives the Outstanding Achievement Award. The Cancer Center is one of a select group of sixteen accredited cancer programs to receive this national honor.
  • The Hunterdon Wound Healing Center receives the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center of Excellence award and the Center of Distinction Award. This award recognizes a Center that meets the highest quality standards for achieving patient satisfaction rates over 92% and a healing rate of greater than or equal to 91%.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is reaccredited by The Joint Commission. Home Health and Hunterdon Hospice also had their Joint Commission Surveys and received glowing reports. Visiting Health and Supportive Services receives full accreditation with distinction for the 8th year in a row from the Commission on Accreditation for Home Care.
  • As hospitals around the world look for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multi-drug resistant organisms that can cause Hospital Acquired Infections, Hunterdon Medical Center takes a leap into the future with the installation of a Germ-Zapping Robot that destroys hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.
  • Hunterdon Regional Pharmacy’s Meds to Beds program created to offer patients the convenience of getting their medications delivered to their bedside upon discharge from the hospital. Last year, 356 patients were served with this new program.
  • As part of their Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is now penalizing hospitals by withholding Medicare reimbursements to those that have a higher readmission rate than determined in 2017. Hunterdon Medical Center is the only hospital of 84 in New Jersey to not receive a penalty for two consecutive years.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare strives to eliminate any barriers that might be hindering patients from receiving effective communication and quality of care. To assist hard-of-hearing patients, hearing loops are installed in the Auditorium, Meeting Rooms A & B, and at all outpatient registration desks, including the Hunterdon Medical Group practices.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare ranks among US News and World Report’s “Best Regional Hospitals” in the New Jersey and New York metro area. In addition, the organization received its seal of approval as a high-performing hospital for the treatment of COPD, Colon Cancer Surgery, and Heart Failure.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is bestowed the Women’s Choice Award for Best Hospital for Orthopedics, Breast Center, and for Heart Care.
  • Hunterdon Family Practice and Obstetrics, located in Raritan Township with an office in the Doctor’s Office Building, Hunterdon Family Medicine at Hickory Run in Califon, Hunterdon Medical Associates at Whitehouse Station, and Hunterdon Plastic Surgery become part of Hunterdon Medical Group.
  • Hunterdon Pediatric Associates opens a new office in Hillsborough. In 2017, Hunterdon Pediatric Associates saw 52,655 patients, managed 18,430 well visits, took care of 34,226 sick visits, and administered 29,590 vaccines.
  • The Hunterdon Urgent Care Centers located in Flemington and Raritan continue to grow with Flemington seeing 10,995 patients and Raritan seeing 5,740 patients.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s Laboratory introduces House Call visits. Now patients can have their blood work done in the comfort of their own homes. In 2017, the lab staff made 575 house calls. The Lab also opens an outpatient facility in the Bridgewater Medical Office Building.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare earns a well-above-average “B” Hospital Safety Score® by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization that promotes safety, quality, and affordability in health care.

