Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, Community Health Ambassador Irma Nolasco recently participated in the Johnson & Johnson Foundation-sponsored event, “Stories from the Heart of Health” held during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last month.
The event provides an opportunity for front-line health workers to share their inspiring stories at the heart of health along with best practices that help health care providers better address challenges their local communities face today. Nolasco spoke about her outreach experiences working with RWJUH Team Salud. Team Salud is a group of bilingual volunteer community health workers that serve as a bridge between the healthcare system and the New Brunswick community.
A New Brunswick resident, Nolasco works with Team Salud’s Diabetes Spanish-language support group. She has also helped promote flu and COVID-19 vaccinations in the community, addressing barriers and questions community residents had about the vaccine.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw our community scared, uninformed and in high-risk situations. We started calling on our people to share truthful, direct information from medical sources,” Nolasco explained. “We took the information to Bodegas and local businesses. We shared information on social media in English and Spanish. We worked hard to get our community to trust the information, get tested, and help them sign up for COVID and flu vaccines”
Nolasco dreamed of being a teacher while growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico. She immigrated to the United States to join her husband and had to put her dream on hold, due to the cost of education and her unfamiliarity with the English language. Instead, she and her husband focused on earning enough to support their children and give them a path to a better life.
Despite these obstacles, Nolasco was determined to help others.
“My first job here was as a cleaner at a rehabilitation clinic,” Nolasco recalls. “With my little English, I listened to the patients and just by patting them or touching their hand, they felt better. Patients needed to talk to someone and feel the human warmth.”
Nolasco continued helping and serving others at her church.
“Years later, I joined a group in my parish called Women of Social Justice focused on developing our leadership, self-love, and mutual help. There I met many migrant women, like me, who had the same dreams and desires,” Nolasco said. “We formed bonds of friendship and learned about the many challenges our community is facing – such as domestic violence, obesity in our children, and the importance of Community Health Workers in the Latino community.”
Nolasco may have found her true calling when RWJUH Director of Community Health Promotions Mariam Merced and her staff formed Team Salud. They began recruiting local, Spanish-speaking residents to serve as Community Health Promoters, also known as “Promotoras.”
“One day I was invited to join Team Salud to work as a health promoter,” Nolasco explained. “Being invited was emotional for me and at the same time a challenge. I was excited to think that there was something good that I could give to people and that I could continue my dream of educating. As a health promoter, I bring information and I teach my community. I can advise and encourage them as a teacher does.”
In the Team Salud program, Community Health Promoters complete health workshops and specialized training on how to effectively conduct community health outreach – from where to place a flyer, how to approach people and how to share strategies that motivate individuals to take control of their health and that of their family.
“I have learned that our job as a Promotora is to connect our community to health services,” Nolasco noted. “This job is also like being a teacher. We are part of our communities and we know what challenges we face when seeking medical services – we don’t speak the language, we work long hours, we don’t know where to look for services, we don’t have anyone to take care of our children so we can go get tested, and we are afraid to participate because we are undocumented. We have managed to make people trust us. They know us. They see us actively carrying information and walking the streets.”
During her presentation at the Johnson & Johnson Foundation event, Nolasco spoke about challenges that the Latino community faces when accessing health care services and how RWJUH’s Community Health Ambassadors serve as a bridge to these services for many in the Latino Community.
Nolasco also stressed the importance of health insurance for all and how it would improve access to healthcare and health equity for vulnerable communities during the concluding panel discussion.
Although Nolasco did not become a teacher as she originally planned, she believes that she ultimately achieved her dream.
“I can say that being a promoter has become my life project and my dream. I’m happy to be able to help people in one way or another,” Nolasco said. “Every day, I help my community with the health information I receive. Not only that, I also use it to take care of my health and that of my family. We are one voice – creating a culture of taking care of our health.”
Shown from left to right following the Johnson & Johnson Foundation Stories from the Heart of Health event held during the United Nations General Assembly are: Mariam Merced, Director of Community Health Promotions at RWJUH; Irma Nolasco, Community Health Ambassador at RWJUH; and Silvia Cruz-Vargas, Senior Director of Global Community Impact for Johnson & Johnson.
New Brunswick, NJ — Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s (RWJUH) Health Equity Program has been honored by the American Hospital Association (AHA) with the 2023 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award. RWJUH accepted the award at the AHA’s Annual Leadership Summit in Seattle.
The Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award is an annual recognition of outstanding efforts among hospitals and health care systems to advance equity of care to all patients and to spread lessons learned and progress toward diversity, inclusion and health equity. Lewis was the first African-American and first hospital trustee to chair the AHA Board.
RWJUH, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, was selected as the Equity of Care Award, Emerging Winner for dismantling structural barriers in its care delivery system and the community it serves. RWJUH launched a Health Equity Department to refine its organizational equity strategies, strengthen the delivery of equitable, person-centered and culturally sensitive care to its populations and foster a workforce culture of equity and inclusion. To support its community engagement efforts, RWJUH embraces representation and direct feedback from community leaders through advisory councils, community events and growing community relationships.
“We are proud of our team’s efforts to increase access to essential health care services in our community through identifying and removing barriers and we are honored to be recognized by the American Hospital Association with this prestigious award,” said RWJUH President Alan Lee. “Eliminating health care disparities requires systemic change in care delivery and the courage to address the root causes of the challenges that our diverse communities face. We continue to evaluate the equity of our healthcare delivery systems, identify areas for improvement and collaborate with our various partners to better serve our patients and communities.”
RWJUH and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) have a shared vision to improve the health of the communities they serve through the delivery of person-centered care and a diverse workforce culture that is inclusive and equitable . RWJMS faculty partner with the hospital health equity team across programming.
