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Summer 2015

The Boggs Center Welcomes 2015-2016 Student Trainees

2015-2016 Interdisciplinary TraineesFive students are participating in The Boggs Center's 2015-2016 Interdisciplinary Traineeship Program coordinated by Caroline Coffield, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Interdisciplinary Training Coordinator of The Boggs Center.


Sarah Stern, an advanced standing MSW student at Rutgers University School of Social Work, will complete her field education placement at The Boggs Center and will be supervised by Michael Knox, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Deputy Director. Tena Fernandez, a second-year MSW student at Rutgers University School of Social Work, will complete her field education placement at The Boggs Center and will be supervised by Robyn Carroll, MSW, Communications Manager. Rachel Newman, an undergraduate Psychology student at Princeton University, will be supervised by Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of The Boggs Center. Lisa Ankrah, an undergraduate Public Health student at Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, will be supervised by Caroline Coffield, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Interdisciplinary Training Coordinator. Tara Dhawan, an undergraduate Cell Biology and Neuroscience student at Rutgers University, will be supervised by Phil Smith, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.



The Boggs Center Mourns Rabbi Evan Jaffe

 

Rabbi Evan JaffeEvan Jaffe, who passed away last week, was the rabbi at the Jewish Community Center in Flemington, a role he lived in the fullest sense of creating a loving community. Rabbi Jaffe provided chaplaincy to people at Hunterdon Developmental Center as well as at the state prison in Clinton. He provided young congregants with the experience of service by bringing them to the Developmental Center to participate in services and to teach prayers. At the same time, he helped residents of the Center - some of whom couldn't speak or used communication devices - to prepare for Bar & Bat Mitzvahs and be full participants in this cornerstone Jewish ritual often denied to people with disabilities. Rabbi Jaffe was also a founder of Open Road, an organization of clergy, professionals and community members who were committed to helping people with disabilities of any faith fully participate in the community's congregations. About 10 years ago, when he had already been a practicing and beloved spiritual leader at the Flemington FJCC for over 25 years, Rabbi Jaffe returned to school to earn an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania, to further develop his skills as a compassionate helper. There was no person in need whom Rabbi Jaffe wouldn't help. As director of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, I was fortunate to work with Rabbi Jaffe. He was an active participant in our Clinical Pastoral Education program, teaching students and serving on the Professional Consultation Committee. We were also honored to have his service as a member of The Boggs Center's Consumer Advisory Committee.

With Rabbi Jaffe's loss, a great light has gone out in the world. I wish his family and all who loved him and were touched by his kindness, condolences and comfort from the privilege of having known him. May we draw inspiration from his selfless spirit and commit ourselves to working toward the loving, inclusive world he modeled for all of us.

- Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD


The Boggs Center Receives Grant to Explore Experiences of Diverse Families of Children with Autism

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities has been awarded funding by The Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism for research that will explore the experiences of Latino families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This qualitative research study, titled Exploring the experiences of diverse families of children newly diagnosed with ASD in New Jersey, will focus on understanding the impact of diagnosis on the family and pathways from diagnosis to linkage with services and interventions. The grant was announced by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd, and members of the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism on Thursday, June 25, 2015. This study will build on previous work The Boggs Center has done, in collaboration with Children’s Specialized Hospital, to develop and test a new screening tool for autism among children from diverse backgrounds.

 

Community Oriented Primary Care Students Complete Summer Assistantship Program

2015 COPC group photo

The Boggs Center collaborated with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health on the summer 2015 Assistantship in Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC). The six-week program provided an opportunity for medical, physician assistant, nursing, pharmacy, and graduate social work students to experience the challenges and satisfaction of providing basic services in healthcare and education to underserved communities in New Jersey. The 2015 COPC Program culminated in a celebration event on July 17, 2015 with a poster session and recognition for community mentors and students held in Piscataway, NJ.

 

Devon O’Brien, a rising second year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School completed her COPC Summer Assistantship at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Her primary project was developing a presentation about a young man with a developmental disability that he and his family can use to train and educate new direct support professionals who enter his life. The Boggs Center provided funding for three COPC students placed at The Family Resource Network. Savannah Ray, a Physician Assistant Student; Jane Lee, a Pharmacy Student; and Seo Young Lee, a Pharmacy student, developed two guidebooks for families: “For Teens By Teens,” a resource for teens with epilepsy and “For Parents By Parents, a Guide to Autism,” for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.

 

Deborah Spitalnik Provides Testimony on Maternal and Child Health Services

Deborah Spitalnik, PhD

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of The Boggs Center, provided testimony at a public hearing for the New Jersey Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant Application on June 23, 2015, in Trenton, NJ. The application is submitted annually to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and provides an overview of initiatives, State-supported programs, and other State-based responses designed to address New Jersey’s maternal and child health needs.

The importance of the MCH National Performance Measures #6: “percent of children, ages 10 months through 71 months, receiving a developmental screening using a parent completed screening tool,” was stressed in the testimony, especially in light of New Jersey’s high Autism prevalence, as was National Performance Measure #12, “percent of children with and without special health care needs who received services necessary to make transitions to adult health care,” particularly among children and youth with special health care needs, among whom the need is most acute, as documented in The Boggs Center’s The New Jersey Action Blueprint for Transition to Adult Health Care. Also presented in the testimony was The Boggs Center’s initiating the planning for an MCHB Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) grant to support the workforce objectives in the Block grant.

 

View the testimony submitted on behalf of The Boggs Center

 

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