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New Jersey Hospital Association Presents Awards for Commitment to Healthcare

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several individuals and organizations were honored at the 89th Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) today at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.

NJHA's 2008 Distinguished Service award was presented to George F. Lynn, former chief executive officer of AtlantiCare in Egg Harbor Township. Lynn, of Linwood, was honored for his years of service and leadership to AtlantiCare and its patients, as well as his commitment to healthcare far beyond the hospital's walls. A respected leader with an effective voice for hospitals and healthcare issues, Lynn's dedication was also felt nationwide through his service as chairman of the American Hospital Association.

The NJHA Healthcare Professional of the Year award was presented to Carl Marchetti, MD, of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Meridian Health. For more than 40 years, Dr. Marchetti, of Ocean Township, has dedicated his career to patient care. A highly respected obstetrician and gynecologist, he's welcomed more than 5,000 babies into the world and was the first physician to join the hospital's administration. During his long career at Meridian, he's helped guide and deliver many advanced healthcare services and programs to the residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties.

The NJHA Trustee of the Year award was presented to Miles W. Truesdell Jr., of Stone Harbor, for his dedicated service and leadership to the board of Capital Health System in Trenton. Truesdell was instrumental in the successful merger of Mercer Medical Center and Helene Fuld Medical Center in 1997, and his commitment was essential in transforming the two inner-city hospitals into a high-quality regional resource for patients and physicians.

NJHA also annually recognizes hospitals that demonstrate unique and effective methods of reaching out to better serve the healthcare needs of area residents. The 2008 Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey's Community Outreach Awards recognize outstanding community achievements in the following categories: disease and injury prevention; improving access and quality of care; reducing healthcare disparities; and programs with budgets less then $50,000.

For Preventing Disease and Injury, Broadway House for Continuing Care, Newark AIDS Consortium's A.C.E. -- AIDS Community Education Program was recognized for its work geared toward Newark school children in grades 4-12. The program works to increase HIV/AIDS awareness; reduce unsafe sexual and substance abuse practices; and teach better decision-making strategies. The program's success is evident in its expansion beyond the pilot phase as well as the standardization of curriculum and materials that has allowed it to be replicated statewide.

For Improving Access and Quality of Care, Hunterdon Healthcare System's Latino Healthcare Initiative was recognized for its efforts to link an often underserved population with healthcare services. This initiative bundled five programs to accomplish its goal. Among the programs are Latino Well Child Clinics, Prenatal Health Literacy, Diabetes Patient Education and Nutritional Counseling, Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center Latino Outreach program and Hunterdon Regional Community Health Latino. Positive outcomes of the program include increases in health awareness and education, cancer screenings, prenatal care, well child visits and enrollment in Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare.

The Community Outreach award for Reducing Healthcare Disparities was awarded to South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center for its Open Arms for Healthy Moms and Babies program. Recognizing the increasing rates of infant mortality among Hispanic and African American newborns, this program, developed through a partnership with Community Health Care, provides comprehensive obstetrical care to medically underserved women and care for poor and uninsured families who are predominantly African American, Hispanic and migrant farm workers. The program has shown dramatic impact in the community, including an increase in attendance at family centers and the number of mothers seeking post-partum care.

Princeton Healthcare System received the Community Outreach award for Programs with Budgets Less Than $50,000 for its Community Vision Services Outreach program, which addresses the shortage of vision services accessible to the area's uninsured and underinsured populations. In partnership with the Latin American Task Force, the N.J. Commission for the Blind Project Prevention Unit and Lens Crafters Gift of Sight Program, this program works to meet the need for vision and eye exams in the community. Since its inception, the program has provided more than 700 screenings and delivered more than 300 pairs of glasses.

The New Jersey Hospital Association, based in Princeton, is the statewide advocate for its 111 member hospitals and the patients they serve.

SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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