Health & Wellness

Ribbon Cutting Officially Opens Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center at Overlook Medical Center

0885828c726206275611_image001-4.jpg
66fc603d885a50e5c8c6_image001-5.jpg
bc6b78834a2908f72b33_image002-2.jpg
d4db97ff003d22c56ee4_image003.jpg
c6d00ac6212c4e7bdace_image001-6.jpg
4d54168ddd91c77aba66_image002-3.jpg
407620515c2d41fbbfc6_image003-2.jpg
1f74b1f992edf559790a_image003-3.jpg
341d9ebd5b9e6b84033c_image002-4.jpg
f2353c163dffbc0811bc_image001-7.jpg
0885828c726206275611_image001-4.jpg

SUMMIT, NJ - It takes a village…not just to raise a child, but to treat patients with brain tumors. The Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center in Overlook Medical Center is the medical version of a village and, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, the official ribbon cutting ceremony marked its grand opening.

Members of the Glasser Foundation, two of the three co-directors of the Glasser Brain Tumor Center, members of its staff, Overlook Foundation Board members, family members of brain tumor patients, at least one patient, and other hospital personnel were on hand to celebrate the official opening of the center.

Gerald J. Glasser, better known as “Gerry,” served on the Overlook Foundation Board and was its president from 2008-2010.  A lifelong resident of Westfield, he was the president of a family charity, the Thomas Glasser Foundation, and the founding father and ongoing supporter of Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss, which provides free grief support for children, families and communities.     

Sign Up for E-News

On Wednesday, his daughter, Margie Ticknor, didn’t mince words when it came to her father, “My father would absolutely hate this … Anyone who knows my dad knows he did not like the limelight and would hate that his name is on the brain tumor center, but all of us Glassers and Ticknors are very proud that we have done this.” 

What they did was to ignore their father’s suggestion that they close the Glasser Foundation. Instead, they made a donation to fund the Brain Tumor Center and allowed “the use of Gerry’s name,” as Overlook Medical Center President Alan Leiber said when he thanked them for “their incredible generosity.”

The Gerald J. Glasser Brain Tumor Center has three co-directors, Yaron Moshel, MD, a neurosurgeon, Kurt Jaeckle, MD, neuro oncologist and Louis Schwartz, MD, a radiation oncologist. The three men are the pillars of their program, but the center encompasses so much more.

Dr. Moshel said, “The real focus is our patients.” The center will “allow us to work together … with the greater good that comes out of us being in the same space and seeing patients together.”

Dr. Jaeckle explained, “We have all kinds of other people involved:  nutrition support; palliative support; pain management support; nursing support; the Thomas Glasser Care Giver Center for the patients and their families is critical, and the nurse navigator will help patients in their travel or sojourn through these illnesses.” 

Joana Emmolo, MD, a radiation oncologist, said there is also a “great mind body program” for patients.

For patients and staff alike, the best part is all of these services are available either within the center or within walking distance, so coordination of appointments and services is easy.

The center and the Medical Center is equipped with “state-of-the-art equipment. All top of the line. They couldn’t buy us better equipment,” said Emmolo.

Dr. Jaeckle said the center is also able to offer a large portfolio of clinical trials that “will offer people in this area what they wouldn’t normally be able to get.” Previously patients had to travel to New York City, Philadelphia or Boston to take part in trials. “Our idea is to offer the same quality of care or even better, right here in New Jersey,” he said.

Michael and Christina Azares of Parsippany have experienced the team effort and support systems of the Brain Tumor Center. Christina has been a patient for just over a year. She was travelling on business for UPS near Atlanta last October when she said, “I started not feeling well.” Then she experienced “partial seizures” and lost track of where she was.  She visited an urgent care facility, which contacted her primary care physician, who contacted ANS.

“While I was flying home, these guys were talking,” she said. “I had an appointment the next day,” they ran tests and on the next day, “I met Dr. Moshel.” That’s when he had to tell her she had a problem that was “significant enough to schedule somewhat immediate surgery.”

She said, “It was just amazing how he dealt with us after just being introduced to us, giving us a level of comfort of it being possible … He was willing to accommodate not just our own digestion of what’s going on” but also Christina’s need to hold the planned birthday party for her young daughter before surgery.  

