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For Immediate Release: January 19, 2017

AtlantiCare Hospice and Palliative Care
to hold Hospice Volunteer Training

AtlantiCare Hospice will hold a volunteer training Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its office in the Airport Commerce Center, 6550 Delilah Road, Suite 210, Egg Harbor Township, NJ.

The training is open to volunteers 18 years of age and older interested in providing patient/caregiver companionship, in Atlantic, Cape May and southern Ocean counties.

The training will cover:
• A comprehensive overview of hospice care and AtlantiCare Hospice services
• Volunteer roles and responsibilities
• Basic information about grief, loss, and stress
• Effective communication skills
• Physical, emotional, social and spiritual issues that people can encounter at the end of life

“Hospice volunteers can visit patients who live near their homes or places of work,” said Maureen Hope, AtlantiCare Volunteer coordinator. “We ask that they commit to volunteering at least once a week.” 

The AtlantiCare Hospice team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual counselors and volunteers. The team works with patients and their families to provide care and support to those facing life-limiting illnesses. The team also provides grief support to surviving family and friends.

To register for the volunteer training, or for more information, call 609-407-2002.

For more information about AtlantiCare programs and services, visit www.atlanticare.org; call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000, or find AtlantiCare on Facebook.

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org 
Heather Costabile, (O) 609-653-0400 x112, heather.costabile@atlanticare.org 

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__________________________________________________________________________

AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

AtlantiCare experts offer ten tips for a healthy 2017

The start of a new year is a chance to reflect on the past twelve months and to set goals for the future.

“It’s a great time to take a look at the choices you’ve made about your health and to think about whether you might want to make better ones moving forward,” said Anael Delice, D.O., AtlantiCare Physician Group (APG) Primary Care Plus, Atlantic City. “As you head into 2017, think about small ways you can make healthy changes for yourself and your loved ones.” Delice and his AtlantiCare colleagues shared the following tips for a healthy 2017.

1. Exercise every day
Get moving! “Take a brisk walk, hit the gym or run outside to get your heart pumping, burn calories,” said Burak Arkonac, M.D., medical director, the Cardiac Catheterization and Rhythm Center, The Heart Institute at ARMC, and interventional cardiologist, APG - Cardiology. “If you sit for long periods or don’t get any regular exercise, make it a point to do something physical every day.” The American Heart Association’s recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, he added. “Working out for 30 minutes a day, five days a week can help you burn calories and build muscle,” explained Arkonac. “It can also help to reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. Exercise can also help with managing stress.

2. Eat your fruits and vegetables
Get enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet and create low-calorie, filling meals to prevent some chronic conditions,” said Alexander Onopchenko, M.D., medical director of the Center for Surgical Weight Loss & Wellness at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) and medical director, APG - Surgical Services. To boost the number of fruits and vegetables you eat daily, try adding fresh fruit to a bowl of cereal, oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. For lunch, enjoy a green salad with a mix of your favorite vegetables and a low-fat dressing. For dinner, try adding extra vegetables to a pasta dish. When you’re hungry for a snack, reach for a piece of fresh or dried fruit instead of cookies or crackers.

3. Drink more water
Water helps you stay hydrated, digest food, and maintain circulation. It carries nutrients throughout your body and keeps your body temperature consistent. “Water is calorie-free and sugar-free, making it the best choice for a drink throughout your day,” said Laura Engelmann, MHA, Community Health and Wellness manager, AtlantiCare. “During meals, replace sodas and fruit juices with water. If you feel like getting that third cup of coffee, which has dehydrating caffeine, choose water instead. Keep a refillable bottle of water with you during the day to stay hydrated.”

4. Cut back on added sugar
Too much sugar in your diet can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. “Reduce the amount of added sugar you take in by replacing soda, sports drinks and juices with water at meals, said Brian Lee, ACE –CPT, fitness supervisor, AtlantiCare LifeCenter. “When you crave something sweet, try eating a banana or an apple, rather than a cookie or a piece of candy.”

