Press Releases

N.J. Expands Vital Hepatitis C Treatments for Medicaid Enrollees

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of Human Services on Tuesday announced expanded hepatitis C treatments for all Medicaid enrollees in the state, a policy facilitated by increased funding in the fiscal year 2019 budget. The improvement comes amid ongoing concern about increased infections due to the opioid epidemic and a growing focus on identifying and treating hepatitis C infection among Baby Boomers. 

New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said that under the new policy, New Jersey Medicaid will cover hepatitis C curative drug treatment once someone is diagnosed with the virus. Previously, individuals in New Jersey were required to wait until their liver had already been damaged before accessing this treatment.

“We can cure hepatitis C and help combat the spread of new infections, and with this major policy change our administration is making clear that we are committed to doing both,” Johnson said.

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 Hepatitis C is a major cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, and it is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. An estimated 160,000 people in New Jersey have hepatitis C.

Today, hepatitis C drug treatment can cure people living with the virus. However, New Jersey Medicaid had restricted who was eligible for this treatment and required individuals to demonstrate liver damage before receiving curative drug therapy. That meant New Jersey lagged behind other states that provided more comprehensive Medicaid access to hepatitis C treatment. The state budget includes $2.2 million in state funding to make treatment a priority, which will result in an estimated $7.9 million in federal matching funds.   

“This is a welcome and long-awaited new direction for New Jersey,” Johnson said. “The Murphy administration is doing what’s right to ensure healthier lives for New Jersey residents.”

“This is welcome news,” said Joshua Spielberg, chief counsel for the Health Care Access Project at Legal Services New Jersey. “We have advocated for such a change in policy, which will ensure that all Medicaid beneficiaries diagnosed with Hepatitis C have access to effective medication to cure their disease.  It will save lives and save money for the NJ Medicaid program over time.”

New hepatitis C virus infections are increasing most rapidly among young people, with the highest overall number of new infections among 20- to 29-year-olds. The blood-borne hepatitis C virus can be spread by sharing needles to inject heroin or crushed pills.

“Hyacinth AIDS Foundation is elated that Governor Murphy has enacted a progressive and proactive public health measure to test and treat hepatitis,” said Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation’s executive director. “The funds provided by the administration will ensure that all New Jerseyans have access to live-saving hepatitis C medication immediately upon diagnosis. Hyacinth began working on this issue over two years ago, in partnership with Senator Joseph Vitale, who has long been a champion for the rights of those living with hepatitis. As drug treatments have improved dramatically over the past few years, it makes absolute sense to treat immediately and not wait for the disease to progress to the point that an individual’s quality of life has been severely debilitated. This is a sound public health policy put forth by the Governor and we look forward to a continued partnership as we seek to end the dual epidemics of HIV and hepatitis.”

“Drug Policy Alliance applauds the expansion of Medicaid coverage for hepatitis C treatment,” said Roseanne Scotti, the New Jersey state director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Liver disease, liver cancer and deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise in New Jersey and across the country and strong action is need.  The incredible advances in hepatitis C treatment mean that most people can be cured - if they can access treatment.  The Murphy Administration’s action ensures that thousands of people will be able to access the lifesaving treatment they need.”   

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of the 3.5 million Americans with hepatitis C are Baby Boomers born from 1945 to 1965.

"AARP is pleased to see that the Administration is committed to expanding Medicaid coverage for hepatitis C drug treatment,” said Evelyn Liebman, AARP New Jersey Director of Advocacy. “Improving access to this care with a focus on early intervention is simply good policy.”

Baby Boomers are six times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than those in other age groups and are at much greater risk of death from the virus.

“Clearly, this is a long-needed policy change that will prove beneficial to many New Jerseyans,” Johnson said.

 

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Union

The Science of Sound

July 18, 2018

 

UNION, NJ - Would your child like to learn about the science of sound?

The Union Library, in collaboration with Mad Science of West NJ, is hosting a program for kids, ages 6 through 12, who will learn about sound waves and create their own rainstorm, complete with rain, thunder and lightening.

