Health & Wellness

Center For Prevention & Counseling, Newton Medical Center Staff, Safe Kids NJ, Receive Inaugural Empower Award

Chris Kirk, Director, Mission Development, Atlantic Health System, stands with K.J. Feury, RN , APNc, CCRN, Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Northern NJ  Coordinator.
Bob McCracken, chairman of the Newton Medical Center Advisory Board and member of the Atlantic Health System Board of Trustees, Joe DiPaolo, president, Newton Medical Center, vice president, Atlantic Health System, and Jim Furgeson, director, community and donor relations, Newton Medical Center Foundation, stand with Center for Prevention and Counseling's Barbara Adolphe, Executive Director, and Becky Carlson, Assistant Director.
L-R, Joe DiPaolo, president, Newton Medical Center, stands with Newton Medical Center's Physical Therapy Team, Michelle Lopez, Jennifer Koch, Ilene tulp, Loretta Ritter and Bob Baumgartner.

NEWTON, NJ- Atlantic Health System, parent organization of Newton Medical Center, recently honored the Center for Prevention and Counseling, located in Newton, for its work to build healthier communities at the hospital system’s inaugural Empower Awards ceremony.

As part of its vision of empowering our communities to be the healthiest in the nation, Atlantic Health System created the award to highlight those individuals and organizations who are working with the hospital system to make this vision a reality.

The event honored local organizations from throughout the communities serviced by each of Atlantic Health System’s hospitals. Awards were also presented to physicians and Atlantic Health System staff for their contributions to health in the community. Newton Medical Center’s physical therapy staff was honored for its work with student preceptors.

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For the communities served by Newton Medical Center, the Center for Prevention and Counseling was recognized with the Community Partner Award for its work in fostering addiction-free lifestyles, emotional wellness, financial stability and safe communities.

“Newton Medical Center’s connection to the communities we serve in Sussex, Pike and Warren Counties is one of our greatest strengths and our solemn responsibility,” said Joe DiPaolo, president of Newton Medical Center. “The Center for Prevention and Counseling shares this commitment, and, as our partner, empowers us in our efforts to make our region a healthier place to live. It is through these partnerships that we truly fulfill our mission of serving these communities.”

"We accepted the Empower Award on behalf of our amazing staff and dedicated board members,” said  Barbara Adolphe, Executive Director, Center for Prevention and Counseling. “It was truly an honor to be recognized as one of Newton Medical Center's partners and we look forward to continuing to work together to help make Sussex County communities among the healthiest in the nation."

The Center for Prevention and Counseling has partnered with Newton Medical Center for numerous countywide initiatives;  

As one of the hospital’s primary partners on Altitude, a new partnership of local organizations, community leaders and schools from throughout Sussex County that seeks to inspire eighth grade students to move toward their highest and best selves

The Center has led the effort in the county to reduce the amount of prescription drugs available for abuse as well as to reduce the number of people abusing them by working with law enforcement, pharmacists and physicians. Through collaboration with Newton Medical Center, the Center for Prevention and Counseling has been able to present information about prescription drug addiction and prevention to the hospital's physicians as well as to the doctors' office managers and support staff

Through the hospital’s Community Health Department, the Center for Prevention and Counseling was able to obtain CEUs for nurses for one of the Center’s addiction conferences which enabled many nurses to expand their knowledge regarding drugs of abuse. In addition, speakers from the hospital have attended the Center’s community education events that seek to increase parents' knowledge of substance abuse and addiction, such “Pills to Heroin- A Community Forum on Drug Trends,” held at Sparta Middle School in March

In collaboration with Rev. Randy Parks, chaplain at Newton Medical Center, the Center for Prevention and Counseling has increased its outreach to clergy throughout the county. Parks has helped garner donations from congregations that have assisted in presenting the Center’s material to clergy and others while also providing valuable connections to the county's clergy

“Collaborating with the many agencies around the county, including Newton Medical Center, has us involved in numerous initiatives addressing the health and well-being of all community members,” said Becky Carlson, Assistant Director, Center for Prevention and Counseling. “Since substance abuse touches so many lives, we are grateful to be working with NMC as we work to have people be healthy, safe and drug-free.”

In addition to the Community Partner Award, Atlantic Health System also recognized Newton Medical Center’s rehabilitation services staff, which includes physical, occupational and speech therapy, for their work with college students looking to enter the field. About 20 students each year work a total of about 1,700 hours alongside Newton Medical Center therapists, which helps the students gain real-world knowledge, while providing an opportunity for therapists to innovate with the newest methods and ideas.

“The staff’s engagement with the students elevates everyone’s practice,” said Loretta Ritter, RN, manager of rehabilitation services for Newton Medical Center. “This not only benefits our patients, but also those going into the field of rehabilitation and our communities.”

Atlantic Health System also recognized Safe Kids New Jersey with the system-wide Community Partner Award. Safe Kids New Jersey, led by the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium and founded by Johnson & Johnson, is one of more than 600 grassroots coalitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. Atlantic Health System, specifically Morristown Medical Center, has acted as the lead agency for the Safe Kids Northern New Jersey chapter since 2000, providing opportunities and bridging community partnerships to increase injury prevention awareness.

“It is an honor to receive the first Empower Award from Atlantic Health System, whom we have been proud to work closely with for many years,” said K.J. Feury, RN , APNc, CCRN, Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Northern NJ  Coordinator. “The communities served by Atlantic Health System’s five hospitals are very  diverse, and Safe Kids Northern New Jersey has developed many programs to reach throughout these communities to help make safety a part of people’s lives. The key to success is the coalition volunteers of Safe Kids Northern New Jersey. They bring an amazing energy level and knowledge to every program they assist with.”

Safe Kids NJ’s Buckle Up program has been the foundation of Safe Kids Northern NJ. The organization has four free-standing car seat inspection stations in Morris and Sussex County. The residents of these counties have also participated in numerous Teen Driving Program, Bike Rodeos, Winter Sport Safety and home safety program.

For more information about Atlantic Health System’s vision, visit:

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