County Organizations Join Forces to Foster Connection Among Youth in Need Amidst Pandemic

Mentors and mentees connected though Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern NJ (BBBSCNNJ). FREEHOLD, NJ – When the COVID-19 pandemic struck New Jersey, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern NJ (BBBSCNNJ)  suddenly had to plan for ways to provide services to families and kids in an increasingly virtual world. BBBSCNNJ Program Manager Brendan Ward acted by tapping into the Monmouth ACTS network. BBBSCNNJ provides a community-based program that features 1:1 mentoring for youth ages 6-15, as well as workplace, college and school-based mentoring programs for students up to age 18. Kids are matched with members of…
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Revised Brookdale Nursing Curriculum Better Prepares Graduates to Address Growing Opioid Crisis

New Jersey’s growing opioid crisis has created knowledge gaps and training challenges for health care professionals.  “Addiction is not just a care issue for nurses working in corrections or drug rehab,” says Rosemary Smentkowski, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC, CARN, a psychiatric nurse practitioner certified in addiction nursing, and an adjunct professor at Georgian Court and Monmouth Universities. “Regardless of where they work, all nurses are addictions nurses, and we need to prepare them to identify this disease,” she says, noting that this critical area of study is not yet included in many schools’ curricula. Smentkowski, the only registered nurse on Monmouth…
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County Organizations Provide Disaster Ready-Go Bags for Vulnerable Populations in Time for Winter Storms

Colleen Smith, Caregiver Specialist; Sue Moleon, Director, Monmouth County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans Services; Inhyoung Chae, Aging & Disability Resource Connection Coordinator; Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone; Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden; Sam Pandure, Senior Accountant; Pat Scinto-Krosinski, Director, Long Branch Senior Center; and Freeholder Susan M. Kiley at a recent Ready-Go Bags distribution event in Long Branch. FREEHOLD, NJ – Partners of the Monmouth ACTS initiative are working hard to ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of the population – seniors and people with disabilities – are prepared before winter storms hit. A joint partnership…
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County Organizations Work Together to Help Spanish-Speaking Residents Flourish at Freehold Community Garden

Freehold resident Karen works with her daughter to tend the pole beans she grows at the Freehold Community Garden. Karen and her friend Sara grow vegetables in their shared garden plot to supplement their groceries. When administrators at the Freehold Community Garden noticed a decline in the number of applications for a garden bed, they took action. Gardener Jeanne Patterson tapped into her network with Neighborhood Connections To Health (NCTH), a coalition comprised of individuals who have a vested interest in improving the health and well-being of Freehold residents, to learn more. “Neighborhood Connections shared with me that Freehold Borough…
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Division of Social Services Partners with Brookdale Community College

When officials at Brookdale Community College noted they encountered students with limited resources that could benefit from County Services, Monmouth ACTS stepped in. Students didn't know where to turn for housing, food and more. "There was a need for a larger connection," said Christine Aumack, administrative supervisor of Social Work for Monmouth County Division of Social Services. "We decided to bring our resources directly to the students by having a social worker available to them on campus." Now Sylvina Mendez, MCDSS social worker, is posted at the Brookdale-Lincroft campus Veteran's Center each Monday and Thursday. She provides students with information…
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