|Michellene Davis, left, Senior Vice President for Policy Development and Governmental Affairs for Barnabas Health, and Frank J. Vozos, M.D., FACS, Executive Director of Monmouth Medical Center, gather in Monmouth Medical Center’s Borden Auditorium with, from left, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, Sarah Brennan, director of Legislative Affairs and Communication for Senator Joseph Kyrillos, and Senator Robert Singer.
LONG BRANCH, NJ - State legislators recently traveled to Monmouth Medical Center for a dialogue with senior hospital officials to explore mutual concerns related to health care in their shared communities.
The visit by New Jersey State Senator Robert Singer ‒ the chairman of the Ocean County Board of Health and a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens ‒ and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer ‒ who sits on the Labor Committee for the New Jersey State Assembly ‒ is a part of an ongoing dialogue between Monmouth Medical Center administrators, physician leaders and trustees and local legislators. The most-recent meeting also included Sarah Brennan, director of Legislative Affairs and Communication for Senator Joseph Kyrillos, whom she noted as the son and brother of New Jersey doctors is very aware of the challenges of today’s health care environment.
The discussion covered a range of health care topics with a particular focus on access to mental health services. The legislators took note of the fact that the closing in recent years of mental health facilities in Monmouth County, including Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital and the Arthur Brisbane Child Treatment Center in Farmingdale, has put an undue burden on Monmouth Medical Center, which offers the largest psychiatric program in the county.
Frank J. Vozos, M.D., FACS, executive director of Monmouth Medical Center, noted that Monmouth’s Psychiatric Emergency Screening Service (PESS) is the designated such service for Monmouth County, and its Children's Crisis Intervention Service is the area's only state-designated program for the inpatient treatment of children and adolescents with acute emotional, behavioral or psychiatric problems.
Pointing to the unveiling in 1950 of the hospital’s Pollak Mental Health Services program, the first outpatient mental health clinic in the county, he told the legislators that the most recent example of the hospital’s commitment to the care of the mentally ill was last year’s dedication of the Pavilion Intensive Outpatient Program. This expansion of Monmouth Medical Center’s outpatient Behavioral Health Services is allowing psychiatric patients to acclimate to everyday life by returning home each day following treatment.
“We continue to be the leader in our region in the provision of mental health services at a time when many other providers are eliminating services,” he said. “This latest program fills a service and community need, when inpatient hospitalization is not necessary or no longer required, but outpatient services are too limited for the patient’s needs.”
Dr. Vozos stressed to the legislators that Monmouth Medical Center is committed to meeting the mental health care needs of the community, but also cautioned that the hospital needs support for these programs and their dedicated staffs, particularly at a time when their services mean so much to individuals in the community who would have nowhere else to turn for care.
“In 2012, Monmouth Medical center will celebrate 125 years of providing our patients with compassionate care and clinical excellence, and we remain committed to meeting the health care needs of everyone in our community, and look forward to the support of our state and local government,” Dr. Vozos said.
The group concluded their visit with an address to the hospital’s management team, where they pledged their support for the work being done at Monmouth Medical Center.
To learn more about community outreach efforts at Monmouth Medical Center, or for more information on the hospital’s mental health services or other programs, visit www.barnabashealth.org or call 1-888-724-7123.
November 7, 2011
CONTACT: Elizabeth Brennan
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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