“This award recognizes the commitment of RWJUH and RWJMS as partners in ensuring that every individual in our community has access to culturally-sensitive, comprehensive care,” said Amy P. Murtha, MD, dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “It is through embracing diversity and cultivating an inclusive culture that we can achieve our mission of improving health and well-being for all.”
RWJUH in collaboration with RWJMS developed an Equity/Population Health steering committee in 2022 to help improve data collection of Race, Ethnicity, and Language (REaL) and Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity (SOGI) data. This initiative focused on improving comprehensive REaL electronic health record data. Further, RWJUH also established various policies to create an environment that is safe and inclusive. For example, RWJUH ensures culturally sensitive care for the LGBTQ+ community by establishing the PROUD Gender Center of New Jersey in partnership with RWJMS, to offer hormone therapy and other therapeutic models contributing to more equitable outcomes in care.
Additionally, RWJUH and RWJMS work closely with community partners and the Rutgers Eric B. Chandler Health Center, a federally qualified health center, operated jointly by the medical school and a community board, to help patients who would traditionally receive their primary care services from the Emergency Department obtain access to comprehensive care at the health center. The model has been expanded to include postpartum and newborn care to ensure that all services are properly coordinated within the allotted time post-discharge. RWJUH’s Health Equity Team also provides breast care referrals for screenings, language support services, medical appointments, discharge calls, and navigation services among others. These services are provided through dedicated community medical programs staffed by multilingual health navigators.
Accepting the American Hospital Association (AHA) 2023 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award for RWJUH’s Health Equity Program are from left to right: Stephanie Zou, MA, Regional Director, Community Specific Medical Program; Franck Nelson, Assistant Vice President, Health Equity; and Melissa Hernandez, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, Director, Health Equity & Breast Care Connection. RWJUH accepted the award at the AHA’s Annual Leadership Summit in Seattle.
“What We Achieved Is a Testament to All Our Efforts”
May 8, 2023
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Three unions representing 9,000 Rutgers University educators, researchers, clinicians, and librarians voted by overwhelming margins to ratify new contracts, nearly a month after a historic five-day strike in mid-April.
Some 93 percent of members of the three unions—Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates, and counselors; the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, which represents adjunct faculty; and AAUP-BHSNJ, which represents health science faculty in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences facilities—who cast ballots voted yes on ratifying a total of five Tentative Agreements with the university.
“This vote is the culmination of months of intense efforts by so many people who walked the picket lines and organized with their colleagues,” said Rebecca Givan, president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT. “Because of this commitment by our members, we made major gains in these contracts, especially for the most vulnerable and lowest-paid of the people we represent. We didn’t win everything we wanted. But what we did achieve is a testament to all of us, and we’re proud of it.
Howie Swerdloff, an executive board member of the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, said, “This overwhelmingly positive vote across all job categories shows how unified we were and are, and how much everyone gained as a result. We bargained together, walked the picket line together, and won together.”
Members of the three unions also voted in favor of a proposal to ask those they represent for voluntary contributions to the Rutgers Beloved Community Fund. The fund—one of several social justice initiatives proposed by the unions to center and benefit Rutgers students and the communities surrounding the university’s campuses—won a commitment from Governor Phil Murphy for $600,000 in recurring annual funding.
But during subsequent negotiations, the university administration, led by President Jonathan Holloway, backed out of an earlier commitment to contribute to the Fund. The unions intend to follow through on their initiative with voluntary contributions to add to the state funds—which will be administered by a newly established 501(c)(3) organization—and to continue to pressure the Rutgers administration to match their commitment.
The educators unions are also vowing to support more than 6,000 workers in nine other unions representing staff at Rutgers who are still without contracts.
Christine O’Connell, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT, which represents 2,500 administrative staff, said, “We are proud to stand with our AAUP colleagues as they settle a contract that provides real benefits for thousands of their members. URA-AFT continues to fight for a fair contract that provides raises with longevity pay that recognizes their contribution, recognition for our essential workers, job security and a path to career advancement, and a permanent policy for telework that is not at the whim of management.”
The three educators unions bargained together, but they negotiated five separate contracts. The final percentage of “yes” votes for the five agreements was:
92 percent for the contract covering some 6,250 full-time faculty and graduate workers represented by Rutgers AAUP-AFT and AAUP-BHSNJ (this agreement includes faculty in AAUP-BHSNJ for the first time).
97 percent for the contract covering some 2,800 adjunct faculty represented by the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union.
95 percent for the contract covering some 750 postdoctoral associates and fellows represented by Rutgers AAUP-AFT.
100 percent for the contract covering 22 Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Counselors represented by Rutgers AAUP-AFT.
97 percent for a separate contract covering full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, graduate workers, and others who teach Winter and Summer session courses at Rutgers.
“This is a new moment for higher ed labor around the country,” said Todd Wolfson, general vice president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT. “Other unions representing graduate workers and faculty organized, struck, and won strong contracts, inspiring us to fight for more. And now we’ve contributed to the largest strike wave in the history of public higher education. We have a vision of a public university that works for our students, our communities, and everyone who works there—and we’ve taken important steps toward achieving it.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At the annual Survivors of the Triangle Memorial Ceremony, Governor Murphy, Colonel Pat Callahan, and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) today honored over 70 members of the NJSP who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, including State Trooper Werner Foerster. In observance of the 50th anniversary of State Trooper Foerster’s passing, Governor Murphy ordered that U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, which marks 50 years since Trooper Foerster was killed in the line of duty on May 2, 1973.
