JFCS Presents Free “How to Save a Life” Speaker Event on June 20

What do you do if family member is admitted to the hospital?  How do you become more proactive when you are talking to doctors about your medical care – or of those you love?  What do you ask when trying to hire a caregiver?  On Wednesday, June 20th the JFCS Patient Partners Program will welcome Dr. Jamie Wells to present “How to Save Your Live and The Lives of Loved Ones: Becoming a Patient Advocacy Rock Star.”

Dr. Jamie Wells, MD, FAAP was named among America’s Top Physicians, is a Yale graduate, board certified, and award-winning pediatrician with over a decade of experience caring for patients. Dr. Wells, currently  the Director of Medicine for the American Council on Science and Health can be found anywhere from the Big Apple to the White House, helping the public understand and participate in patient advocacy. “With a constant surge of competing profit centers fragmenting healthcare, more layers than ever are in place eroding the doctor-patient relationship. Hopefully, you will leave this talk understanding how this diminishes care quality while acquiring tools to optimize continuity, a proven factor in delivering better outcomes,” says Dr. Jamie Wells.

The event will take place at the Family Activity Center in the Katz JCC building, at 12 PM, and is a “lunch and learn.” Guests are asked to bring a dairy lunch.  Refreshments and desserts will be provided.   Free to attend, but registration is required by visiting www.jfcssnj.org/drjamie.

The JFCS Patient Partners Program is sponsored by the Saltzman Foundation, Community Foundation of south Jersey Aging Innovation Fund, and Area VII Physicians Review Organization, Inc./ HQSI.

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Tickets On Sale Now: Justin Wolfe Memorial Birthday Benefit

Fundraiser will Support the JFCS Addiction / Overdose Awareness Program, Right In Our Backyard

Justin Wolfe, a 2009 graduate of Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees NJ was 21 years old and attending Temple University when lost his life to a heroin overdose on Dec. 19, 2012. A special birthday benefit on June 11 will honor Justin’s memory and raise money for the JFCS Right in Our Backyard Addiction Awareness and Prevention Program- which has reached over 3,000 young people in South Jersey in just a few years since it was launched in Cherry Hill.

The program was developed between Gregg Wolfe, Justin’s father, and JFCS of Southern New Jersey to help increase drug addiction awareness and prevent future instances of drug addiction and addiction-related deaths.  Through the program, Wolfe joins drug counselors, recovering addicts, police officers and another area parent who lost a child to drug addiction to present panel discussions to groups of parents and their teenagers. It is brought to the community in partnership with the Camden County Board of Freeholders.

“Many people are in denial and don’t realize or don’t know, as I did not, the demons of addiction and opiate and heroin abuse that is rampant and has become an epidemic in our community,” Wolfe said. Wolfe notes that many parents in the area think drug addiction is limited to cities such as Camden, when in reality the epidemic has moved to suburban areas, hence the Right in Our Backyard name of the program.

“Even though people say they don’t have addiction in their family, it can affect anybody,” Wolfe said. As such, Wolfe said all parents should learn more about the dangers of addiction and the treatments available.

Wolfe asks any parents or members of the community looking to help prevent drug addiction to join him at Justin’s birthday benefit on Monday, June 11, at the Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees. The event will start at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $50 each, and include two drinks and a full dinner and dessert buffet.  All money raised will go directly toward funding the Right in Our Backyard Program and its work.

To purchase tickets to the Justin Wolfe Memorial Birthday Event, please visit www.justinforjustice.org/tickets. For more information on the outreach efforts of the Right In Our backyard Program, or to schedule a presentation, you may visit www.jfcssnj.org/rightinourbackyard.

 

 

 

Special Needs Program Project SEARCH Helps a Childhood Dream Come True

On the Right Track

Special Needs Program Project SEARCH Helps a Childhood Dream Come True

Ever since PJ was a child, he had an admiration for trains.

“Since birth, PJ absolutely loved trains. It probably started with Thomas the Tank Engine,” says Noemi, PJ’s mom. “He really wanted to work as an engineer; it was his ‘train dream.’”

It is not uncommon for people on the autism spectrum to have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. Fortunately, PJ found that his dream of working in the train industry came true after his year-long participation in Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is a nationally- recognized, one-year high school transition program, which provides training and education with the goal of competitive, integrated employment for students with disabilities.

This collaborative program, of which JFCS is the Community Rehabilitation Provider, started in South Jersey in September 2016 through Kennedy Health (now Jefferson Health).

“I loved our experience with Project SEARCH,” said Noemi. “It is a wonderful program. Considering

the help PJ needed, everyone was all-hands-on- deck. The entire Project SEARCH team was very supportive and patient.”

Before he landed his job in the train industry, PJ participated in three 12-week internship rotationsin different departments within Jefferson Health. He learned to write letters of application and compile a resume, honed interviewing techniques, and gained transferable skills. PJ monitored machines in the boiler room, retrieved orders from a handheld device, and completed hardware diagnostics during his internship.

“PJ was always consistent in receiving high scores from his department mentors on work-related behaviors,” noted Janeene Martin, JFCS Employment Specialist for the Project SEARCH Program. “PJ was eager to apply all his experiences

and training in the workforce.” PJ would soon realize that his skills and work ethic, along with guidance from the Project SEARCH team, would put him on the right track to his dream job.

