Health & Wellness

Press Releases

Atlantic Health System's Worker Safety Measures Lauded By NJ Legislature, Insurance Award


MORRISTOWN, NJ  – A project to enhance workplace safety at Atlantic Health System earned double recognition for the organization – first from one of the most coveted award programs in workers' compensation, and then by an official resolution from the New Jersey Legislature.

On Monday, March 13, the Legislature approved the resolution by Senator Robert W. Singer and Assemblyman Sean T. Kean and Assemblyman David P. Rible in acknowledgment of Atlantic Health System’s “unwavering commitment to employee health and safety, unique in-house workers’ compensation case management, and sustainable program results.”

The resolution was prompted by an honorable mention that Atlantic Health System received from the 2016 Theodore Roosevelt Workers' Compensation & Disability Management Award, better known as a Teddy Award, which has been given by Risk & Insurance® to recognize exceptional workers' compensation programs for the last 20 years.

Sign Up for E-News

“The leaders and staff of Atlantic Health System have worked tirelessly and earnestly in benefit of others and are recognized for their stupendous dedication and motivation that have contributed to its sterling reputation,” the resolution stated.

“We are honored by Senator Singer and the Legislature’s acknowledgement of our efforts to care for our employees as part of our commitment to building a Trusted Network of Caring,” said Rachel Leibu, MD, medical director of the Occupational Medicine Service for Atlantic Health System, who was among those on hand for the resolution’s approval in Trenton.

Atlantic Health System earned the Teddy Award through initiatives designed to reduce workplace injuries, which had been increasing. The health care organization’s Occupational Medicine Service and Occupational & Environmental Safety Department, which oversee employee health and safety collaborated with PMA Companies, part of the Old Republic International Corporation, one of the nation’s 50 largest publicly held insurance organizations, to develop solutions.

These initiatives resulted in significant improvements for employee safety, with the employee injury rate dropping 11 percent from 2015 to 2016, even while the organization continued to expand, adding facilities and employees. The organization saw an 80 percent reduction in lost work days in that time as well.

In addition, workers' compensation claims costs dropped 61 percent since 2014, and medical costs for employees also decreased by 54 percent in that time.

A key component to these efforts was the creation of a new role – the Registered Nurse Workers’ Compensation Case Coordinator – who works directly with PMA and is focused exclusively on injured employees' recoveries.

The organization now has two of these coordinators – Donna Brucker and Laurie O’ Rourke –  who streamline case management for all work injuries, assist practitioners in scheduling injured staff appointments for doctors, diagnostic tests, physical and/or occupational therapy, as well as getting- transitional duty positions and transportation services for some workers and gathering other information.

Brucker and O’Rourke also do follow-up phone calls to injured workers to check on their progress, as well as ensuring they are aware of their appointments and attending those appointments.

“As we have found in population health for patients, having coordinated care for our employees helps ensure that they are receiving the care they need while also reducing health care costs,” Leibu said. “The creation of these coordinators has been vital to keeping our work force healthy and able to continue to provide excellent patient care.”

Atlantic Health System also instituted a Slips-Trips-Falls Injury Prevention campaign and annual employee and nurse Safe Defense training program, as well as a Safe Patient Handling Program.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Darby Road's St. Patrick's Day Festival Kicks Off

March 17, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) kicked off its three-day St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Friday at the municipal parking lot.

The event takes place under a larger tent this year and features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, food and beverages, along with a bounce house, face -painting, and pony rides for the kids.

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Student Set to Compete in Chinese Speech Contest

March 18, 2018

Stan DeLaurentiis of Plainfield, a junior at The Wardlaw + Hartridge School in Edison, has been selected as one of the final contestants to participate in the 13th Chinese Bridge Speech Contests for U.S. High School Students on March 31 at the Confucius Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The onsite final competition will run from 9 a.m. to 1 ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


8 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside

Eight homes sold last week, March 4 to March 11, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


 TOWN                  ADDRESS             ...

The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Auction Items Sought for Westfield Area YMCA 14th Annual Golf Classic

The Westfield Area Y is hosting the 14th Annual Golf Classic and Dinner with Live and Silent Auction on Monday, May 14, at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield. All proceeds will benefit the Y’s financial assistance program and help send a kid to camp or child care at the Y this year.

If you have a vacation home or time share, access to a fine dining establishment, ...

How to Stay Connected to Your Partner After a Newborn

March 11, 2018

Life changes instantly once we have a newborn.  It is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a couple can have. It brings joy and a newfound commitment to the relationship and now to a family of three. Grandparents, family and friends are eager to get involved with helping and visiting. Responsibilities increase, expenses increase and privacy decreases. Our routine ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Health Alert: Child with Measles Traveled to Newark Airport on March 12

March 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — If you were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, March 12 between 12:45 and 9 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and should contact your health care provider.

The New Jersey Department of Health has issued a public health alert after a child with a confirmed case of measles — a highly contagious disease — arrived in Terminal B at ...