SPOTLIGHT: Children & Adolescent Mental Health
HFNJ has been aware for many years that more attention needs to be paid to connecting children and families with the mental health services that they need to thrive. Over the years the Foundation has devoted considerable resources to tackling this problem, and has urged other funders to do so as well. In 2015 HFNJ awarded grants totaling more than $560,000 to support six local initiatives:
1. THE NEWARK TRUST FOR EDUCATION FUNDERS’ COLLABORATIVE FOR IMPROVING SCHOOLS – $100,000. HFNJ joined this year with other local foundations concerned about helping children succeed in school by funding supports for their social/emotional development and helping teachers learn to deal with challenging behaviors. A total of 11 Newark schools received funding amounting to >$440,000.
2. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CLINIC – Pulling Together (Year 2). This grant enables YDC to continue its partnership with Brick Avon and Brick Peschine schools, providing behavioral counseling through one-on-one support, classroom interventions, and teacher consultation. $100,000.
3. FAMILYConnections – Foster Healing (Year 2). With this grant, HFNJ supports trauma-informed care for children in foster care, an overwhelming number of whom are victims of multi-faceted, complex trauma. This can lead to a lifetime of problems as they inappropriately respond to perceived threats as a result of their exposure to chronic, interpersonal stress. In Year 1, FC partnered with the Essex South DCP&P office to treat 30 children, addressing the root causes of their behavioral/emotional challenges and train 89 caseworkers in trauma-informed care. In Year 2, the work will be expanded to the Northeast Newark DCP&P office to help 20-25 staff there better understand the children under their supervision, and will provide counseling to 25 children and their caregivers. $99,349.
4. MAIN STREET COUNSELING – School-Based Counseling Program at Barringer HS (Year 2). Main Street Counseling has been building its school-based work in Newark and seeks to expand and strengthen its work at two co-located Barringer High Schools. This Year 2 grant supports therapeutic interventions to substantially reduce the prevalence of violent behaviors. Individual and group sessions in both English and Spanish are geared toward self-empowerment, anger management, and violent tendencies, and will engage a total of 240 at-risk students. $96,500.
5. JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF METROWEST NJ – Mental Health Services for Adolescents.
With the support of HFNJ, JFS MetroWest is partnering with local public and private schools to implement workshops and group counseling sessions that address the needs of typically developing teens, those exposed to trauma, and those with special needs. $94,400.
SPOTLIGHT: Maternal/Child Health
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION/SCHOOL OF NURSING: Community Health Worker Women & Maternal/Child Health Project – $190,884. Building on the best practices of the community health worker model funded by HFNJ over the past few years, Rutgers faculty leaders Drs. Sickora and Shahidi are developing a health worker specialty in maternal and child health in Newark. The goals of the initiative are to improve poor birth and early childhood outcomes among Newark’s most underserved women and children, and demonstrate that the health worker model is an effective, economical appropriate to improve health-seeking behaviors and lower costs. Specially-trained community health workers will engage women of child-bearing age in (1) preconception planning, (2) early, regular prenatal care, (3) lifestyle education and supports important to healthy births such as smoking cessation, diet changes, stress reduction, and drug/alcohol abstinence, (4) birth planning, and (5) infant and early childhood education/assistance.
SPOTLIGHT: The Lester Z. Lieberman Fellowship in Oncology & Hematology at the Frederick
B. Cohen Cancer Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
(Dr. Shyam Kumar Ravisankar, the first Hematology/Oncology Fellow)
Lester Z. Lieberman, founding Chairman of The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and now Chairman Emeritus, passed away in November, 2013. To mark the passing of this extraordinary and visionary leader, HFNJ awarded a special grant in the amount of $1,000,000 to the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation to establish the Lester Z. Lieberman Fellowship in Oncology & Hematology at the hospital’s Cancer Center.
Throughout his lifetime, Les Lieberman worked tirelessly to support medical programs that made care more humane and physicians more compassionate. This new fellowship will honor that legacy by adding an additional Hematology/Oncology Fellow to those already at the Cancer Center and incorporate an added research focus on humanism in medicine and palliative care into the existing rigorous training that must be undertaken as part of existing programs. The Lester Z. Lieberman Fellowship program will honor Les’ vision that healthcare encompass the principles of compassion, empathy, respect, and cultural sensitivity. Each of six consecutive Lieberman Fellows will be hired for three years, commencing on July 1, 2015. The humanism focus of this program will serve as a model for the development of a national curriculum in the field.