2018:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center is bestowed the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Breast Centers and America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded the Platinum Award for “Outstanding Achievement” in creating programs that provide and promote commuting options for employees.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare kicks off the journey to become a High-Reliability Organization.
  • Redesignated by Magnet.
  • In March, Hunterdon Healthcare is one of six organizations nationwide to be awarded the Workplace Transformation Award, which recognizes hospitals and health systems nationwide that have made transformational changes in their employee engagement.
  • In April 2018, Inside Jersey Magazine recognizes Hunterdon Medical Center as a “Top Hospital” in the specialties of breast cancer, heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, high-risk pregnancy and birth, hip and knee replacement, neurological disorders, pain management, prostate cancer, stroke, and overall hospital performance.
  • United Way of Hunterdon County honors Hunterdon Healthcare with the Spirit of Caring Award.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare is selected as a 2018 Healthcare Heroes Winner: Workplace Wellness Hero.
  • US News & World Report ranks Hunterdon Medical Center in the six-way tie for 10th place. The hospital is noted for its expertise in geriatric and nephrology (kidney) care and for the treatment of heart failure.  The magazine also analyzed data by region with Hunterdon Medical Center being tied for 20th in the metro area of New York and Philadelphia and regionally #10 in New Jersey.
  • Opens Bridgewater Ambulatory Surgery Center and Hunterdon Advanced Imaging in the Bridgewater Medical Office Building.
  • Hunterdon Podiatric Medicine becomes a new specialty practice of Hunterdon Medical Group.
  • Hunterdon Center for Dermatology introduces Mohs Surgery to their services.
  • After 27 years of leadership, President and CEO, Robert P. Wise retires from Hunterdon Healthcare System in June 2018.
  • In November 2018, Patrick J. Gavin is named the new President and CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare System.
  • Hunterdon Happenings winners in our healthcare family: Hunterdon Healthcare for “Best Hospital”, Hunterdon Center for Dermatology for “Best Dermatologist”, Hunterdon Family & Sports Medicine at Hopewell Valley for “Best Sports Medicine”, Ms. Kathleen Seelig, Corporate Director of Public Relations for “Best Services for Public Relations” and Dr. Yaser Elnahar, Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates for “Best Cardiologist”.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare earns a well-above-average “B” Hospital Safety Score® by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization that promotes safety, quality, and affordability in health care.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded Platinum Recognition for activities to increase enrollment in their state registry as organ, eye, and tissue donors via the “National Hospital Organ Donation Campaign” – From the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services and Health Resource & Service Administration.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded The Collaboration Award by “Go Hunterdon” due to the positive impact our collaboration has had with Lyft.

2019:

  • Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation raises nearly $380,000 at its 39th Annual Crystal Ball Gala “Paint the Town Blue” on November 16th.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare System and Atlantic Health System announce a joint partnership in Somerset County to further expand healthcare services.  The New Jersey-based health systems will share ownership of Bridgewater Physical and Occupational Therapy, Advanced Imaging at Bridgewater and Bridgewater Ambulatory Surgery Center all located at 1121 Route 22 West in Bridgewater, formerly the Bank of America building. The primary goal of the partnership is to increase access to the highest quality of healthcare services in the region.
  • The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), grants Three-Year Accreditation to Hunterdon Healthcare’s Breast Care Program in Flemington, New Jersey.   To achieve voluntary NAPBC accreditation, a breast center demonstrates compliance with the NAPBC standards that look at a center’s leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement.  Breast centers seeking NAPBC accreditation undergo a site visit every three years.
  • The Hunterdon Happenings winners from 2019 that are part of our healthcare family are: Hunterdon Healthcare for “Best Hospital”, Hunterdon Pediatric Associates for “Best in Pediatrics”, Hunterdon Family Medicine at Riverfield for “Best in Family Medicine”, Ms. Cathleen M. Siessel, BSN, RN-BC, Director, Briteside Adult Day Center for “Best Power Person”, Ms. Kathleen Seelig, Corporate Director of Public Relations for “Best Services for Public Relations”, Dr. Yaser Elnahar, Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates for “Best Cardiologist”.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospital in the categories of Breast Centers, Cancer Care, and Heart Care. 
  • The New Jersey Department of Health, Vaccine & Preventable Disease Program places Hunterdon Medical Center on their NJ Influenza Honor Roll for demonstrating dedication and commitment to promoting influenza prevention and to protecting and improving the health of the community during the 2018-2019 flu season.
  • For the second year in a row, Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded Platinum Recognition for activities to increase enrollment in their state registry as organ, eye, and tissue donors via the “National Hospital Organ Donation Campaign” – From the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services and Health Resource & Service Administration.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives the 2019 American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll Award.
  • Nine Hunterdon Healthcare physicians are named 2020 Top Doctor for their commitment to excellence in their field by NJ Top Docs, a division of USA Top Docs. They are Dr. Vivek Bansal, Dr. Javier I. Torréns, Dr. Rebecca J. Lifchus-Ascher, Dr. Kathryn Hamilton, Dr. Victoria Cox, and Dr. James J. Vandenburg.
  • Thirty-eight Hunterdon Healthcare physicians, voted by their peers and chief medical officers from hospitals across the state, are acknowledged by Jersey’s Best magazine as leaders in their specialty.
  • Geralyn Prosswimmer, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Hunterdon HealthCare Partners, is named the 2019 Healthcare Professional of the Year by the New Jersey Hospital Association.
  • Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates is recognized as 2019 Champions for Hypertension in Control, the ONLY Specialty Practice in the United States to be recognized out of this year’s 17 champions.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded the 2019 Silver Award in the New Jersey Antimicrobial Stewardship Recognition Program through the New Jersey Department of Health.
  • Rated in the top 1% inpatient experience for maternity care in NJ by Press Ganey.