5. Reduce your sodium intake
Sodium is sneaky—there might be more than you think in foods including bread, salad dressing and soup. “A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Sanjay Shetty, MD, cardiologist AtlantiCare Physician Group-Cardiology, and division chair, Cardiology, The Heart Institute at ARMC. “Stick to whole foods instead of processed ones, and check nutrition labels to see where sodium is lurking. Be especially wary of packaged foods that claim to be ‘healthy’ or ‘low-salt.’ Make your own soups and other dishes. Flavor them with vegetables and herbs.”

6. Schedule an annual physical
“Visit your primary care provider for an annual physical,” said Delice. “He or she can help you monitor changes in your health, prevent diseases and begin treating health issues that emerge before they become serious.” Ask your provider about health screenings you might need. Recommended screenings such as mammograms and pap tests for women, as well as colonoscopies, cholesterol and diabetes screenings for both men and women vary by age and personal/family history. “Ask questions and share concerns with your provider,” said Delice. “Talk with him or her about your hobbies and interests. The more he or she knows about you, the better the two of you will communicate to meet your health and wellness needs.”

7. Get good sleep.
Aim for eight hours of sleep. “Sleep contributes to your overall wellness,” said Maria Szpiech, M.D., AtlantiCare Physician Group – Endocrinology. “Not getting enough sleep can impact your endocrine system, putting you at risk for diabetes, heart disease and other serious health issues. Getting a full eight hours of sleep can help you prevent these and other issues. It can also help you think clearly, have more energy, feel rested, maintain a healthy weight, and manage stress.”

8. Take time to relax and de-stress
“Staying in good mental health is just as important as maintaining your physical health,” said Brian Isaacson, M.D., ” associate chairman of Psychiatry, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. “Stress can cause negative effects on your body, including muscle tension, headaches, fatigue and sleep problems. It can also contribute to depression and other mental health issues. Try breathing slowly several times a day, meditating, or doing yoga. Take the time to do things and be with people who make you happy. Getting a massage or listening to calming music can help you refocus, think positively and reduce stress. If you need assistance with managing stress, talk with your primary care provider. For mental health assessment and support, call the Atlantic County Crisis Center at 609-344-1118. For an emergency situation, dial 911.

9. Quit smoking
“Smoking causes lung cancer, and increases your risk of other types of cancer,” said James Wurzer, M.D., James C. Wurzer, M.D., Ph.D., medical Director, Oncology Program and medical director, Radiation Oncology AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner, and adjunct associate member, Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center. Wurzer said smoking can also contribute to heart disease, gum disease and other medical problems. “Talk with your primary care provider about options for helping you quit.”

10. Drive, sober, alert, and attentively
“Refrain from doing anything while driving that distracts you,” said James Eakins, M.D., trauma surgeon and medical director, the Trauma Center, ARMC Atlantic City Campus. “Put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode, or turn it off. If you’re tired or you’ve had alcohol, ask someone else to drive you. Always wear a seatbelt.”

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2017

AtlantiCare to host tenth annual
Red Dress/Red Tie Reception
February is American Heart Month

The Heart Institute at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC) will hold its tenth annual Red Dress/Red Tie Reception Thursday, February 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Smithville Inn, Route 9, Historic Smithville. The reception is one way AtlantiCare promotes heart health during American Heart Month.

Men and women are invited to wear red in awareness of heart disease. The event will include hors d’oeuvres, an auction featuring goods and services from local businesses, craft beer tasting, and a cash bar, and a vendor marketplace.

“This reception is always an enjoyable way to acknowledge the significance of heart month and create awareness about heart disease,” said Rose McCarthy, RN, Heart Institute at ARMC, and coordinator, ARMC Heart Heroes. “Attendees will find the vendor marketplace is great for Valentine’s Day gift ideas.”

