No ‘one size fits all’
Perinatal cooperative serves families in seven countiesBy ALBERT J. COUNTRYMAN Jr. The Sun
For new mothers caring for an infant, or a woman expecting a baby, there can be anxious moments and obstacles to overcome.
The Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative (SNJPC) can help. The organization services families in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.
“Our mission is to improve maternal and child health in seven counties,” said Dana Boyd, communications manager for SNJPC.
The organization’s presentation for nursing students and health-care professionals,
Complexities in Providing Care: Making Space for All – Compassionate Connections and Support for Every Patient Journey, was held at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mouth Laurel on May 23.
The goal of the day-long,
in-person event was to raise awareness and bring attention to today’s multifaceted and nuanced patient needs. Nearly 100 people attended. Executive Director Helen Hannigan said SNJPC offers services to women who are
pregnant or wish to become pregnant.
“Their health during and prior to pregnancy is so important,” she said.
SNJPC staffers for the seven South Jersey counties advise women to eat well, avoid smok-
ing and take care of themselves.
“Nurses will visit the family when the baby is born and provide support and education,” Hannigan noted.
If there are any problems with mental health or substance use, referrals will be made for families through Connecting New Jersey.
“We are a nonprofit, state-licensed maternal child health consortium,” explained SNJPC’s Boyd, adding that the organization’s funding comes from state and federal grants and that it continues to expand its programs and services. There are three consortiums statewide, with the other two covering North and Central Jersey.
“This conference is an opportunity for our staff and health-care professionals to learn and share together,” Hannigan noted.
Materials at the information tables were distributed to a target audience that included nurses, doctors, advanced practice nurses, social workers, addiction counselors, community-health workers and law enforcement in the region, an effort to promote optimal, equitable care for patients with complex needs.
“We know every patient journey is distinctly different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to care,” Hannigan said.
“As clinicians, we know we are better professionals and
see COOPERATIVE, page 8
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MAY 31 TO JUNE 7
Happenings at the Free Public Library at 713 Marsha Ave., Williamstown. For more information about the events listed below contact 856-629-1212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 31 – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Teen Takeand-Make Bags: Picture Frame Decorating.
May 31- 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. – LEGO “May” – Nia Challenge.
May 31 – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. – May is National Get Caught Reading Month.
June 1 – 1-6 p.m. – Blood Drive.
June 2-4 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Early Voting.
June 5 – 2:30-3 p.m. – Friends of the Library meeting.
June 6 – 6-8 p.m. – Primary Election voting.
June 7 – 1-3 p.m. (half hour sessions) Computer and Tech help.
June 7 – 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Needle Arts Group.
Happenings around Gloucester County
May 31, June 7 – 1-3 p.m. – Adult Vaccine Clinic at the Gloucester County Health Department, 204 E. Holly Ave., Sewell. By appointment only.
May 31, June 7 – 3-4:30 p.m. – STD/
please see CALENDAR, page 8
‘He cared about individuals’
Official opening marked for J. Seward Johnson sculpture of The AwakeningBy Andrew Harrison The Sun
The sheer size of The Awakening sits fixed in the ground at D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Mercer County drawing people of all ages to explore.
People not only stand around the late J. Seward Johnson II’s 70-foot-wide sculpture, but they also walk through, touching and taking photos next to the various pieces that make up the sculpture that depicts a giant man anchored deeply in the Earth who struggles to free himself.
The official opening activation and ceremony The Awakening was held on May 21.
“For my dad, seeing people engage with his work meant everything to him,” said John Johnson III, Seward’s son. “He did not really care so much
about the art establishment. He didn’t care about structures, he cared about individuals.”
Visitors attending the of-
ficial opening had their own thoughts and reactions to Johnson’s work.
“I’m glad this is here. I came
to the opening ceremony, because it was very important to me to have art in the area and support the artists and community with art installations like this,” said Ewing resident Laurie Pyrch, sharing that she loves the angst of the sculpture.
“The desperation and I think the desire for survival to climb out from whatever torturous conditions this figure is escaping from. I feel a lot of pain here.”
Dawn Ferguson, a Frenchtown resident, said she could not believe the size and detail of the sculpture.
“The Awakening looks one way online, but you have to be in person to get the feeling of the environment that it is in and how well it was designed,” she said.
The sculpture’s expression and pain stood out to her.
“There is a lot of pain in this sculpture and unknowing as it is sinking into the ground. The sculpture just gives you that last bit of hope,” Ferguson added. “The sculpture seems like it is sinking, yet the sculpture is rising at the same time. This is something you really need to sit and look at to see where you are in life and how you really feel about it.”
Johnson’s The Awakening will be at St. Michaels Preserve for 18 months.
