Section: Monmouth Medical Center News

Monmouth Medical Center and Weforum Empower Community with Heroin Epidemic Response Forum


Long Branch, N.J. – Nearly 250 people recently attended a free community event: “Responding to the Heroin Epidemic in Monmouth County” hosted by Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and WEforum, an organization led by women whose mission is to strengthen the health and wellness of communities within New Jersey. Held at Monmouth University Pollack Theater, the event was designed to address the health crisis and help stop the heroin epidemic from spreading.

At the event, expert panelists shed light on the heroin crisis: Victor Almeida, DO, FACEP, chairman of emergency medicine at Monmouth Medical Center and Past Chairman of NJACEP; Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; and Dennis Makarowski, LCSW, LCADC, co-occurring disorder specialist behavioral health at Monmouth Medical Center. Christian Peter, Board Member of the Tigger House Foundation, served as the program Emcee.

According to the New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office, there were 1,587 drug overdose deaths in 2015 in New Jersey, up a staggering 21 percent from the year before. Even more alarming, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in July 2015 that the New Jersey heroin overdose death rate is triple the soaring U.S. rate. The heroin epidemic cuts through every socio-economic level, effecting urban and suburban communities across the State. It’s a health crisis that can’t be ignored.

WEforum hosts empowerment and educational events with the mission: “When you educate a woman, she empowers her family, and together WE can evolve a community.” The event was also supported by Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, Tigger House Foundation and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Photo 1 (left to right)

Tara F. Kelly Vice President, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation Monmouth Medical Center – Little Silver

Lisa and Rick Stavola, Red Bank, Founders, Tigger House Foundation

Christian Peter, Atlantic Highlands, The Competitive Advantage Companies, President, Tigger House Foundation, Board Member

Photo 2 (left to right)

Abby Kelly – WE Forum Monmouth Beach

Toni Kilkeary – We Forum Fair Haven

Bill Arnold, president and chief executive officer, Monmouth Medical Center Long Branch

Grey J. Dimenna, Interim President Monmouth University Long Branch

Stephanie Lutz Hoitt – WE Forum Colts Neck

Krista Long – WE Forum Rumson

Amy McDonagh – WE Forum Rumson

Lisa Becker – We Forum Rumson

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Monmouth University Long Branch

Categories: Press Releases