2020:

  • Hunterdon Medical Center upgrades to the latest state-of-the-art, Hill-Rom Centrella® Smart+ Beds, throughout the hospital.  The Centrella bed offers optimized patient safety, superior comfort, enhanced patient satisfaction, and advanced caregiver-focused technology.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is awarded the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospital in the categories of Breast Centers.
  • Your Doctors Care becomes a newly operated family practice of Hunterdon Medical Group. The practice name has changed to Hunterdon Family Medicine at Your Doctors Care, located at 71 Route 206 in Hillsborough.
  • In April 2020, and again in December 2020, Hunterdon Medical Center is honored with an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. In the five overall categories, Hunterdon Medical Center achieved Best Hospital Scores in four areas including Problems after Surgery, Practices to Prevent Errors, Safety Problems, and Doctors, Nurses & Hospital Staff.
  • The Healthcare Transformation Consortium (HTC) is named a Health Value Award winner by Validation Institute for their 2020 awards program in its non-peer-reviewed category for Healthcare Purchasing Collaborative. Winners are recognized healthcare leaders and innovative vendors across the country. The HTC is a collaborative of health care organizations that includes Atlantic Health System, CentraState Healthcare System, Holy Name Medical Center, Hunterdon Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, and Virtua Health.
  • NJ Monthly Magazine Top Docs has recognized 23 Hunterdon Healthcare physicians as being top leaders in their specialty.
  • The Hunterdon Happening List of winners from 2020 that are part of our healthcare family are Hunterdon Healthcare for “Best Hospital”, Hunterdon Pediatric Associates for “Best in Pediatrics”, Dr. Andrey Espinoza, Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute for “Best Cardiologist”, Hunterdon Sports & Physical Therapy for “Best Sports Medicine”, and Ms. Kathleen Seelig, Corporate Director of Public Relations for “Best Services for Public Relations”.
  • Thirty-eight Hunterdon Healthcare physicians, voted by their peers and chief medical officers from hospitals across the state, are acknowledged by Jersey’s Best magazine as leaders in their specialty.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare earns the “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). The designation was awarded in the 13th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), released on August 31st. A record 765 health care facilities actively participated in the HEI 2020 survey. Of those included in the HEI, 193 earned an “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer” designation.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center receives the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
  • Effective November 1, 2020, Flemington Medical Group becomes a part of the Hunterdon Medical Group, the medical practices that are owned and operated by Hunterdon Healthcare System.  The name of the office changes to Hunterdon Medical Associates at Flemington, 200 Route 31, Suite 105, Flemington, NJ.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare Auxiliary hosts their first Virtual Lights of Love Tree Lighting Ceremony and gathers family and friends to honor and memorialize loved ones. The event takes place on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, and is watched by over 600 people as it streams on Facebook and raises over $24,000.
  • Six pediatricians from Hunterdon Pediatric Associates are chosen by parents as NJ Favorite Kids’ DocsNew Jersey Family Magazine. They are Rachel Brauner, DO; Ricky Braff, MD; Mitchell Clarin, MD; John Douvris, MD; Kevin B. Roche, MD; and Peter Scott, MD.
  • On Thursday, December 17th at 10:30 a.m., Hunterdon Healthcare receives the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer to begin vaccinating employees.