“For me I was super excited to hear that this piece was coming to Hopewell Valley. It is one of my favorite pieces,” John Johnson said.
“This is a giant emerging from the Earth and to me it is on some level symbolic of my dad’s own transformation as an artist. The opportunity we
please see SCULPTURE, page 8
Community Fresh Market offers help to the food insecure
Green Chef, the number one meal kit for eating well, and the Food Bank of South Jersey, the region’s leading hunger-relief organization, launched today their Community Fresh Market, a free farmers market-style event designed to serve individuals and families in need throughout South Jersey. Aligned with the Food Bank’s mission to help provide an immediate solution to hunger by distributing healthy food and teaching individuals to eat nutritiously, the Green Chef Community Fresh Markets will offer
high-quality produce, protein and dairy products at no cost.
FREE COMMMUNITY DINNER
The first Green Chef Community Fresh Market partnership began on May 24 at the Woodbury Junior/Senior High School Pantry (25 N. Broad St., Woodbury, NJ 08096) from 9 to 11 a.m. The School Pantry holds its distributions on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. Additional markets will be hosted at various locations around South Jersey to provide equitable access for residents. Visit www.foodbanksj. org to learn more.
PFEIFFER COMMUNITY CENTER
FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS
FREE GENTLY USED CLOTHING MUSIC
301 BLUE BELL ROAD & MAIN, WILLIAMSTOWN NJ
Note: 7/1 will be held at 946 N. Main Street Williamstown
“At Green Chef, we are committed to giving back to the communities where we live and work. With inflation continuing to contribute to higher food costs, it’s critical that nutritious and fresh food is accessible to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity,” said Adam Kalikow, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of Meals Kits at HelloFresh. “We’re grateful to the Food Bank of South Jersey and community volunteers for hosting Community Fresh Markets and helping us connect with our neighbors in need. Our hope is that these farmers markets will provide fresh ingredients to make nourishing meals at home.”
In addition to providing food to the community, the Food Bank of South Jersey also offers cooking classes and nutritional programs to help educate adults and children on ways to utilize these ingredients.
"In South Jersey, 1 in 14 people and 1 in 11 children face food insecurity. That is unac-
ceptable," said Fred Wasiak, President and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. "But thanks to long-standing partners like Green Chef, we are able to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors each day.
“These Community Fresh Markets will have a great impact on food-insecure families, children, seniors, and individuals in our region. The Food Bank could not fulfill its mission to strengthen and make sustainable change in our communities without incredible partners like Green Chef."
“In Logan Township, we are proud to have businesses that are committed to being involved in the community and serving our residents and neighbors,” said Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor. “Green Chef has enthusiastically embraced this commitment, contributing to our Logan Township Food Assistance Program for the last three years and continuing to look for ways to best combat food insecurity locally. We are excited
for the launch of their Community Fresh Market collaboration with the Food Bank of South Jersey and the aid it will provide to our community.”
Green Chef, which was founded in 2014 and acquired by HelloFresh in 2018, powers the pursuit of eating well by sending high-quality ingredients and step-by-step instructions for customers to create delicious meals in the comfort of their own homes. With a production facility in Logan Township, Green Chef has been a partner of the Food Bank of South Jersey since April 2020, distributing 1.1 million pounds of surplus to date. The South Jersey region is the second location for the Green Chef Community Fresh Market following a successful launch in Denver, CO in October 2022.
For additional information about the Food Bank of South Jersey or for volunteer opportunities, visit www.foodbanksj. org. To learn more about Green Chef, visit www.greenchef.com.
Archaeologist Wade Catts told students and residents at a family archaeology day on May 21 how the remains of 15 Hessian soldiers killed in the Revolutionary War’s battle of Red Bank were found two years ago.
Red Bank Battlefield Director and Rowan University historian Jen Janofsky and Catts were leading a routine dig around Fort Mercer that day in June of 2022 when they made a stunning find: a human femur, then four femur bones next to each other.
“We were not sure if it was two people or four people,” Catts said. “The bones were in poor condition. There was no DNA.”
The dig was soon expanded with help from Rowan and West Chester University archaeology
A Revolutionary find
Routine dig last June turns up remains of 15 Hessian soldiers
students, and when the fieldwork ended two months later, the human remains of 15 soldiers were found – including skulls and teeth.
“We were able to get a lot of information from the crania and teeth, which are being tested for DNA now,” Catts explained. “We are working with German officials, who have created a list of all Hessian soldiers who fought in America, with their age, rank, what units they were in and where they were killed.
“What a great outcome it would be if, after 250 years of being unceremoniously thrown into a pit, that a person’s remains would be reunited with their families.”
“This is the first of four family archaeology days this year,” Janofsky said of the May 21 event. “Students and residents will dig and get their hands
The next three family archaeology days will be on June 4, 10 and 17.