“As veteran of the Vietnam War and a State Trooper, Werner Foerster served our state and our country with honorable devotion, remarkable courage, exceptional professionalism, loyalty, and commitment to the finest ideals and traditions of the United States Army and the New Jersey State Police,” said Governor Murphy. “On the 50th anniversary of his passing, we remember Trooper Foerster for his service and sacrifice as he dedicated his life to protecting our nation’s freedoms and keeping our communities safe. Fifty years later, we continue to mourn this tragic and untimely loss, and extend our sincere sympathy to his family, friends, and fellow members of the New Jersey State Police. In his honor and memory, and as a reminder of our continued quest to ensure justice for his murder, I am directing our flags to fly at half-staff tomorrow.”
Werner Foerster was born on August 19, 1938, in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. He was a high school graduate and a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the U.S. Army from December 8, 1963until December 8, 1965. He was also a member of the Deutscher Club of Clark, NJ. He resided in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Prior to his enlistment in the New Jersey State Police, Trooper Foerster was employed by Ross Engineering in New Brunswick, New Jersey as a welder.
Trooper Foerster joined the New Jersey State Police as a member of the 82nd State Police Class on July 24, 1970. During his short career, he was stationed at the Toms River, Colts Neck, Fort Dix and Key Port Stations. His last assignment, beginning on November 13, 1972, was at Troop “D” Headquarters in New Brunswick. His service with the Division was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and honorable devotion to the principals of the New Jersey State Police.
The death of Trooper Foerster was a result of gunshot wounds sustained in the performance of his duty.
At 12:45 a.m. on May 2, 1973, Trooper James M. Harper stopped a Vermont registered vehicle approximately 200 yards south of the New Brunswick Station. Trooper Foerster, patrolling nearby, backed-up Trooper Harper.
Trooper Harper approached the vehicle and asked the driver for his driver’s license and registration. Noting a discrepancy in the registration, the driver was asked to exit the vehicle. The driver was then questioned by Trooper Foerster as Trooper Harper went to question the other occupants.
Shots were fired from within the vehicle at the troopers and there was an exchange of gunfire. In the exchange, Trooper Harper was wounded in the left shoulder and arm. Trooper Foerster was later found near his patrol car, deceased. He died from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest sometime between 12:30 a.m and 1:30 a.m.
Trooper Foerster served 2 years and 10 months with the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Foerster was survived by his wife and a 3 year-old son. He was 34 years old.
Governor Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy, Attorney General Matthew Platkin, First Assistant Attorney General Lindsay Ruotolo, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick, NJSP Chief Chaplain John Taylor, Lt. Colonel Jeanne Hengemuhle, and Survivors of the Triangle President Michelle Carrol join troopers and family members of who lost loved ones in the line of duty at the Survivors of the Triangle Ceremony at Division Headquarters in West Trenton, N.J. on Monday, May 1, 2023. (Photos by: New Jersey State Police / Tim Larsen)
Nurses were recognized for their exceptional care, expertise and leadership in nursing
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Several RWJBarnabas Health nurses were recognized with 2023 Professional Development Awards by the New Jersey Emergency Nurses Association (NJ ENA) at the recent NJ ENA Emergency Care Conference in Atlantic City. These awards recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of emergency nursing in the state and promote NJ ENA’s mission of advocating for patient safety and excellence in nursing practice. Awards received include the Pediatric Readiness Award, the Advance Practice Nurse Award, the Clinical Nurse Leadership Award and the Nursing Practice and Professionalism Award.
“We are extremely proud of the amazing work our Emergency Department nurses do every day and are pleased to congratulate our NJ ENA award recipients on their achievements. This statewide recognition is a testament to the team’s hard work and the commitment our nurses have to their fellow clinicians, patients and the community,” said Christopher Freer, DO, Senior Vice President of Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine at RWJBarnabas Health.
The Pediatric Readiness Award, which recognizes a nurse who has demonstrated outstanding efforts to improve readiness in caring for children in the emergency care setting, was given to Katarzyna Wolan, RN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Partnering with pediatric Emergency Department (ED) physicians, Wolan led code simulations and facilitated restructuring of supplies and equipment. Her skills enable her to work and collaborate with a variety of health care professionals in the ED, transport, and referring hospitals.
Kristen Denaro, MSN, APN, NP-C, Clara Maass Medical Center, won the Advance Practice Nurse Award which recognizes nurses excellence and compassion as an advanced practice nurse in an emergency care setting. With Denaro’s strong clinical knowledge and outstanding bedside care, she is recognized for advancing the development of the ED. Denaro is highly regarded for supporting the development of the Express Care area to expedite patient care and trialing an area for low acuity patients where she acted as both the patients APN and ED RN.
The Clinical Nurse Leadership Award was awarded to Maria Aponte, MPA, BSN, RN, Administrative Director for Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Emergency Department. This award recognizes a nurse who has consistently demonstrated excellence in the profession of emergency nursing and has made significant contributions through an emergency nursing management role. Aponte’s peers recognize her leadership, empathy, compassion, and courage through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. She is a leader of her team as well as an active participant who holds the team accountable to yield impressive results.
Krystal Diaz, RN, BSN, Pediatric Emergency nurse at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, was recognized for the 2023 Nursing Practice and Professionalism Award, which recognizes a nurse who exemplifies outstanding emergency nursing practice as demonstrated through clinical skills, care, and compassion. This nurse consistently performs above and beyond the requirements of the job description in delivering quality care to patients. Diaz, specializing in pediatrics and trauma, focuses on the wellness of patients, families, and the team and approaches challenging situations with a positive and “can do” attitude. She is also highly regarded as a mentor who provides constructive feedback.
“The NJ ENA showcases the best of the best in the state and the recognition of these four individuals is incredibly well-deserved,” said Nancy E. Holecek, Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at RWJBarnabas Health. “Each of these outstanding nurses have made a difference this past year and it’s an honor for them to be acknowledged for their dedication, skill, compassion and contributions to the healthcare industry in New Jersey.”