2021:

  • The practice named for the office of Christopher P. Muenzen, MD in Long Valley becomes an owned and operated practice of Hunterdon Medical Group. Hunterdon Medical Associates at Long Valley is located at 59 East Mill Road, Suite 201, Long Valley, New Jersey.
  • After almost 10 years of waiting for approval, the Senate Health Committee passes the bill that would allow Hunterdon Medical Center to perform elective angioplasty. This bill was officially signed by Governor Murphy in February 2021. As of May 23rd, patients at Hunterdon Medical Center will be able to have elective angioplasty procedures here close to home and loves ones, and not have to drive great distances. We are projecting to perform over 200 procedures a year.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center earns The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Primary Stroke Center Certification. Hunterdon Medical Center underwent a rigorous, virtual two-day review of their stroke program on December 17th and 18th, 2020.
  • In April 2021, Hunterdon Medical Center is honored with an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. This is the third consecutive “A” rating. In the five overall categories, Hunterdon Medical Center achieved Best Hospital Scores in four areas including Problems after Surgery, Practices to Prevent Errors, Safety Problems, and Doctors, Nurses & Hospital Staff.
  • The Hunterdon Happening List winners from 2021 that are part of our healthcare family are Hunterdon Healthcare for “Best Hospital” and “Best Place to Work”, Hunterdon Pediatric Associates for “Best in Pediatrics”, Dr. Yaser Elnahar, MD, Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates for “Best Cardiologist”, Hunterdon Family Medicine at Riverfield for “Best Family Medicine”, Hunterdon Family & Sports Medicine at Hopewell Valley for “Best Sports Medicine”, Ms. Kathleen Seelig, Corporate Director of Public Relations and Jason VanDiver, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for “Best Services for Public Relations” and Kim Blanda, Hunterdon Regional Community Health Clinical Liaison for “Best Power Person”.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare earns 2021 Great Place to Work Certification. Certified™ by Great Place to Work® this significant recognition is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working for Hunterdon Healthcare. This year, 74% of employees said it’s a great place to work – 15 points higher than the average U.S. company. Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue, employee retention, and increased innovation.
  • US News & World Report reports that Hunterdon Medical Center was cited for “high performance” in two specialty areas, Geriatrics and Urology, and in five procedures/conditions, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Pneumonia, and Stroke. An overall rating of “high performance” indicates a hospital was significantly better than the national average in a given area of specialty, procedure, or condition. Only 10 to 20 percent of all hospitals evaluated fall into the high-performing tier.

 

Awards & Recognitions

Hunterdon Medical Center has received accreditation and national recognition that verifies our position as a leading provider of quality healthcare.

The administration and staff of Hunterdon Medical Center are extremely proud of the many awards the community hospital has earned. Each one is the recognition that Hunterdon Medical Center ranks within the top 10% of national and New Jersey hospitals in many performance indicators for quality healthcare.

Hunterdon Medical Center has achieved:

Hunterdon Medical Center Earns an “A” Safety Grade Five Times in a Row from Leapfrog Group

Leapfrog Logo 5 A's 2020 to 2022On April 30, 2020, December 14, 2020, April 30, 2021, November 10, 2021, and once again on May 10, 2022, Hunterdon Medical Center was honored with an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. Most recently, in the five overall categories, Hunterdon Medical Center achieved Best Hospital Scores in five areas including Infections, Problems After Surgery, Practices to Prevent Errors, Safety Problems, and Doctors, Nurses & Hospital Staff.

Commission on Cancer

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) awarded Hunterdon Medical Center’s, Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center the CoC’s 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA).  Attaining the OAA demonstrates that our cancer program has met the requirements for all seven commendation-eligible CoC standards following our 2017 accreditation survey.  (A CoC survey is performed every three years.) Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is one of a select group of 16 U.S. accredited cancer programs to receive this national honor and the only Cancer Center in New Jersey to be awarded.  There are more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States, and Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center is part of this elite group!

Primary Stroke Center Certification

Joint Commission Stroke Award BadgeIn 2021, Hunterdon Medical Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check Mark for Primary Stroke Center Certification. Hunterdon Medical Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® because the hospital meets and exceeds better outcomes for patients who come in experiencing a stroke.  Achievement of this certification signifies that Hunterdon Medical Center provides the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes.

U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report recently released their 2021-2022 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings. Hunterdon Medical Center was cited for “high performance” in two specialty areas, Geriatrics and Urology, and in five procedures/conditions, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, Pneumonia, and Stroke. An overall rating of “high performance” indicates a hospital was significantly better than the national average in a given area of specialty, procedure, or condition. Only 10 to 20 percent of all hospitals evaluated fall into the high-performing tier.