The event will be held on  July 23, at 6:00 p.m.  Registration is ...

Rec on Wheels Cancelled for Tuesday Due to Heavy Rains

 

UNION, NJ - Due to inclement weather, the Rec on Wheels event scheduled for Tuesday at Joe Collins Park is canceled. 

The program will resume on Wednesday, July 18 at Sgt. Herbet Davis Park located at 940 Arcadia Place, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a variety of outdoor games and activities.

Union Rec to Host Instructional Co-Ed Basketball Clinic

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will host an instructional, co-ed basketball clinic Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Davis Park, 940 Arcadia Place.

The clinic, featuring fun drills and games, will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for participants in third- through fifth-grade and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Participants must be Union ...

Upcoming Events

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Fri, July 20, 3:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Teen Game On!

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Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Come Make a Beaded Wind Chime

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Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Crafty Adults: Beaded Wind Chimes

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Mon, July 23, 6:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

The Science of Sound

Union's Mayor Talks About Streetscapes

The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

Following the ...

Two Union Students Graduate from the University of Rhode Island

July 19, 2018

KINGSTON, RI - At the University of Rhode Island's 132nd Commencement on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 2018, about 3,300 undergraduate and 750 graduate students became the University's newest alumni.

From Union, Krystyna A Krupinski received Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies Bachelor of Science, Mathematics Magna Cum Laude, and Lisa Williams received Bachelor of ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

July 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

The 24-hour Wawa store will officially open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with the grand opening ceremonies to follow. Free coffee will be offered at the store through July 16. Wally Goose, the ...

Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

LINDEN, NJ - Former Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham is set to be sworn in as a Union County Undersheriff, this Friday.

As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Traffic Advisory: Accident on GSP South Causes Closure Near Clark Circle

July 17, 2018

CLARK, NJ - A multi-vehicle accident on the southbound Garden State Parkway shortly beyond exit 135 has been causing major delays on the roadway.  Clark Police issued a warning that the southbound entrance to the parkway is closed at the Clark Circle due to an accident investigation taking place on the parkway at this time.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area.  ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

15th Annual Maplewoodstock is this Weekend: July 14 and July 15

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 15th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival, a free, two-day, live music and arts event, will be held this Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, from noon until 10 p.m. each day in Memorial Park.   

The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Union County Hosts Events and Programs for Special Needs Residents

July 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce a series of programs and events throughout the summer and fall for residents with special needs and their families, coordinated through the new Office for People with Special Needs in collaboration with community partners.

“Union County is committed to providing every resident with more opportunities to enjoy activities ...

Rewind Rock Concert @ UPL

Libraries Rock!  The Union Public Library invites you to beat the heat by attending a concert by the rock band Rewind on Tuesday, August 14th at 7 p.m.  Originally based in New Jersey, this band will perform many of the hottest hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and is appropriate for music lovers of all ages.

All programs are free and open to the public and elevator ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with programs and ...

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little

People I've Known and Been: Little by Little by Rich Little (Dog Ear Publishing, 2015)

 

Rich Little is a national treasure; a living encyclopedia of movie stars, comedians, and former presidents all wrapped into one dynamic package. Recently, my husband and I had the good fortune to see Little perform at the Tropicana in Las Vegas, where he has been doing his uncanny ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending June 2018

July 6, 2018

It is summertime and a great time to get in some reading! Many great new books have topped the list in June. The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in June 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet at the ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Morristown and Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Residents of Morristown, Somerville, Bridgewater and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Body Pulled From Delaware River

KINGWOOD, NJ – First responders were on the scene at the Delaware River and pulling the body of a man from the water Friday.

“The worst has happened,” said Greg Crance, who owns Delaware River Tubing, a popular nearby tubing, rafting, kayaking  and canoeing outfitter on the river.

However, the victim is not one of his customers, Crance said.

The body was ...

Letters to the Editor