RWJBarnabas Health Has Most Donations and Transplants Among All NJ Health Systems in 2022
February 28, 2023
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey Sharing Network, the federally-designated non-profit organization responsible for the recovery of donated organs and tissue in New Jersey, has recognized Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) for achieving the most-ever organ and tissue donations by a New Jersey hospital in a single year in 2022.
According to its end-of-year report, RWJUH worked closely with the NJ Sharing Network to fulfill the wishes of 33 individuals who gave the gift of life donating 102 organs for transplantation. RWJUH is one of the three state-designated Level I Trauma Centers for adults in New Jersey, and The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH holds a Level II Pediatric Trauma designation. The hospital has quaternary-level capabilities for the critical care of patients for trauma, stroke, cardiovascular and medical conditions.
As a health system, RWJBarnabas Health hospitals work closely with the NJ Sharing Network and had 68 donors with 195 organs transplanted.
“As a state-designated Level I Trauma Center for Adult Acute Care medicine, a Level II Pediatric Trauma center, a certified Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, and a regional leader in transplantation for heart, kidney and pancreas, our partnership with the NJ Sharing Network and shared mission of saving and enhancing lives through organ donation runs deep in the RWJUH culture,” said Bill Arnold, President and CEO, RWJUH. “As an academic medical center through our longstanding partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and as one of only seven nursing programs in the world to achieve Magnet recognition six consecutive times, RWJUH is committed to facilitating the gift of life in the face of tragic circumstances. We are deeply honored to support the families of donors through this journey.”
RWJUH has an active Donor Council comprised of leaders across the hospital involved in the care of donor patients and families. The hospital also has a Donor Team, which is a volunteer, nurse-driven committee representing both the adult and pediatric emergency departments and all intensive care units throughout RWJUH. The committee provides specialized training to RWJUH’s clinical care team on the process to facilitate organ donation with the NJ Sharing Network.
Staff never approach patient families about consenting to a donation. Rather, they make a referral to the NJ Sharing Network to work directly with families if the potential exists for organ donation. There are specific criteria developed for when the NJ Sharing Network can be called in for a referral.
The Donor Team also conducts many outreach events to raise awareness and educate staff and the public about organ donation. This includes hosting an information table outside the Employee Dining Room during Donate Life Month. The Team also shares information at Somerset Patriots games, Rutgers Day, JCCs, YMCAs and National Night Out among other events. The Donor Team Committee is co-chaired by Nancy Lipschutz, RN, BSN, CCRN-CMC. and Mary Lynn Dupuis, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNIV.
“I have worked in the CCU forever and I have seen people with end-stage heart failure waiting for hearts,” said Lipschutz. “I have also seen heart transplant patients come back to visit us living and enjoying life. They treasure and honor the gift they have received – it’s never in vain.”
The Donor Team also pays tribute to organ donors and families by illuminating RWJUH’s East Tower in blue and green (the designated colors promoting organ donation awareness) for 24 hours each time a donation occurs. An image of the lit tower will also be pinned on the RWJUH Facebook to acknowledge this profound gift in 2023.
“Whenever people in our communities drive by RWJUH and see those colors illuminated on our buildings, they should know that something profound has occurred here. We can all be proud of this partnership with NJ Sharing Network and our team’s commitment to saving lives amidst grief,” Arnold added. “Publicly acknowledging this gift is healing for both our clinical teams and the donor families.”
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, introduced its new, state-of-the-art trauma care intensive care unit this week. The 10,500 square-foot unit features:
• 12 ICU Patient Rooms equipped with lights, booms, lifts, dialysis connections and computers
• Spacious Staff and Clinical Support Areas
• Private, Welcoming Family Waiting Area
• Private Physician-Family Consultation Room
As one of only three state-designated Level I Trauma Centers and an American College of Surgeons-designated Pediatric Trauma Center, RWJUH provides the state and region with the most advanced, comprehensive trauma and emergency care.
“As a Level I Trauma Center, RWJUH cares for some of the most critically ill patients from across the state,” said Bill Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJUH. “The complexity of these injuries require a higher level of dedicated, specialized care and we are proud to provide our communities and team with the best resources and most advanced technology to help save lives.”
The new patient rooms feature overhead lighting, which enables physicians to perform procedures in the room without transporting a patient. The rooms also have medical equipment booms that are designed to free the workspace and keep equipment clean and off of the ground. The booms ergonomically centralize all support equipment and utility services for staff. Each room has large glass doors that open completely, making patient transport easier. Doors to all patient rooms are transparent, which helps nurses monitor patients. The doors can be made opaque for privacy.
“All team members across nursing, trauma, and emergency medicine contributed to the planning of this beautiful new unit,” adds Maryann Brookes, RN, BSN, CCRN, Nursing Director for Trauma and Neurocritical Care. “The safety and comfort of our patients, family members and staff remained our top priorities throughout the entire planning process.”
The Level I Trauma Center at RWJUH is an American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma- verified Adult Level I Trauma Center and an American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma-verified Pediatric Level II Trauma Center. The Level I Trauma Center cares for approximately 2,800 trauma patients a year. Of those approximately, 2,200 are admitted each year.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today, that thanks to multiple agencies diligent hard work and dedication to public safety, eight men and one juvenile were arrested and charged for their involvement in multiple child pornography investigations, Operation Eagle Eye.
As a result of Operation Eagle Eye led by the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from, the New Jersey State Police, East Brunswick Police Department, Edison Police Department, Carteret Police Department, Monroe Police Department, New Brunswick Police Department, Old Bridge Police Department, Perth Amboy Police Department, Piscataway Police Department, Plainsboro Police Department, Sayreville Police Department, and the Spotswood Police Department, a juvenile male was charged on November 1, 2022, and eight men were arrested without incident and charged over the course of two days, November 17, 2022, and November 18, 2022.