Hunterdon Healthcare Receives Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™

Hunterdon Healthcare was a 2022 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ recipient. Hunterdon Healthcare was one of only 12 hospitals in New Jersey (448 hospitals nationwide) to receive this honor that was given to hospitals excelling in top-quality care for patients.

The Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ recognizes hospitals that have the lowest occurrences of 14 patient safety indicators, including injuries, infections, and other serious conditions. The awarded hospitals are in the top 10 percent in the nation for patient safety.

Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work logo Hunterdon Healthcare is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place to Work®. This significant recognition is based entirely on what current employees say about their experience working for Hunterdon Healthcare. This year, 74% of employees said it’s a great place to work – 15 points higher than the average U.S. company.

Women’s Choice Award

6 Women's Choice Award LogosIn 2022, Hunterdon Medical Center was awarded six Women’s Choice Awards for America’s Best Hospitals in the categories of Cancer Care, Comprehensive Breast Centers, Heart Care, Mammogram Center, Patient Safety, and Women’s Services. The ‘America’s Best’ hospitals demonstrate exceptional ratings, providing the highest level of care and commitment to their patients’ health and well-being. This Award is the only designation that takes into consideration the preferences of women when selecting a hospital.

 

 

 

 

National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation to Hunterdon Healthcare’s Breast Care Program in Flemington, New Jersey. To achieve voluntary NAPBC accreditation, a breast center demonstrates compliance with the NAPBC standards that look at a center’s leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. Breast centers seeking NAPBC accreditation undergo a site visit every three years. As an NAPBC-accredited center, Hunterdon Healthcare is committed to maintaining levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered, multidisciplinary care resulting in high-quality care for patients with breast disease. Patients receiving care at an NAPBC-accredited center have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivor’s quality of life.

LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader LogoHunterdon Healthcare earns “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” Designation

Hunterdon Healthcare has received the “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC). In its 15th year, the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the national LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool that evaluates healthcare facilities’ policies and practices related to the equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. The HEI 2022 evaluates more than 2,200 healthcare facilities nationwide. A record 906 healthcare facilities actively participated in the HEI 2022 survey. In the HEI 2022, 496 healthcare facilities achieved the coveted top score of 100 and earned the coveted “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation. Hunterdon Healthcare has an LGBTQIA Nurse Navigator to provide services for the community and has always been dedicated to supporting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

New Jersey Top Doctors

Jersey Choice Top DocHunterdon Medical Center attracts some of the best doctors with training at the nation’s finest institutions and healthcare organizations. New Jersey Monthly, Jersey’s Best, and NJ Family magazines have recognized our “top docs” in many specialties year after year.

 

 

 

Magnet™ Recognition Program

For the past three review cycles (2008, 2013, and 2018), Hunterdon Medical Center has achieved Magnet™ designation for excellence in nursing by the American Nurses Credential Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. ANCC is the largest and most prestigious nursing credentialing organization in the United States.  Magnet™ designation is the highest honor given to hospital nursing. Only eight percent of the nation’s hospitals have earned this prestigious award.

The Magnet™ Recognition Program was developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to recognize health care organizations that provide nursing excellence and adherence to national standards for the organization and delivery of nursing services. Applicants undergo a rigorous evaluation that includes extensive interviews and a review of nursing services.

NICHE Designation

NICHE Badge 2022Hunterdon Medical Center is one of only 519 hospitals in North America to be designated a NICHE hospital. We are proud to carry the NICHE designation as a sign of our commitment to holistic care for our older adults.

NICHE stands for Nurses Improving Care to Healthsystem Elders and is the only national designation indicating a hospital’s commitment to elder care excellence. The program puts evidence-based principles and tools into the hands of nurses at the bedside.

