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Ocean Inc. Health and Education Advisory Committee Meeting


Ocean Inc. Head Start Health Department led by Health Manager Laura Coccia, LPN with team members Gloria Bivins, RN BSN; Pat Brower, LPN Nicole Allmond-Hayes LPN Lydia Sledge, Health Clerk and Sharon Hopson, Education/Site Supervisor of the Ocean Inc. Head Start Education Department hosted a high-quality Health and Education Advisory Committee Meeting in the Mancini Hall at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library.

With many participants in attendance and boxed lunches served, the Health and Education Advisory event brought together staff, parents, local health care and other community providers to discuss the planning, operation and evaluation of health services within the Head Start Program.

Meg Saunders, the V.P. of Children’s Services for Ocean Inc. provided welcoming announcements, introductions and a brief discussion of the Head Start Program. Ocean Inc. Health Manager Laura Coccia introduced the guest speakers including the following:


Krista Tully of LifeVac discussed and provided a training demonstration on the functionality of LifeVac, an airway clearing device developed for resuscitating a victim with an airway obstruction when choking protocols have been followed without success. Raffles of the LifeVac airway clearing device were conducted throughout the event. Congratulations to the lucky winners including Meg McCarthy Klein of the Ocean County Health Department, Laura Morelli, Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) Instructor and Theresa Harris, an OCVTS Nursing Student.


Joe Cuffari, Vice President of Psychiatric Emergency Departments and Psychiatric Emergency Screening Centers within the RWJ Barnabas Behavioral Health System discussed mental health awareness and his role in helping people in crisis. He also talked about mobile outreach in partnership with local law enforcement, Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services (PESS) and the locations of behavioral health centers for all populations (i.e. child, 18 yrs. and older, veterans and geriatric) throughout the region.


At adjournment, participants were encouraged to network and develop long/short-term goals to implement services that meet the needs of Head Start and strengthen the communities where Head Start families live.


Thank you to our community partners who attended the event including:

· Sue Ellen Boyer – Monmouth Medical South Audiology

· Ann Keever – Livwell Healthcare

· Laura Morelli – Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS)

· Jovita Francis – Pinelands School of Practical Nursing

· Jessica Brosnan, CPIS - Manchester Township School District

· Anna Batiato, LAC – Preferred Behavioral Health

· Shannon Sharpe, Pre-K Nurse – Manchester Township BOE

· Sue Ralph, Student Success Center – Fulfill

· Alice Schovanec – Stafford Lions

· Joann Jason – RWJBH-PESS

· Meg McCarthy Klein – Ocean County Health Department

· Danielle Davis – Dentistry 4 Children

· Kendra Goble – Dentistry for Children

· Susan Heil, RN – Ocean County Health Department

· Christine Grandinetti – Ocean County Family Support Organization

· Kristen Brucato – Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS)

· Theresa Harris, Nursing Student – Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS)

· Courtney Hartshorn – Ocean County Department of Human Services

Additional Ocean Inc. staff in attendance included:

· Cristian Mendoza

· Theresa Gerhard

· Linda Davis

· Mayra Gallegos

· Kathy Werner

· Belkis Mejia

· Connie Fahim

· Leslie Perna

· Alicia Ramos






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