Event proceeds will benefit the ARMC Heart Heroes Program, an AtlantiCare Foundation-funded program that places automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in the community on behalf of the Heart Institute at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. The program began in 2002, spurred by a small group of dedicated AtlantiCare volunteers who were known as the “Heart Heroes.” Since its inception, the program has placed more than 200 AEDs in the community. The Heart Heroes Program funds a portion of the AED cost. The receiving community group and/or organization provides the remaining funds. Applications for the Heart Heroes Matching Funds Program are available on AtlantiCare’s website.

To register for the Red Dress/Red Tie Reception, visit http://www.atlanticare.org/reddress. Registration fee is $50. Event registration is open through Friday, February 3, 2017. For more information about the event or to pay by check, call Rose McCarthy at 609-404-7979.

For more information about the Heart Institute at ARMC or other AtlantiCare programs and services, visit http://www.atlanticare.org/ or find AtlantiCare on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/atlanticare

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org 
Heather Costabile, (O) 609-609-653-0400 x112, heather.costabile@atlanticare.org 

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______________________________________________________________________________

AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

For Immediate Release: January 16, 2017

AtlantiCare, Community FoodBank
of New Jersey, Southern Branch mark opening of new food pantry

AtlantiCare and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, marked the opening of a year-round food pantry –Pantry at the Plex – at the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City with a ribbon cutting and special tour on January 11. The pantry, which had a soft opening December 14, serves low-income patients receiving healthcare services at the HealthPlex. Pantry hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Engelmann Festa Kincaid Uniacke Herndon CharltonLaura Engelmann, MHA, community health and wellness manager, AtlantiCare; Sandy Festa, MSW, administrative director, AtlantiCare HealthPlex; Rosalind Kincaid, AtlantiCare Regional Health Services Board member and chair, AtlantiCare Mission HealthCare Board; Richard Uniacke, vice president, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch; Lori Herndon, president and CEO, AtlantiCare; and Michael Charlton, vice chairman, AtlantiCare System Board, cut the ribbon on the Pantry at the Plex at the AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City on January 11, 2017.

“We have long known that it’s not enough to provide just healthcare to our community,” said Lori Herndon, president and CEO, AtlantiCare. “This food pantry is a unique way for AtlantiCare to broaden its scope in providing comprehensive patient care.”

“We’re committed to assisting our more than 9,000 patients reduce the many barriers that might impede them from enjoying a lifetime of health,” said Sandy Festa, MSW, administrative director, AtlantiCare HealthPlex. “We’ve done this by providing an on-site pharmacy to patients to ensure that they get their medications timely, and by offering health coaches. Now, we have another resource to better meet our patients needs – a food pantry for patients to pick up healthy foods.”

Michael Charlton vice chairman AtlantiCare System Board and Lori Herndon president and CEO AtlantiCare browse the food pantryMichael Charlton, vice chairman, AtlantiCare System Board, and Lori Herndon, president and CEO, AtlantiCare discuss the benefits of the food pantry after the ribbon cutting, January 11, 2017.

Richard Uniacke, vice president, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, remarked, “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with AtlantiCare and the HealthPlex in this way. What began just a few months ago as a new Mobile Pantry stop to provide food for HealthPlex patients, has evolved into the ideal scenario wherein the food they need is on site and can be prescribed as part of their care.”

Healthcare providers will write a prescription for healthy food for individuals in need. The prescription will serve as a voucher for patients to receive a three- to four-day supply of healthy food items. The once-monthly supply of healthy food is intended to be enough to feed up to a family of four for three to four days.

Each pantry bag is stocked with healthy food itemsEach Pantry at the Plex bag is stocked with healthy food items. The once-monthly supply of healthy food is intended to be enough to feed up to a family of four for three to four days.

The healthy food prescription will be good for the day of the patient’s visit only, unless the care team makes other arrangements. The pantry is located in a private area of the HealthPlex to maintain patient privacy.