Hunterdon Happening List

Hunterdon Happenings 2022 Winner BadgeThe Hunterdon Happening List of winners and finalists from 2022 that are part of our healthcare family are:
Hunterdon Healthcare winner for “Best Hospital” and finalist for “Best Place to Work”.
Dr. Jody L. Kroon winner for “Best in Pediatrics”, and Hunterdon Pediatric Associates and Dr. Mitchell Clarin, finalists for “Best in Pediatrics”.
Dr. Yaser Elnahar, MD, Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates finalist for “Best Cardiologist”.
Hunterdon Family & Sports Medicine at Hopewell Valley winner for “Best Sports Medicine” and Hunterdon Sports & Physical Therapy finalists for “Best Sports Medicine”.
Hunterdon Center for Dermatology finalist for “Best in Dermatology”.
Dr. Mitra Abessi, Hunterdon Medical Associates at Whitehouse Station finalist for “Best Family Medicine”.
Michelle Wright, RDN, Center for Nutrition & Diabetes Management finalist for “Best Registered Dietician” and Center for Nutrition & Diabetes Management finalist for “Best Nutrition Services”. Congratulations to our Team!

Accreditation by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (TJC)

The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations sets the standards by which health care quality is measured in America and around the world. It is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies over 17,000 health care organizations and programs. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations must have an extensive on-site review by a team of TJC health care professionals, at least once every three years.

Hunterdon Medical Center Awarded Platinum Award for “Outstanding Achievement”

The New Jersey Smart Workplaces Program (NJSW) is a statewide recognition program that lauds employers who demonstrate leadership by providing quality commuter benefits to their employees. Employers are recognized at one of four levels of achievement: bronze, silver, gold, or platinum, based upon the level of activity at the worksite. Hunterdon Medical Center was awarded the Platinum Award for “Outstanding Achievement” in creating programs that provide and promote commuting options for employees.

 

 

Antobiotics Aware Gold Standard logoHunterdon Medical Center Awarded the 2021 Antimicrobial Stewardship Award

Hunterdon Medical Center was recognized with the 2021 “Gold Stewards” of antimicrobial stewardship in the New Jersey Antimicrobial Stewardship Award Program through the New Jersey Department of Health. There was a rigorous application process reviewing the capacity in which institutions were able to meet the CDC core elements for stewardship and were awarded based on the level of difficulty of interventions. Hunterdon Medical Center has prioritized judicious antimicrobial use as part of our goals and standard of care for over a decade. This award acknowledges top performers in the state.

Wound Care Center Recognized with Two Awards for Excellence in Wound Healing

The Hunterdon Wound Healing Center was awarded the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center of Excellence award and the Center of Distinction Award which recognizes a Center that meets the highest quality standards.  This Center received these awards because it has achieved patient satisfaction rates over 92% and a healing rate of greater than or equal to 91% in less than 30 median days, among other quality standards.  The Center was awarded this prestigious honor by Healogics, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services.

Additional Awards & Recognitions

  • As of January 17, 2022, Hunterdon Healthcare has administered over 43,000 COVID-19 Vaccines.
  • On Thursday, December 17, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., Hunterdon Healthcare received the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer to begin vaccinating employees.
  • In 2020, Hunterdon Medical Center received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center Makes the New Jersey Department of Health Influenza Honor Roll. Hunterdon Medical Center was recently awarded the 2018-2019 New Jersey Influenza Honor Roll because of its stellar employee influenza vaccine program and compliance rates.
  • In 2018 and 2019 Hunterdon Medical Center was awarded Platinum Recognition for activities to increase enrollment in their state registry as organ, eye, and tissue donors via the “National Hospital Organ Donation Campaign” – From the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services and Health Resource & Service Administration.
  • Listed as a Top Hospital in Inside New Jersey Magazine.  Hunterdon Medical Center was also recognized for the treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, hip and knee repair, heart failure, stroke, and neurological disorders.
  • 2018 – Fitch rating upgraded to an A+ based on Hunterdon Medical Center’s improved profitability, dominant market share, low debt burden, and solid equity.
  • Hunterdon Healthcare ranked among US News and World Report’s “Best Regional Hospitals” in New Jersey and the New York metro area for 2017-2018. We also received their seal of approval as a high-performing hospital for the treatment of COPD, Colon Cancer Surgery, and Heart Failure. In their report dated August 2018, Hunterdon Healthcare ranked 10th regionally in New Jersey and was recognized 20th in the New York metro area. We also received their seal of approval as a high-performing hospital for the specialties: Adult Geriatrics and Nephrology (Kidney) Care and for the treatment of Heart Failure. US News and World Report is the nation’s most high-profile hospital rankings report.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center designated a Primary Stroke Center.
  • Received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal for Hunterdon Healthcare’s Palliative Care Program.
  • Latino Outreach Program recognized at the 89th Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association for Hunterdon Healthcare’s Latino Outreach Initiative.
  • Received national recognition of the Antibiotic Stewardship Program identified by the American Hospital Association as Best Practice.
  • National accreditation of the postgraduate yearly Pharmacy Residency Program.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center is one of 12 hospitals participating in the Physician Hospital Collaboration Demonstration, a Medicare project that will evaluate gainsharing as an innovative method that aims to reduce healthcare costs while improving quality care.
  • Hunterdon Regional Breast Care Program is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
  • Hunterdon Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
  • Cardiac Testing Department is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories.
  • Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer-Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center.
  • Accredited by the Medical Society of New Jersey as an Intrastate Provider of Continuing Medical Education for Physicians.
  • Accredited by the College of American Pathologists.
  • Certification by the American Heart Association.
  • Certificate of Recognition from the American Diabetes Association.
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner.
  • Beckers Hospital Review listed Hunterdon Medical Center among its top 45 hospitals in the country with the lowest heart failure readmission rate – 18.5%. The national average is 21.5%.
  • Platinum designation as New Jersey Smart Workplaces.
  • The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has granted Patient-Centered Medical Home certification at the highest level to many Hunterdon Healthcare System practices.
  • Emergency PTCA Door to balloon time under 60 minutes.
  • Named a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • Accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.
  • On average, Hunterdon Medical Center recycles 298.71 tons, which equates to 3,356.93 lb per patient bed.