Albert Leonardis, 37, of Edison was charged with one count of second- degree Distribution of Child Pornography, one count of third-degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files), and one count of second- degree Storing and Maintaining Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children Using a File Sharing Program.
Christopher Hernandez, 18, of New Brunswick, was charged with one count of third-degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files).
Alexander Antoini De Oliveria, 39, of Old Bridge, was charged with one count of second-degree Distribution of Child Pornography, one count of second-degree Storing and Maintaining Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children Using a File Sharing Program, one count of second-degree Possession of Child Pornography (over 1000 files).
Joseph Marino, 40, of Carteret was charged with one count of third- degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files), one count of second-degree Distribution of Child Pornography, and one count of second- degree Storing and Maintaining Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children Using a File Sharing Program.
Paul Rubbe, 62, of Piscataway, was charged with one count of third- degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files).
Edward Gicherman, 81, of Monroe, was charged with one count of third-degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files) and one count of second-degree Storing and Maintaining Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children Using a File Sharing Program.
Abhishek Pandya, 25, of Edison, was charged with one count of third- degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files) and one count of second-degree Distribution of Child Pornography.
Christopher Nicol, 20, of Plainsboro, was charged with one count of third-degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files).
A juvenile male, 17, of Woodbridge, was charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute as third-degree Possession of Child Pornography (under 1000 files).
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-5924.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Leonardis, Hernandez, Antoini De Oliveria, Marino, Rubbe, Gicherman, Pandya, Nicol, and the juvenile male are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Receives State’s Highest Score in Cancer Specialty
July 26, 2022
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), a RWJBarnabas Health facility, has been recognized as one of the top five hospitals in New Jersey and a top 20 Regional Best Hospital in the New York Metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report in the annual Best Hospitals rankings. The hospital earned High Performing ratings in 12 adult specialties, common adult procedures and conditions.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the only program in the state designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), received the highest score in New Jersey in the Adult Specialty category for cancer, earning a High Performing rating. Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health is at the forefront of cancer research and care and will soon be home to the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, New Jersey’s only freestanding cancer hospital, slated to open in 2024 in New Brunswick. Only 92 cancer programs nationwide achieved this rating in the 2022-23 US News & World Report Best Hospitals survey.
RWJUH earned a total of twelve High Performing ratings, including cancer, gastroenterology and GI surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, kidney failure, lung cancer surgery, and stroke. A High Performing rating recognizes care that was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News & World Report awards for common adult conditions and procedures.
The annual Adult Specialty and Adult Procedure and Condition ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures.
“RWJUH has earned a top spot on the Best Hospitals rankings in New Jersey and in the New York metropolitan area year after year due to our academic partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Cancer Institute, as well as our stellar network of community physicians and our Magnet nursing program,” said Bill Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “As New Jersey’s premier academic medical center, RWJUH is committed to delivering access to the most advanced and equitable interventions and care designed to sustain and build healthier communities.”
“Our cancer program’s score and rating by U.S. News and World Report demonstrates the high quality, multidisciplinary care we provide, which is informed by innovative research and discoveries alongside exceptional patient experience,” stated Steven Libutti, MD, Director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “As New Jersey’s leading cancer program and the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health offers patients access to the most advanced treatment options including clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere.”
For the 2022-2023 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 20 procedures and conditions. Fewer than half of all hospitals received any High Performing rating, and only four earned this rating in all procedures and conditions. State and metro area rankings reflect the highest performing hospitals in the area across multiple areas of care.
“When patients are considering their options for care, the Best Hospitals ratings are designed to help them identify hospitals that excel in the kind of care they may need,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News. “A hospital that’s earned a High Performing rating in a service may be a good option for patients in need of that service and their medical professionals to consider.”
U.S. News evaluated each hospital’s performance using a variety of measures such as survival rates, complication rates, patient experience and level of nursing care. The Best Hospitals methodology factors in data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Hospital Association, professional organizations and medical specialists.
Charges Stem from “Operation Risky Business,” a Collaborative Investigation Led by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
May 26, 2022
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced the arrests of 21 alleged child predators in “Operation Risky Business,” a multi-agency undercover operation targeting individuals who allegedly were using social medial in an attempt to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity. The defendants will be prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Division of Criminal Justice.
The underage “children” were, in fact, undercover officers. Most of the defendants in Operation Risky Business were arrested at either the undercover residence in Hamilton Township or another meet-up location, including the Hamilton Train Station. Those who went to the undercover house allegedly expected to find their victims home alone. Instead, they found law enforcement officers prepared to arrest them and process any evidence seized. Those arrested include four Megan’s Law registrants, an injury lawyer from Georgia, an information technology worker, a dump truck driver, and a pastry chef from the Pocono Mountains region. One defendant was arrested and charged in two cases because he was chatting online with two separate undercover officers.
The operation was led by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau, and the New Jersey State Police, in collaboration with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and additional federal, state and county law enforcement agencies listed below.
“Operation Risky Business is a great example of how successful law enforcement agencies can be when they collaborate across all levels like they did here by proactively investigating and arresting predators who sought to sexually exploit children,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “We are committed to working collaboratively in order to aggressively investigate and prosecute sex offenders. But we also need parents to talk to their children about the dangers of social media and let them know not everyone who they encounter online is who they initially claim to be.”
