Health & Wellness

Press Releases

Kessler Institute Honors Patients & Staff at Annual Triumph of the Human Spirit Event

Robert Brehm (R), President, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation ( celebrated the achievements of four remarkable patients and seven members of the hospital’s medical, clinical and support staff at the hospital’s Triumph of the Human Spirit dinner.  This annual event recognizes the hard work and determination of patients, families and rehabilitation professionals in dealing with the challenges of brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury and other devastating injuries and illnesses.  

“A patient’s family recently told me about their father’s favorite quote:  ‘Hard times take time. Impossible times take a little longer.’  I was struck by how true that is of rehabilitation.  The work we do at Kessler Institute does take time and perseverance, exceptional care and expertise.   And because of that, we do make the ‘impossible’ possible     for the thousands of patients we treat each year,” said Kessler President Robert Brehm.

Four patients, who proved what is possible through personal determination, courage and the specialized care at Kessler Institute and Kessler Rehabilitation Center, received the hospital’s Spirit Award:  Craig M. Gallaway, Edgewater, NJ; Jonathan Kistle, Magnolia, DE; Frances P. Martino, North Brunswick, NJ, and David Strucinski, Bayonne, NJ.

Sign Up for E-News

Neil N. Jasey, Jr., M.D., of Montclair, who serves as Director of Brain Injury Rehabilitation, West Orange campus, was presented with the Henry H. Kessler Award for Medical Excellence.  Lauren McDonough, P.T., of Nanuet, NY, Director of Rehabilitation at Kessler’s Saddle Brook campus, received the hospital’s prestigious Leadership Award.  In addition, Emilia Novellino, of Ocean County, Regional Marketing Director for Kessler Rehabilitation Center, accepted Kessler’s Community Service Award for her outstanding work on behalf of several organizations, including special projects to benefit the nation’s active military.

In addition, as part of Kessler’s ongoing commitment to its communities, employees raised more than $8000 for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation (  In accepting the donation, Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO, said, “We are so grateful, with our shared missions, to be the beneficiary of the generosity of the Kessler employees. The magic of this evening shall stay with me a long time as we witnessed joy joined to courage, courage to spirit, and spirit to goodness.”

Kessler’s annual President’s Award, which honors members of the staff whose exceptional work has distinguished them among their peers, was presented to Andrea Garcia, MSW, OTR/L, Clinical Manager at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in Howell, NJ; Barbara Garrett, PT, NCS, senior physical therapist at Kessler Institute, West Orange campus; Mary Jane Mallari, RN, Senior nurse at Kessler’s Saddle Brook campus; and Jennifer L. Weiser, durable medical equipment coordinator at Kessler’s Chester campus.

More than 500 Kessler staff and guests attended the dinner event, which was held at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, NJ.


About Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation:

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is nationally recognized for the treatment and research of both spinal cord and brain injuries and also leads the field in the care and treatment for stroke, neurological diseases, amputation, orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions and cardiac recovery.  Ranked as one of the top two rehabilitation hospitals in the nation and best in the East by U.S.News & World Report, Kessler has three hospital campuses in West Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester, N.J., and more than 80 outpatient centers throughout the state.  For more information, visit






TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at or go ...

Millburn Police Department Investigating Pair of Residential Burglaries

April 3, 2018

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Goldfarb responded to the Union Police Department on a warrant arrest. Robert Kopik, age 41 of Springfield, was placed under arrest on an outstanding criminal warrant and remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility.

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Hunt responded to a Quaker Road residence on a residential burglary. The resident reports ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

April Guided Hike at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Education Green


Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Between Main and Spring Street, Millburn

Millburn Street Fair 2018


Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly


Middle School Presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

April 21, 2018

Middle School presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

The Millburn Middle School Spring Musical, Shrek the Musical, will be held on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at 7 p.m.  A Sunday matinee will be presented at 1 p.m. on April 29th.

Shrek the Musical opened on Broadway in December 2008. It is based on the DreamWorks Animation’s film Shrek and William Steig’s ...

Millburn Road Closures for April 20

MILLBURN, NJ - Parsonage Hill Road closed between Long Hill Drive and White Oak Ridge Road until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Troy Drive closed to all traffic between Lawrence Drive and Troy Lane until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Old Short Hills Road has a changed traffic pattern between Silver Spring Road and Dorison Drive no closures expect possible delays until approx 4:00pm ...

Community Church to Hold Spring Rummage Sale for Charity

Community Congregational Church in Short Hills will hold its semiannual Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. All proceeds of the sale benefit Community Church’s educational and outreach programs, including the Oasis program that provides bags of groceries and baby supplies to families in Irvington every month.

“The Rummage Sale for Charity at Community Church ...