Experts Address Men’s Health

A Free Virtual program on Men’s Health.

You’re invited to learn about the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate and colorectal cancers.
June 17, 2021, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Speakers:

“Prostate Health”
BRIAN SPERLING, D.O., Hunterdon Urological Associates
Specializing in urology care and men’s health.

“Colorectal Health”
HOWARD GARSON, M.D., Advanced Gastroenterology
& Nutrition
Specializing in digestive health and cancer prevention.

To Register, click here. For information call: 908-237-2328.

Hunterdon-Mercer Chronic Disease Coalition

Chronic Disease Coalition Logo

Aligned with the State’s Health Improvement Plan, Healthy New Jersey 2030, which aims to improve health for all people, the goal of the Chronic Disease Coalition  (“Coalition”) is to address the state’s cancer burden and work toward improving health outcomes for people with or at risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. The Coalition is engaged in the delivery of cancer and chronic disease prevention education, support of early detection initiatives, addressing survivor quality of life along with policy and systems change that contribute to healthy and equitable communities. Coalitions state-wide are supported by the New Jersey Department of Health Office of Cancer Control and Prevention to coordinate comprehensive cancer control efforts in New Jersey and contribute to the national efforts of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  •  Objective: Promote cancer prevention, support early detection efforts, address the needs of cancer survivors and promote health equity.
  • Approach: Deploy evidence-based strategies through a collaborative and coordinated approach to education and outreach initiatives.
  • Long Term Outcome: Improved health outcomes for community members.

Cancer Prevalence in New Jersey

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in New Jersey.  One in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer during their lifetimes. The American Cancer Society 2021 data estimates new cancer cases in New Jersey to be 53,340 and estimated deaths to be 15,710.

Top 4 Leading Sites of New Cancer Deaths by Gender in New Jersey
Women Men
Cancer Site # of Deaths Cancer Site # of Deaths
Lung 1,651 Lung 1,675
Breast 1,253 Prostate    735
Colorectal   671 Colorectal    730
Pancreas   625 Pancreas    677

*2019 NJ State Cancer Registry

Prevention Saves Lives

Nobody is immune from getting cancer and multiple factors both inside and outside the body can contribute to the development of cancer. However, many cancers are preventable by reducing risk factors or getting appropriate vaccinations. Screening is effective in identifying some types of cancers in early, often highly treatable stages. Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided or controlled. For example, people can choose to avoid smoking, modify their diet and increase their exercise.  Other risk factors, such as a person’s age, race, family history of cancer, and genetics are not possible to modify.

 

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