“Not in Mercer. Not our children. Not under my watch. That’s the message we are sending to sexual predators with collaborative efforts like Operation Risky Business,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “Social media sites have become hunting grounds for individuals looking to exploit children. Law enforcement will continue to use every investigative tool at our disposal to aggressively pursue and prosecute these predators that attempt to exploit our most innocent victims, but we can’t do it alone. Parents and guardians can do their part by remaining vigilant. Talk to your children about the dangers that exist on social media and gaming apps, and monitor their online activity.”
“Through collaborative efforts like this, we are sending a strong message to parents that we must remain vigilant and do our part to protect children by keeping communication open and warning them about the dangers of the Internet,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners across all levels to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute offenders who attempt to sexually exploit children. There is no higher priority than keeping our children safe.”
“Operation Risky Business was a complete success; however, it is also a sobering reminder that there is no shortage of online predators willing to exploit children.” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain committed to seeking out these criminals but remind parents and guardians that they need to be aware of the dangers that exist online and do their part to actively monitor and safeguard their children’s activity.”
“HSI is committed to supporting coordinated operations, helping ensure the children of our communities are protected from dangerous predators,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina of HSI Newark.
About half of the arrests in Operation Risky Business were made over a four-day period from April 7 through April 10. The defendants were from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and one from Georgia. They are variously charged with offenses including second-degree attempted luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault, third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual contact. Arrest warrants for the remainder of the suspects were forwarded to the U.S. Marshals Service, who tracked down the rest of the alleged predators over the last few weeks.
The undercover law enforcement members who conducted the chats with the defendants were specially trained members of the New Jersey ICAC Task Force. The defendants typically initiated contact based on profiles posted on social media platforms by the undercover detectives and agents. The social platforms that were used in these encounters included Kik, Skout, Whisper, Grindr, GROWLr, and MeetMe. Once chatting began, the undercover officers clearly identified themselves as underage girls or boys. Despite that information, the defendants allegedly engaged the purported “children” in conversations about sex, and all 21 defendants are alleged to have made arrangements to meet the “children” for sex. Some of the chats were conducted over a period of several weeks leading up to the “meet-up” week when arrests were made.
Prosecutor Onofri advised parents to familiarize themselves with the apps their children use, as well as signs that their children may be targets of online exploitation. “Spending an increasing amount of time online, becoming secretive about their online conduct, switching screens or closing tabs or windows whenever a parent is close, using sexual language they would not be expected to know and becoming emotionally volatile, these are all red flags,” he said.
The undercover house was staffed with dozens of law enforcement officers, analysts and attorneys. Attorneys and detectives drafted search warrants for electronic devices that were seized from the defendants. These devices were taken to the forensic computer laboratory at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for full forensic examinations. These examinations, which are ongoing, will enable investigators to determine if the devices contain evidence of any prior encounters by the defendants with underage victims, which might constitute additional cases of luring, sexual assault or child endangerment.
The defendants were lodged in the Mercer County Correction Center until detention hearings were held. Three defendants – Gregory Barger (who is a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania), Justin Wann, and James Hendryx – were ordered detained in jail pending trial. The other defendants were released subject to stringent pre-trial monitoring conditions, including at a minimum reporting regularly to Pre-Trial Services staff and prohibitions from using the internet except for work or having any unsupervised contact with children under 18.
The following 21 men were arrested in Operation Risky Business and are charged as indicated. They allegedly believed they were communicating with a minor as described in parentheses. The prosecuting agency is also specified.
Laurentiu Tonea, 41, East Windsor, NJ. (Girl, 14) Tonea is an information technology worker in Edison, NJ. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted luring. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) is prosecuting.
Richard Parsons, 42, Cumming, GA. (Girl, 14) Parsons is an injury lawyer. Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact. MCPO is prosecuting.
Michael Kramer, 52, Philadelphia, PA. (Girl, 15) Kramer is a dump truck driver. Charges: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted sexual assault, attempted possession of child pornography, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Robert Franklin, Gloucester City, NJ. (Girl, 13) Charge: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.
Jesus Clavel Villa, 49, Trenton, NJ. (Girl, 14) Villa is a cook in Trenton. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child. The Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) is prosecuting.
Moises Cortes Diaz, 35, New Brunswick, NJ. (Girl, 13) Diaz is a self-employed painter. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. DCJ is prosecuting.
Joseph Roman, 31, Denville, NJ. (Girl, 14) Roman is unemployed and a registered sex offender. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Emanuel Rodriguez, 25, Trenton, NJ. (Girl, 14) Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Gregory Barger, 37, Morrisville, PA. (Girl, 14) Barger is a self-employed painter and a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted kidnapping. MCPO is prosecuting.
Justin Wann, 35, Paulsboro, NJ. (Girl, 14) Wann is a self-employed painter. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted kidnapping, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting. (Also see # 16 for second case)
Frank Duggan, 54, Bordentown, NJ. (Girl, 14) Duggan is unemployed. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. DCJ is prosecuting.
Nestor Alonso Chappuis, 37, Hamilton, NJ. (Girl, 14) Chappuis is unemployed and a registered sex offender. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.
Evan Sluka, 27, Blakeslee, PA. (Girl, 14) Sluka is a chef in Stroudsburg, PA. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact. DCJ is prosecuting.
James Hendryx, 26, Hamilton, NJ. (Boy, 14) Hendryx is unemployed. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.
Kyle Zang, 31, Stewartstown, PA. (Girl, 14) Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Justin Wann, 35, Paulsboro. (Girl, 14) Wann is a self-employed painter. Charges: Four counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting. This second case is based on an additional chat with another undercover officer.
Christopher Baez, 36, New York, NY. (Girl, 14) Baez is a restaurant worker. Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Joseph Zekas, 49, Williamstown, NJ. (Girl, 13) Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.
Taylor Picillo, 29, Hamilton, NJ. (Boy, 14). Picillo is employed by a solar energy equipment supplier in Rocklin, CA. Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest. MCPO is prosecuting.