Janofsky pointed out that the Hessians were killed trying to seize Fort Mercer from the Continental Army during the war, but were repelled in what was a major victory for the Americans. Their remains were found in a pit some 50 yards outside of the fort itself, which no longer exists but is represented by a monument on the site.
“These archaeology days are very important,” Janofsky said. We learn about our history.”
Among the more than 100 people who participated in the recent archaeology event was Dana Linck, a metal detector specialist and retired archaeologist who worked for the National Park Service.
“We have found brass piec -
Tough pill to swallow
Overdose deaths can be caused by unused prescription drugs
Among the unused or expired prescription drugs collected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Prescription Take Back Day April 22 were thousands in New Jersey.
Since the biannual initiative began in 2010, the state has collected more than 350,000 pounds of medications, a number that amounts to about 185 tons. The nationwide collection netted 17 million pounds.
What most of us might not realize is that unused, expired prescriptions in the wrong hands can be a “gateway” to opioid addiction, a factor noted by DEA agent Daniel Kafafian in a recent edition of The Sun.
“Every pill removed from the home is an opportunity to prevent possible misuse of these prescriptions,” he said.
CDC numbers show there were more than 100,000 deaths from drug overdose last year in the U.S. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that between 1999 and 2021, more than 100,000 people died from overdoses associated with opioid and other prescription drugs. In 2019 alone, more than 20 million people misused or abused them.
But what about unused or expired prescriptions? Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that about 14.3 million Americans – or 5.1% – reported misusing a prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months. Misuse means taking a drug for a non-prescribed use, taking someone else’s prescription drug or using a medi-
cation to get high.
Besides prescriptions for opioids, the most misused drugs are stimulants such as those used to treat attention-deficit disorders, the institute reports, and central nervous system depressants like tranquilizers or sedatives meant to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.
Among the latter, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax are highly addictive and can be fatal, especially when combined with alcohol or opioids, according to Science News. The number of overdose deaths from “benzos” went from 0.54 per 100,000 in 1999 to 5.02 in 2017, the site reported.
But Take Back Days are not the only avenue for getting rid of old drugs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
A story in some March 24 editions of The Sun about fallen Deptford police officer Robert “Bobby” Shisler misspelled his last name. The Sun apologizes for the error.
• Check with a pharmacist. Some pharmacies like CVS offer on-site medicine dropoff boxes, mail-back programs and other means of disposal.
• Flush them. Many drugs have directions that say how to put them down the sink or toilet. The FDA has a list of medicines recommended for this disposal method.
• Out with the garbage: Almost all medicines – except those on the aforementioned flush list – can be thrown into the household trash, including over-the-counter drugs in pill, liquid, drop, patches and cream forms.
If you want to go the collection route, there are an estimated 5,000 dropoff spots across the country and in New Jersey that can be found at the DEA website, DEA.gov. They are also plentiful in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties, many associated with local police departments.
Find those departments at njconsumeraffairs.gov or call the state Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846.
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Dig: Hessian soldiers’ remains found
continued from page 5
es, buttons and plenty of musket balls,” she revealed. “More importantly, we are teaching students and residents about the science of archaeology and what types of tools we use.
“This is an incredible opportunity for children and students to touch the past,” said Heather Simmons, deputy director of the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners. “They actually dig in the dirt and touch things. It is a very tactile way of learning.
“Young people ask questions about how and why, and that lights the fire of their curiosity,” added Simmons, who noted that Rowan field archaeology students get to work their hands on their first day as college undergraduates and attend once-weekly classes at the battlefield.
There are plans to test the DNA of the remains and possi-
bly send them back to families in Germany. Catts said he looks forward to the test results and to continuing excavation at the battlefield, located in National Park on the banks of the Delaware River.
For information, go to www. gloucestercountynj.gov/67/ red-bank-battlefield.
Sculpture: The Awakening is officially open
continued from page 3
all have to climb out of whatever mental box we have created for ourselves that we are living in.”
Partnerships between the Hopewell Valley (HV) Arts Council, The Johnson Atelier, D&R Greenway and a grant from the Atlantic Foundation, a Johnson family foundation, made the sculpture’s move and installation possible.
At the official opening of The Awakening, people were able to engage with performance art that took place all around the sculpture, which included “Every Day We Wake Up” by local artists Tomia MacQueen and Mandy Qua; Sattriya Dance Company with performances by Madhusmita Bora and Prerona Bhuyan, who paid homage to the original dwellers of the land; and Maiko and Saya-
ka Uchida with a performance called “Awakening.”
In addition to storytelling by local historians Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills on the journey of Black women and acceptance of natural hair; a rhythm tap performance from Michael J. Love; and poetry/ performance from donia salem harhoor.
