MORRISTOWN, NJ  – Atlantic Health System, one of the largest non-profit health care organizations in New Jersey, recognized local organizations, hospital staff and individuals who have volunteered their time to improve the health of their communities at the 2nd Annual Empower Awards on Wednesday, June 3.

The parent company of Morristown, Overlook, Newton and Chilton Medical Centers and Goryeb Children’s Hospital selected one local organization in each of the areas served by the medical centers, as well those representing more than one site, to receive the Community Partner Award. For the area served by Morristown Medical Center, Atlantic Health System gave this award to the Mental Health Association of Morris County (MHAMC). 

The MHAMC has worked closely with Atlantic Health System for at least 20 years, often coming to Morristown Medical Center’s inpatient psychiatric program and its crisis unit to meet with patients and help them find the particular resource they need.

The MHAMC has programs to assist with housing and homeless patients, educational programs for families of the mentally ill. The organization also provides supervised work situations and work with employers to provide jobs that its clients can do and feel proud to do. The MHAMC also provides socialization events and peer hotlines.

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“Our community partners are vital to Atlantic Health System’s vision of empowering our communities to be the healthiest in the nation,” said Trish O’Keefe, interim president of Morristown Medical Center. “The Mental Health Association of Morris County has been an invaluable resource for our staff and patients, both inside our doors and out in the community.”

Bill Dailey and Anna Milo, a couple from Fort Lee, received the multi-site Community Partner Award. For the past five years, Bill, a stroke survivor, and Anna have spent numerous volunteer hours traveling around New Jersey to senior centers, schools and corporations to educate people on the symptoms of strokes and what it is like to be a stroke survivor and caregiver. In addition to providing educational materials, Bill and Anna speak about the experience of being a patient at Atlantic Rehabilitation, which is part of Atlantic Health System. The couple also attends community health fairs and represents the Stroke Support Group from Atlantic Rehabilitation.

“Education is one of the most important tools in our efforts to preventing stroke, and we are grateful to have ambassadors like Bill and Ana Dailey to take that message directly to the community,” said Shannon Maldonado, health educator at Morristown Medical Center, who nominated the couple.

Atlantic Health System also recognized doctors, staff and programs that had an impact in the community.

The Kid-Fit Program at Goryeb Children’s Hospital received the Community Benefit Award. The program provides outreach, education and a community liaison to educate the community on childhood obesity. The program also teaches overweight children and adolescents how to make healthier lifestyle choices. It is one of the only pediatric programs in the country that uses the state-of-the-art Body Media SenseWear WMS® technology to accurately assess every patient’s needs and establish individual goals.

Joan Beloff, chief development officer at Chilton Medical Center, was given the Vicki Hughes Community Health Leader Award. Named in honor of Vicki Hughes, the manager for Community Health at Morristown Medical Center who passed away in 2013, this award recognizes an employee in one of the Community Health Departments for their contributions to make their communities the healthiest in the nation.

Beloff, who has worked at Chilton for 23 years, created the New Vitality program, which began at Chilton Medical Center and has now become an initiative throughout Atlantic Health System. Started in 2001, New Vitality is a comprehensive health and wellness program implemented to address the preventative and health care needs of the adult community aged 50 and over. Through the program, hospital staff collaborates with community partners to address the prevention and health care needs of the senior/adult population.

Jeff Liegner, MD, was given the Physician Award. Liegner, based in Newton, founded the FreeClinic Newton, where he treats uninsured and underinsured patients at no charge.

The event took place at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown.

 

ABOUT ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM

Atlantic Health System, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey. It includes Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ; Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ; Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ; Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ; and Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, as well as Atlantic Rehabilitation, and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. It also includes its subsidiary, Atlantic Ambulance Corporation.  Atlantic Health System comprises 1,599 licensed beds, more than 14,000 employees and more than 4,000 physicians. Atlantic Health System is a clinical and academic affiliate of The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; a Major Clinical Affiliate of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; part of Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, one of the largest ACOs in the nation, and is a member of AllSpire Health Partners.