William Oldham, 45, Williamstown, NJ. (Girl, 14) Oldham is a fence installer. Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.
Charles Amer, 50, Maple Shade, NJ. (Girl, 13) Amer is a warehouse laborer and a registered sex offender. Charges: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted luring. MCPO is prosecuting.
Yohann Rigogne, 41, Philadelphia, PA. (Girl, 14) Rigogne is unemployed. Charge: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Prosecutor Onofri commended all of the individuals and agencies who conducted Operation Risky Business. He thanked the members of the ICAC Unit who led and coordinated the operation for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, particularly Sergeants Joe Paglione and Michael Castaldo, under the direction of Chief of Detectives Jessica Plumeri. He also thanked Assistant Prosecutor Alycia Beyrouty, chief of ICAC, and Chief Jillian Carpenter of the state Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau.
He further commended all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who worked on Operation Risky Business, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, particularly Lieutenant Stephen Urbanski and Detective Sergeant Paul Sciortino, and all of the special agents of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, particularly Supervisory Special Agent John Fitch.
Prosecutor Onofri also thanked the following federal, state and county agencies that assisted in Operation Risky Business:
New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau
New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
Mercer County Central Motor Pool
The charges against the defendants in Operation Risky Business are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because they are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
FREEHOLD – Two Bayshore men have been arrested and charged in connection with the double homicide that took place in Neptune Township last month, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.
Gabriel Braithwaite, 19, of Keansburg and Jerod Dearin, 22, of the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen are both charged with two counts of first-degree Murder and single counts of first-degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, two related second-degree weapons offenses, and third-degree Hindering Apprehension in connection with the deaths of 18-year-old Samore Edwards of Plainfield and 19-year-old Isaiah Williams of New Brunswick.
Shortly before 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to the 1300 block of Washington Avenue on a report of a shooting, according to the preliminary investigation. At that location, officers found the two victims in a parked vehicle; Edwards was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene, while Williams was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
An intensive investigation involving members of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Neptune Township Police Department, and the Keansburg Police Department resulted in Braithwaite and Dearin being identified as suspects in the case, and they were taken into custody without incident earlier today.
“This was a brazen and brutal crime, and the swiftness with which it was investigated and these defendants apprehended is a testament to the quality of no small amount of stellar collaborative work,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said.
Convictions on criminal charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison. Despite the charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Matthew Bogner and Stephanie Dugan.
Anyone with any information about this matter is still being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Christopher Guy toll-free at 1-800-533-7443 or Neptune Township Police Department Detective Darell Harris at 732-988-8000, Ext. 408.
Successful Transatlantic Cardiac Sonogram Testing Offers View into the Future of Remote-enabled Heart Care
February 2, 2022
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The future of cardiac imaging arrived at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) last week via special delivery from France. The MELODY™ robotic tele-cardiac ultrasound technology is the first of its kind deployed in the United States for clinical use, and opens the door for providing patients with more access to expert diagnostic imaging in a convenient, telehealth delivery model. The MELODY™ robotic tele-ultrasound system features a robotic arm, an ultrasound machine and video conferencing technology that connects the patient with an expert at two separate locations. Last week, experts in Naveil, France connected the system to the RWJUH and RWJMS Cardiovascular team, led by Partho Sengupta, MD, FACC, in New Brunswick, NJ. The team tested the limits of the system by performing several hours of trans-Atlantic diagnostic ultrasound imaging in real time over a routine 4G cellular network. This system is being successfully used in Europe and Canada and has been approved for clinical use in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The technology benefits patients through:
Improved access to diagnostic ultrasound imaging expertise in real time
Facilitation of earlier disease detection
Reduced travel times and transport costs
Benefits to health care professionals are significant and include:
Reduction in work-related injury from overuse and repetitive movements from manual ultrasound imaging delivery
Addressing the chronic shortage of ultrasound technologists and sonographers in health care today, nationwide
Reduction in exposure of providers to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 or influenza, or to radiation when the study is performed in the catheterization laboratory
Whereas the first MELODY™ robot in the US is located at RWJUH right now, experts envision the day when such technology is commonplace in rural community hospitals, pharmacies, rehabilitation facilities or even senior living locations. According to Dr. Sengupta, who is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Cardiology and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at RWJMS, and Chief of Cardiology at RWJUH, and a member of the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health, making advanced diagnostic imaging capabilities available to patients in remote locations may prove to be a gamechanger in the fight against cardiovascular disease and toward reducing the impact of “healthcare deserts” emerging in small towns due to staff shortages. “Imagine that a patient comes to an Emergency Department in the middle of the night and there are no sonographers present to perform the imaging exam that he or she needs,” Dr. Sengupta explains. “In the very near future, we can connect with a sonographer at another hospital or from their home to perform a cardiac ultrasound exam that could be lifesaving.” Dr. Sengupta says he will combine this technology with new Artificial Intelligence (AI) cardiovascular diagnostic capabilities to advance cardiac care. “Many cardiovascular diseases remain undetected for a long time and can be silent killers,” Dr. Sengupta notes. “Combining robotic tele-ultrasound technology with new and existing AI capabilities will provide us with a tremendous opportunity for early detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease in our communities and help us save lives.” RWJUH and RWJMS clinicians along with representatives from AdEcho Tech, the MELODY™ system’s manufacturer, performed the successful transatlantic robotic cardiac tele-ultrasound test on January 24, 2022. The test was followed the next day by successful ultrasounds at RWJUH. Over the next two months, the team will work with sonographers to implement the technology for clinical care in order to make it available to the public later this year.