Following the ribbon cutting, Chef Brianna Manning of Kitchen 19 Creative Culinary Center in Hammonton, NJ, and a member of AtlantiCare’s Growing Green Chefs Council, led a healthy cooking demonstration using items from the pantry to prepare bean and cabbage soup.

Herndon Long KirklandLori Herndon, president and CEO, AtlantiCare, and Vinnie Kirkland, case manager, AtlantiCare, present Nikki Long, of Atlantic City, with a Pantry at the Plex bag stocked with healthy food items, January 11, 2017.

For more information about AtlantiCare’s Pantry at the Plex, visit www.atlanticare.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000. For more information about making a donation to the AtlantiCare Foundation, visit the Foundation’s web page or call 888-569-1000.

Patients can also receive nutrition education resources and other health and wellness information when they access the pantry. Pantry items are selected based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines for healthy eating.

Organizations, businesses and individuals can contribute to AtlantiCare’s Pantry at the Plex by making a donation to the AtlantiCare Foundation.

About the AtlantiCare Foundation
The AtlantiCare Foundation exists to improve the health and well-being of the community through a comprehensive development program to support safe, equitable, quality health care; and to promote healthy behaviors. The Foundation is committed to providing financial resources to help fund health status improvement, which includes supporting the programs and capital expansion projects at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and its affiliates. The Foundation accomplishes its work through the formation of trusting relationships with key stakeholders and community partners that share its vision of building healthy communities.

About AtlantiCare's Growing Green Initiative
AtlantiCare's Growing Green initiative is a school and community garden program aimed at improving access to healthy foods. Since 2009, the initiative’s garden construction and sustainability grants have supported 56 school gardens and 21 community gardens. In addition to these funds, Growing Green offers complementary educational programming led by health educators, dieticians, garden experts, and academic scholars.

The AtlantiCare Growing Green Chef Council is a distinguished group of culinary experts working in the greater Atlantic City area. The Council is committed to increasing access to healthy food for community members, and to providing them with the food preparation skills necessary to lead healthier lives. The Growing Green Chef Council uses its passion, expertise, and circles of influence to support the growth and sustainability of AtlantiCare's Growing Green initiative.

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org 
Heather Costabile, (O) 609-653-0400 x112, heather.costabile@atlanticare.org 
Richard Uniacke, (O) 609-383-8843 Ext.109, runiacke@cfbnj.org 

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____________________________________________________________________

AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2017

AtlantiCare, Community FoodBank
of New Jersey, Southern Branch to cut ribbon
on new food pantry

Who:       AtlantiCare and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch

What:      To cut ribbon on new food pantry

When:     Wednesday, January 11, 2017; 2 p.m.

Where:    William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex,
               1401 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Details:   AtlantiCare and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, will hold a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of a year-round food pantry – Pantry at the Plex – at the William L. Gormley AtlantiCare HealthPlex in Atlantic City. AtlantiCare officials will share brief remarks. Chef Brianna Manning, of Kitchen 19 Creative Culinary Center in Hammonton, NJ, and a member of AtlantiCare’s Growing Green Chefs Council, will lead the a healthy cooking demonstration using items from the pantry to prepare bean and cabbage soup following the ribbon cutting.

The pantry, which had a soft opening December 14, serves low-income patients receiving healthcare services at the HealthPlex Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A member of the AtlantiCare care team, which can include a physician or other provider, nurse, social worker, diabetes educator, and/or other specialists, assesses the patient at the time of his or her medical or social service visit for food insecurity and need for assistance through the pantry.

“Our healthcare providers will write a prescription for healthy food for individuals,” explained Sandy Festa, MSW, administrative director, AtlantiCare HealthPlex. “The prescription will serve as a voucher for patients to receive a three- to four-day supply of healthy food items.” Festa added the once-monthly supply of healthy food is intended to be enough to feed up to a family of four for three to four days. “Through our on-site pharmacy, we help patients get their medications timely. Now patients will be able to pick up food and their medications – if needed - at the same time.”