SPOTLIGHT: Long-Term Care Nursing Residency Program at Broadway House, Newark
Broadway House, New Jersey’s only specialized HIV/AIDS long-term care facility, has been selected as one of 22 agencies in the state to participate in a demonstration project innovating nursing in long-term care settings and preparing the future workforce to meet the vastly changing needs in this area. The demonstration project is led by the Rutgers School of Nursing, which has been funded by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to administer the project, develop the tailored curricula, and train the nurse preceptors mentoring the residents. The Rutgers Heldrich Center for Workforce Development will conduct a cross-site evaluation, which is expected to contribute to the development of nursing innovations serving our region and state.
Nursing students do not ordinarily study long-term care. This pilot program is more rigorous than their usual course of study and can be more attractive to new nurses entering the field. HFNJ funds will establish one of two nursing residencies at Broadway House, moving the agency forward toward its overarching goal of improving the standard of care for the vulnerable, underserved elderly and adults living with HIV.
SPOTLIGHT: Helping Hospitals Provide Early Diagnosis and Minimally Invasive Treatment
Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation – Lung Cancer Screening Program
Lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of patients at Clara Maass – a situation that mirrors national trends. One of the most significant factors in the high death rate is late stage detection and diagnosis – a problem exacerbated by the lack of a prevention protocol for screening and diagnosis. With HFNJ funding in 2013, the hospital is implementing a program designed to achieve early detection and the highest standard of coordinated care, providing free CT scans to high risk individuals, and, where indicated, electromagnetic bronchoscopy, the preferred, minimally-invasive technique for identifying and diagnosing smaller lesions. Any patient with need will have access to EMB. Patients with cancer will be supported through the process of treatment at Clara Maass or referred to providers of their choice.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation – Outpatient Interventional Radiology Suite
Interventional radiology utilizes minimally-invasive, image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases in nearly every organ system and area of the body with less risk, less pain, and shorter recovery time compared with open surgery. The demand for such services at the Beth has increased nearly 200% in the past two years alone, and the hospital is the only one in the area to offer these procedures on an outpatient basis. HFNJ funding enabled the hospital to separate the inpatient and outpatient populations for this procedure and expand to serve outpatients on a full-time basis.
SPOTLIGHT: Helping Veterans Regain Their Lives and Their Equilibrium
Kula for Karma Video Series for Veterans
Kula for Karma provides integrative health therapies such as yoga, meditation, and breath work to vulnerable populations to improve their well-being and health. In 2012, HFNJ awarded a small grant to Kula to develop a yoga instructors’ training manual in adaptive techniques for veterans. As a result, the agency certified 30 instructions in our region. In 2013, we followed with a larger grant for the next phase of the program: the development and production of six videos demonstrating and teaching yoga and relaxation practices to vets with significant physical and mental health challenges and limitations. For example, Adaptive Yoga, geared to paraplegics or those who use prosthetics, and Restorative Practice, which focuses on deep relaxation and body flow of fluids and can be performed at bedside. A comprehensive marking/distribution plan will connect veterans via the internet, social media, and DVD’s so that individuals can participate from the privacy of their home, from the bedside or care setting, or in a group.
Community Hope – Hope for Veterans, Year 3
Since 2011, HFNJ has been providing support to Community Hope to enable the agency to provide intensive case management, medication monitoring, and close oversight to veterans, many of whom fought in the Vietnam War and have been cycling in and out of transitional housing and mental health/drug and alcohol treatment facilities for close to 40 years. These veterans have become significantly challenged by diseases associated with aging and need careful and close care to ensure that they remain stable. The agency has also recently begun to see a growing number of veterans in their early 20’s who have returned from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan – many diagnosed with severe PTSD, multiple physical ailments including traumatic brain injury, and often struggling with poly-substance abuse issues. HFNJ funding enables the agency to continue its enhanced case management for these high-risk veterans.
Bridges Outreach, Inc. – Project Connect
Bridges Outreach, based in Summit, has long history of providing street-level outreach in NYC and Essex County NJ. A lead organizer of the Coalition of Services in Newark, the agency oversees monthly service outreach by 20 partner organizations to address the needs of the homeless or near-homeless. With HFNJ funding Bridges will establish bi-weekly outreach programs in the Newark Penn Station area targeting the most vulnerable homeless persons. Medical services will be available with a focus on high blood pressure and diabetes screening, HIV testing, mental health assessments, and a range of referrals for services including detox. Partner agencies will provide a continuum of social services aimed at reducing reliance on Penn Station for emergency shelter. Project Connect will employ two part-time case managers – one a Vet and the other Spanish-speaking – to serve as liaisons between homeless persons and service providers.