“I always got the sense of their dedication, compassion for their patients,” she said. She was introduced to Dr. Jaeckle right after her surgery, when he was brand new to Overlook, and to Pat Egan, who is on his team and then Dr. Schwartz. “I highly respect what they are capable of and how they execute it and they do it in a compassionate way.” Christina said.

After the biopsy, she learned she had a glioblastoma, Level 4. “Dr. Moschel removed as much of it as he could,” more than 99% percent, but she learned with this type of cancer there was a likelihood of it re-growing. She had six weeks of radiation treatment, then chemotherapy

She still works at UPS, “You learn to live with whatever you are going through,” she said. There are ups and downs along the way, she said. “It wasn’t just the beginning, that was a heck of a ride, but in the spring, I learned I had a second tumor.” 

They found out about the tumor on Memorial Day weekend and on June 5 it was surgically removed. The doctors weren’t satisfied with the chemotherapy drug they were using, so they conferred and decided to try Avastin in July.  In September, they found a third tumor – it was barely started, so Dr. Emmolo performed Cyberknife on Christina’s birthday. It was a five-day course of treatment, and Christina said, “It knocked it out.”  She continues to take Avastin.

Christina credits the compassion of the team and her friends and family with her positive attitude. “We are building a new normal,” she said. As for the hospital, “It’s like a second home – whatever it is, even just asking a question, I can call their cell phone.”

Michael, a systems manager at Conduit, agreed, “They definitely care.” He is able to work from home or the hospital, and “Every time I take her for chemo, I go into the Caregiver Center. It’s a wonderful space … I really appreciate it … It’s a good place. I can’t ask for a better place for her to be cared for.”

The Azares are experiencing what Dr. Jaeckle said he would choose for his slogan for the center, “Personalized Medicine with a Personal Touch.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Somerset: Act Now to Save 15 Percent Off Pulse Summer Sports Camps

May 20, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Pulse Premier Sports Camps offer an innovative approach to sports education. Curriculums are designed for young athletes of all skill levels who have a passion for sports and demand more during key influential years.

Starting in June Pulse will be running their Premier Soccer & Multi Sports Camps at Rutgers Prep, TAP here for details.

Act now and you can save 15 ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Education Government Green Home & Garden Other

Sun, June 10, 7:30 AM

South Brunswick High School, Monmouth Junction

Tour de South Brunswick

Education Health & Wellness

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 27, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them (FOUND)

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Bloomfield Department of Public Safety Director Samuel DeMaio confirmed that three missing teenagers have been found safe at a McDonald's restaurant in Pennsylvania.

Original article:

The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is ...

Giamarese Farms and Farmers Against Hunger Grow Food for Those in Need

May 27, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a hot Friday morning before Memorial Day, volunteers were hard at work planting eggplant, tomatoes, beans and other veggies here in East Brunswick as part of an initiative by the activist group Farmers Against Hunger.  The plot on Fresh Ponds Road was donated by Jim Giamarese, and the labor was provided by corporate volunteers and local farmers.  ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

New Jersey State Motor Vehicle Commission Returns to South Plainfield

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A new state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) opened its doors in South Plainfield on Monday, just one week shy of a year since the borough’s former agency closed its doors. The office, located at 5000 Hadley Road, will provide in-person services to residents of the borough and the surrounding communities six days a week. 

“I would like ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

Franklin Township: Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be formidable opponents, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Freeholders Adopt Somerset County Budget, Reduce Tax Rate

May 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders has adopted a 2018 budget that reflects a slight reduction in the county tax rate.

“While Trenton is poised to increase the burden on taxpayers, Somerset County is once again keeping its pledge to deliver quality services to residents in a cost-effective manner. There will be no increase in the county taxes Somerset ...

Somerville’s Girls Night Out: Prepare to be Pampered, Expect to be Pleased

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Girls' Night Out in Downtown Somerville might start out a little bit soggy, but the Accu-Weather  forecast for late Thursday afternoon and early evening is cause for optimism – 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon, maybe ending by  6 p.m.

Regardless,  the long-awaited event is advertised as a rain or shine affair, and there will be more ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!