“Nutrition plays a key role in a person’s overall wellness,” said Festa, who added more than 9,000 individual patients are currently receiving care at the HealthPlex. “Many of our patients have multiple, chronic health issues. Our providers stress the importance of eating nutritious food, especially when it comes to preventing or managing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other issues. But patients don’t always have the ability to get healthy food.”

The healthy food prescription will be good for the day of the patient’s visit only, unless the care team makes other arrangements. “Just as we work hard to make sure patients get and take their medications timely, we want to help them to access nutritional food timely,” explained Festa. “A member of the care team will confidentially walk the patient to the pantry to retrieve the food. We located in the pantry in a private area of the HealthPlex to maintain patient privacy.”

AtlantiCare Growing Green, a school and community garden program aimed at improving access to healthy foods, oversees pantry operations and reporting requirements. AtlantiCare staff, volunteers, and interns help the pantry receive deliveries, bag food items, and provide other assistance.

“While patients access the pantry we will also provide nutrition education resources and other health and wellness information,” said Laura Engelmann, MHA, AtlantiCare Community Health and Wellness manager, who leads AtlantiCare’s Growing Green initiative. “We selected pantry items based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate guidelines for healthy eating.”

“AtlantiCare and the FoodBank partnered to provide a mobile pantry once a month last summer for our HealthPlex patients,” explained Samantha Kiley, MBA, MPH, executive director, AtlantiCare Foundation. “Nutrition-related illnesses and food insecurity are year-round issues, so we are now collaborating to help meet this need on a real-time basis.” Kiley noted organizations, businesses and individuals can contribute to AtlantiCare’s Pantry at the Plex by making a donation to the AtlantiCare Foundation.

“We are absolutely thrilled to expand our partnership with AtlantiCare and the HealthPlex in this way. What began just a few months ago as a new Mobile Pantry stop to provide food for HealthPlex patients has evolved to something of an ideal scenario wherein the food they need is right on site and can be prescribed as part of their care,” said Richard Uniacke, vice president, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch.

AtlantiCare’s team works with patients to link them with additional nutrition and clinical support services in the community.

For more information about AtlantiCare’s Pantry at the Plex, visit www.atlanticare.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000. For more information about making a donation to the AtlantiCare Foundation, visit the Foundation’s web page or call 888-569-1000.

About the AtlantiCare Foundation
The AtlantiCare Foundation exists to improve the health and well-being of the community through a comprehensive development program to support safe, equitable, quality health care; and to promote healthy behaviors. The Foundation is committed to providing financial resources to help fund health status improvement, which includes supporting the programs and capital expansion projects at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center and its affiliates. The Foundation accomplishes its work through the formation of trusting relationships with key stakeholders and community partners that share its vision of building healthy communities.

About AtlantiCare's Growing Green Initiative
AtlantiCare's Growing Green initiative is a school and community garden program aimed at improving access to healthy foods. Since 2009, the initiative’s garden construction and sustainability grants have supported 56 school gardens and 21 community gardens. In addition to these funds, Growing Green offers complementary educational programming led by health educators, dieticians, garden experts, and academic scholars.

The AtlantiCare Growing Green Chef Council is a distinguished group of culinary experts working in the greater Atlantic City area. The Council is committed to increasing access to healthy food for community members, and to providing them with the food preparation skills necessary to lead healthier lives. The Growing Green Chef Council uses its passion, expertise, and circles of influence to support the growth and sustainability of AtlantiCare's Growing Green initiative.

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org
Heather Costabile, (O) 609-653-0400 x112, heather.costabile@atlanticare.org
Richard Uniacke, (O) 609-383-8843 Ext.109, runiacke@cfbnj.org

-30-
____________________________________________________________________________

AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.

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Diabetes Community
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Atlantic City | EHT | Pomona

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Breast Cancer Support
Groups

2nd Tuesday of each month
AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute

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Stroke Support Groups
First Thursday of each month

 

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award      magnet logo  HEI 2016