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Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice Hosted Special Educational Conference on Moral Injury and Veteran-Centric Care with Local Experts

Pictured here, from left: Mary Ann Boccolini, President and CEO, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice; Reverend Chris J. Antal, Staff Chaplain, Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia and Keynote Speaker of the conference; and Kim Rumaker, Manager of Social Work, Spiritual Support & Center of Grief Support, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice.

Marlton, NJSamaritan Healthcare & Hospice, in collaboration with New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, HeroCare Connect and the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), recently hosted the Moral Injury and Veteran-Centric Care Conference at The Samaritan Center in Voorhees.

“The purpose of this conference was to bring together local experts in order to educate and, ultimately, improve quality care for our veterans across the healthcare continuum,” explained Mary Ann Boccolini, president and CEO of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. “Samaritan is proud to host a conference highlighting the unique needs of those who have served our country. By openly discussing topics such as moral injury and PTSD, we are breaking down barriers and raising awareness of how we can best serve our growing veteran population.”

The keynote address was delivered by Reverend Chris J. Antal, staff chaplain at the Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia where he co-leads a group for veterans experiencing moral injury. Accompanied by fellow veterans who shared their own personal experiences, Reverend Antal, who served in the Army Chaplain Corps from 2008-2016 and is a veteran of the United States’ war in Afghanistan, presented the concept of moral injury and then led conference attendees through a series of exercises to bring the concept to life.

The conference also included presentations from local experts on a variety of topics pertaining to veteran-centric care:

  • The Importance of Veteran-Centric Care: Presented by Dr. Stephen Goldfine, Chief Medical Director of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice
  • The Evolution of Caring for Our Military – A Case Study: Presented by Christine Carlson-Glazer, MPH, Government and Community Relations Liaison of Deborah Heart and Lung Center and HeroCare Connect™ and Louis Bezich, MPP, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances of Cooper University Hospital and HeroCare Connect™
  • Navigating Moral Injury – Stats and Stories: Presented by Dr. Mary Ditri, Vice President of Community Health of the New Jersey Hospital Association and Dr. Michael Mimms, Veteran Mental Health Care Navigator of the New Jersey Hospital Association
  • Connecting Veterans to Services in NJ: Presented by Christopher Wambach, State Supervisor of Veteran Service Offices of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veteran Affairs

Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice is a four-star provider of the We Honor Veterans and Hospice Veterans Partnership (HVP) of New Jersey. We Honor Veterans is a joint program of the Veterans Administration and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that focuses on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful recognition for those who served our country. HVP of New Jersey, an affiliate of the Homecare & Hospice Association of New Jersey, establishes a network of hospice and VA professionals in efforts to provide outstanding end-of-life care for New Jersey’s veterans and their families.

To learn more about the services Samaritan provides to members of the veteran community, visit www.SamaritanNJ.org/hospice-care/veteran-hospice/.

About Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice:

Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian, independent organization locally founded in Moorestown, New Jersey in 1980. Samaritan is the regional leader for hospice care, palliative (comfort) medicine, grief support and counseling, end-of-life education, and advocacy. Samaritan serves people in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties who are coping with the stresses of aging, serious illness or grief in their homes, assisted-living, or nursing home communities and through two inpatient hospice centers: The Samaritan Center at Mt. Holly and The Samaritan Center at Voorhees. Two thrift shops, in Westmont and Pitman, support Samaritan services and programs.  Samaritan is accredited by The Joint Commission; a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO); the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey; and is a four-star-level hospice in NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans program, created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information, visit www.SamaritanNJ.org.

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