“The goal was to bring in community and come into this idea of what it is to awaken, whether that is respecting the nature that is around or learning more about the history that is here and celebrate Seward’s life,” said Ann Robideaux, who curated “Every Day We Wake Up” with donia harhoor.
Robideaux noted that they looked into local artists when lining up the types of performances for the ceremony.
“We wanted to connect the
performances to sculpture in some way. For example, Michael J. Love, we knew that Seward loved to tap dance, so when I saw him, I was immediately like this is a good fit,” she said.
“Tomia is one of the chorographers and is also a farmer. I liked that she connected the land with dance. We looked for a variety of interpretations of what this idea of waking up could be.”
The opening activation and ceremony for The Awakening is part of a larger year-long art project to celebrate Seward Johnson II’s work, his works impact, and his life called “Seward Johnson | Celebrating the Everyday.”
“Seward’s work invited us to ask proactive questions. Not everybody loves all the sculpture, but that is part of being
Cooperative: Keeping children healthy
continued from page 1
caregivers when we have a more thorough understanding of the lived experiences of our patients, so we can shape better and more effective outcomes,” said Jennie Sherlock-Loeb, SNJPC’s director of clinical and professional education and organizer of the presentation.
“This is a great multi- disciplinary team,” she added. “We are bringing education to health care professionals, stu-
dents and the general public community.”
The conference featured the following presentations:
• Antiracist Addiction Treatment – Harm Reduction and Decriminalization.
• Human Trafficking: Stakeholder Collaboration to Uncover the Why.
• Termination of Pregnancy for Medical Reasons: A Unique Grief.
• Self-Care, Wellness and Resilience: Being Prepared for
“These are vitally important topics of discussion, and there are real-world implications for those who identify as patient or victim in our dynamic environment,” Hannigan pointed out.
“These learning opportunities help our professional partners keep pace with fast-moving societal changes and the impact on our population.” For information, visit snjpc. org or call its office (856) 6656000.
When news hits the street, We Tweet!
a provocateur,” said Carol Lipson, executive director HV Arts Council. “He wanted people to take photos, he wanted people to get back together after COVID-19, he wanted people to celebrate the unheroic acts of day-to-day life.”
The celebration of Johnson’s life comes three years after he passed away in 2020 at the age of 89.
For more information about the year-long art project, The Awakening or to donate, visit www.hvartscouncil.org.
continued from page 2
TB Clinic at the Gloucester County Health Department, 205 E. Holly Ave., Sewell.
June 1, June 6 – 8:30-11:30 a.m. –Child Vaccine Clinic at Gloucester County Health Department, 204 E. Holly Ave., Sewell. By appointment only. On June 6, the clinic runs from 1-3:30 p.m.
THROUGH MAY 31
The Municipal Alliance Committee invites all fifth and sixth grade students to participate in a Drug Prevention Poster Contest “Be the One to Say No.” Prizes will be awarded at the Williamstown Music Festival June 3.
THURSDAY, JUNE 1
Monroe Township Board of Education meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Williamstown High School Theater, 700 North Tuckahoe Road.
FRIDAY, JUNE 2
The Food Pantry is open from 9:30-11:30 a.m. located on the bottom level of the Clubhouse, 408 Church St. Williamstown. For more information call (856) 728-9841.
Celebrate Pride with DJ-Dancing from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Pfeiffer Community Center, 301 Blue Bell Road.
SATURDAY, JUNE 3
Music Festival will be held from 5-10:30 p.m. at Owens Park. The festival will include 100-plus vendors, a large food court, and amusements for all ages. Rain
date is June 4.
MONDAY, JUNE 12
Learn how to save a life with NARCAN at 6 p.m. at Pfeiffer Community Center, 301 Bluebell Road, Williamstown. To register visit https://tinyurl.com/ MAC-NARCAN. For any questions email MAC@monroetownshipnj.org.
THURSDAY, JUNE 15
The American Red Cross asks people to book a time to give blood or platelets now to address a recent drop in donation appointments that could lead to fewer transfusions for patients in the weeks ahead. Type O blood donors are especially needed to ensure a strong blood supply.
1-6 p.m. – Free Public Library, 713 Marsha Ave.
1-6 p.m. – Williamstown Middle School, 561 Clayton Road.
JUNE 24 TO AUG. 5
County library system hosts summer reading program
The Gloucester County Library System (GCLS) has announced its annual summer reading program with the theme, “All Together Now.” The program runs from Saturday, June 24, through Wednesday, Aug. 5, and is open to readers of all ages. It is designed to encourage reading and lifelong learning, as well as to provide activities for the community. Participants will also be able to track their reading progress and earn weekly prizes. Visit www.gcls.org for more information, or call the main branch library in Mullica Hill at (856) 223-6050.
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