“JFCS was able to connect PJ with a job opportunity as a courier with Edens Corporation, a partner organization with SEPTA. Now PJ gets to work in a job where he is riding the rails all day long, three days a week, from 9 AM – 4 PM. He even rides a train into work,” Noemi says with pride. “His job is to ride the train to various locations, and to deliver important documents to the staff there.”

Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Edens Corporation provides a variety of services to include paratransit transportation and ticketing throughout the Philadelphia region.

“One of the biggest rewards,” says Noemi, “is that PJ is coming out of his shell. PJ used to keep to himself a lot, but now he comes home to relay that he spoke up and asked for help on something. He is always pleased to share what he has learned, and how willing the staff is to assist him. Every day, his confidence in himself, and in his abilities, shows. If any parent is on the fence about a program like this, they shouldn’t be. They should just do it. Project SEARCH offers so much support to all the participants … there are just so many benefits.” PJ, when asked to choose two things he liked most about his job, said, “I like interacting with people and being independent.” Riding the trains, it goes without saying, is of course at the top of his list.

The Project SEARCH Program occurs on-site at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, and is a collaboration of community partners including JFCS, Jefferson Health, Y.A.L.E. School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), and New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). For more information on Project SEARCH, call Janeene Martin at (856) 424-1333, Ext. 3275. To learn more about all of the special needs programming JFCS offers, visit www.jfcssnj.org/special-needs.

 

Free BRCA Gene Webinar – December 20

Sharsheret will present a free national webinar, “BRCA Genetics In The News: What Do I Do Next?” on Wednesday, December 20th, at 8 p.m. EST.

The webinar features Sharsheret’s own Genetics Program Coordinator, Peggy Cottrell, MS, CGC, who will explore the latest critical genetics research, decode BRCA and other genetic  mutations, and help us understand what steps we need to take next. A Sharsheret peer supporter will share her personal story and a live question and answer session will follow the presentation.

To register for the webinar or to share the webinar with others in your network, click here.

Speaking Out Against Abusers is Paramount

 

By Lori Garber

Courage to speak out against an abuser is paramount in combating sexual assault.  The question is whether the recent reversal of Obama-era college sexual misconduct rules will discourage reporting by victims at colleges and universities.  Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos,  set an interim guidance for  a higher standard of evidence for victims of  sexual misconduct against their abusers.  Her reasoning was to protect the accused from being punished without legal due process.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education urged universities and colleges to commit to the prevention of sexual assault and adequately and quickly respond to assertions of the victims of sexual misconduct under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting discrimination in education.  

The standard was a “preponderance of evidence”, where, if more than 50% of the evidence points to misconduct, the abuser would be punished.  DeVos proposes the standard to be  for the stricter, “clear and convincing” evidence, which requires proof that  it is highly probable that the claim is true. 

Critics argue the higher standard puts an undue and often virtually impossible burden on the victims.  Others argue for the rights of the accused.  No one wants a college student to be expelled, jailed or otherwise ostracized based on false claims, but it is imperative that  victims of sexual violence not be afraid to confront their accusers through the legal system and they may if they fear they cannot adequately prove the assault occurred.  At this time, even with  DeVos’ announcement, colleges and universities can still choose whether to use the stricter “clear and convincing” evidence standard or the lesser proof of “preponderance of the evidence”.

Universities have responded.  Syracuse University, University of Michigan and University of Tennessee are among the many institutions of higher learning who will …”continue to resist policies that limit victim protections and will continue with their current policies  addressing sexual misconduct,” indicated a SU official.  Students of sexual violence need the courage to speak out and are more likely do so if they know the administration supports and encourages them to identify and confront their abusers.  

Sexual Predators Have Many Faces

… The use of power and force, whether it be by a high-powered Hollywood executive or a college student, shows no boundaries…

 By Lori Garber

What do Ashley Judd and Terry Crews have in common?  A 5’ 6” actress and  a 6′ 3″ actor and former NFL football player weighing 240 lbs?   Both have been sexually assaulted by Hollywood executives.  Both are victims.   They recently came out and  publicly told their stories of abuse and humiliation.  Sexual predators have many faces and do not discriminate;  the use of power and force, whether it be by a high-powered Hollywood executive or a college student, shows no boundaries.  In the wake of Harvey Weinstein, courage, it seems, is what is needed to stop it from happening.

 

During an interview with Helen Benedict, professor of journalism at Columbia University, she spoke with NPR host Michael Martin.  Benedict said of sexual predators, “The impulse is pretty much the same – to abuse power. You make yourself feel powerful by degrading others. It’s the same impulse that torture is used. You know, most torturers use sexual humiliation as part of their tools to torture.”

 

Crews felt powerless.  He tweeted, “Who’s going 2 believe you? (few) What r the repercussions? (many)  Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized? (No)”.  James Van Der Beek, another actor, recently revealed that he  was also a victim of sexual assault, and said in a tweet,  “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle.  There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.” Many victims of sexual assault are afraid to speak up because of fear of negative consequences. 

 

As the voices of the Hollywood elite, both males and females, are taking the forefront against sexual harassment, assault, and rape, it is now more than ever, imperative for those in college, where sexual assault and rape are rampant, to speak up and have the courage to do something even when there is concern about the consequences because if they fail to do so, the the abuse will never end.

 

ATTEND THE #WETOO EVENT ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT on NOVEMBER 28 at 7 PM. 

COMMUNITY LEADERS. REAL CONVERSATION. IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. 

Register by Nov 22 here: www.jfcssnj.org/wetoo