RWJBarnabas Health Makes Call for Blood Donations This Holiday Season; Urges Donors to Return to Address Emergency Shortages
RWJBarnabas Health urges everyone to donate blood and platelets to help overcome a national blood shortage this winter. Blood collection in New Jersey is down more than 25 percent since late summer, compounding the effect that the COVID-19 lock downs had on reduced donations in 2020. Life-saving blood donations are given to patients in a wide range of circumstances including cancer care, trauma events such as car accidents and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events.
“We need New Jersey residents to give the gift of blood this holiday season as blood supplies have yet to catch up since the height of the pandemic,” said Sally Wells, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Blood Services Business Development Liaison. “There are less blood drives being organized at workplaces, schools, houses of worship and community organizations. Our hospitals rely on the support of individuals to provide much of the blood we use, and we need your help now to address this blood shortage and prevent potential delays in lifesaving medical care for patients in New Jersey.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s habits and daily lives and as a result, a profound impact on blood donations and collection nationwide. Prior to the pandemic, high school and college blood drives supplied about 40 percent of donations across the country. Many drives have not returned to these settings, challenging the industry to keep up with demand, which has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
RWJBarnabas Health is calling for blood donors of all types, especially type O, the universal blood type, and platelet donors.
Here’s how you can donate:
Schedule an appointment at one of our fixed site Donor Rooms.
RWJBarnabas Health has two fixed locations, one at RWJUH in New Brunswick, located on the 4th floor of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Building (CAB) at 125 Paterson Street in New Brunswick, and one at RWJUH Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Avenue in Somerville. Both Donor Centers are open Monday -Friday and select Saturdays.
To make an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room or to find a blood drive location near you, please visit: https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.
Attend a local blood drive.
RWJBarnabas Health is hosting several blood drives across the state this holiday season including the following:
The Community Medical Center “Gift of Life” Blood Drive
Monday, December 20th from 10am-6pm
Community Medical Center Auditorium A & B
99 Hwy. 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset Blood Drives
Friday, December 24th and Friday, December 31st from 8am-2pm
110 Rehill Ave, Somerville, NJ 08875
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital “Holiday Blood Drives”
Tuesday, December 28th and Thursday, December 30th from 10am to 4pm
Arline & Henry Schwartzman Courtyard
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Free parking is available for all blood donors. Donors must be at least 16-years old (16 -year-olds require written parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16-years old). Donors must also present photo identification at the time of donation.
Donor Centers and all RWJBarnabas Health Blood Drives have rigorous safety protocols in place to protect all donors. These include temperature checks of staff and donors, required face coverings, social distancing requirements in waiting areas and donation spaces, as well as strict sanitary protocols including disinfection of donor areas. Donors must also wear masks or face covering.
To organize a blood drive in your community, please call Sally Wells at 732-558-4983 or email email@example.com.
Brings Depth of Experience in Academic Medicine and Customer Service
October 18, 2021
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has named Alan Lee as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).
A proven leader and expert in driving clinical excellence across integrated health care systems, Mr. Lee will draw on his experience at nationally distinguished academic medical centers and at internationally renowned hospitality brands to advance care at New Jersey’s largest academic medical center.
In his new role, Mr. Lee is responsible for aligning hospital operations with the RWJUH mission of delivering world-class patient care at the highest standards of clinical quality, performance and patient experience. As COO, he is charged with fostering new collaborations among Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School faculty physicians, RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group physicians and community physicians that contribute to clinical innovation and that promote groundbreaking research.
“We’re excited to welcome Mr. Lee to our team at RWJUH,” said Bill Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer of RWJUH. “As we work to strengthen RWJUH’s position as a premier academic medical center in our state and region, Mr. Lee brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as an administrative leader. He has a proven track record of leading teams known for exceptional quality, outcomes, patient experience and research programs. We are confident that his expertise will prove invaluable to RWJUH as we enter this phase of expansion and transformation.”
RWJUH Board of Directors Chair Jack Morris adds, “Throughout his career, Mr. Lee has demonstrated a strong bottom-up management style, empowering frontline healthcare providers to identify challenges and develop strategies for improvement. His diverse body of professional experience and outstanding collaborative skills align perfectly with our vision for what we want to achieve with our academic partners.”
RWJUH is a 614-bed academic medical center that serves as the principal teaching hospital for Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. In addition, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH is a 105-bed, dedicated children’s hospital that serves as the focal point of the growing pediatric academic medical campus in New Brunswick. This campus also features the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital and Ronald McDonald House New Brunswick.
Mr. Lee joins RWJUH from New York-Presbyterian (NYP), where he served in multiple senior leadership roles since 2009. He was Vice President of Support Services and Patient Experience at NYP/Weill Cornell, then Vice President of Operations at NYP/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, before assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer at NYP Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. During his time there, Mr. Lee led strategic initiatives focused on patient experience, operations and capital expansion, environmental services, patient throughput and length of stay management.
Mr. Lee began his career in hotel management where he established a strong foundation in customer service and environmental standards at several New York City-based luxury and deluxe hotel brands, including the Millennium Broadway, the Regent Wall Street, and the Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park and Hudson, an Ian Schrager Hotel.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announce an East Windsor man has been indicted in connection with a September 2, 2020 shooting.
On September 15, 2021, a Middlesex County Grand Jury indicted Kyale Simonson, 33, of East Windsor with one count of first-degree Attempted Murder, one count of second-degree Aggravated Assault, and one count of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose.
On September 2, 2020, at approximately 9:28 P.M., members of the New Brunswick Police responded to the area of Lee Avenue and Seaman Street and located two men who been shot. The men were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries.
An investigation by Detective Brandt Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department and Detective Sean Sullivan of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office identified Simonson as the gunman.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732)745-5200, or Detective Sullivan of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4060.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Simonson are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.