Nursing Student Scholarships Support Healthier Communities


The Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ) has posted a new scholarship funded by Partners for Health.  Junior and senior nursing students attending Bloomfield College and Caldwell University can apply for this competitive scholarship through ICFNJ at Five successful candidates will receive a $5,000 award toward the cost of attendance in 2016-17.


Eligible students must demonstrate a commitment to nursing by having reached their junior or senior year in a nursing degree program at Bloomfield College or Caldwell University – private colleges within the Foundation’s service area – with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2/4. Candidates will also submit a personal statement outlining their career goals and how they plan to support healthy communities and promote healthier lifestyles as part of their application.  Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2016.


Working with the Partners for Health Foundation has created new opportunities for students to reach their potential. The recipients will be able to focus more time on academics, clinicals and community programs that build their academic knowledge as well as their technical, communication and leadership skills. This scholarship is exciting news for our students, our member colleges and ultimately for the community,” noted John B. Wilson, President, ICFNJ.


“Partners for Health is proud to support nursing students with these new scholarships. Nurses who work in schools, health departments and in many other settings are vital partners in our efforts to make our 15 communities healthier, better places to live,” said Pam Scott, Executive Director of the Foundation.



ICFNJ was founded in 1953 as a cooperative involving business and academic leaders to broaden support for private higher education in New Jersey. Today, ICFNJ continues the tradition of empowering students to realize their goals by strengthening New Jersey’s independent colleges and universities with support for strategic investments in innovative programs, student scholarships and educational advancement. Through these efforts, ICFNJ has raised and contributed close to $72 million providing opportunities for its member institutions to continuously enhance program quality, to increase accessibility and affordability; and thus fulfill their respective missions. Learn more at

Access to Oral Health Care: Meeting the Challenge

Caucus Educational Corporation produces important educational programming that tackles a range of issues of concern to New Jerseyans.  In this segment of Caucus: New Jersey, Steve Adubato is joined by a panel of experts to discuss access to oral health, how poor dental hygiene can negatively affect the overall health of adults and children, and what can be done to prevent these types of issues.

Guest experts include:

  • Sam Wakim, Chief Dental Officer, Zufall Community Health Centers
  • Nicole McGrath, Founder, President & CEO, KinderSmile Foundation
  • Mary Voytus, Director, Dental Residency, HackensackUMC Mountainside Hospital
  • Mario Ramos, Assistant Director, Boys and Girls Club of Newark’s Children’s Dental Center

You can watch the program at this link.

YOUNG VOICES: A Community Conversation

The subjects that teens explore when creating films provided a platform for a wonderful panel discussion about the concerns of local youth and how our community can provide a safety net to support them.  The event was held on Wednesday, May 4 and was presented by Partners for Health as part of the Montclair Film Festival.

Moderator John Mooney, Founding Editor and Education Writer of NJ Spotlight, guided the conversation with these local experts:


Andrew D. Evangelista LCSW, LCADC, DRCC
Student Assistance Counselor, Montclair Public Schools

Sonja B. Gray MD
Gray Consulting Services INC

Linda B. Mithaug
Director of Pupil Services, Montclair Public Schools

Betty Strauss MA, RN, NCSN
District Head Nurse, Montclair Public Schools

The works of these young filmmakers were screened prior to the discussion:

Individuality – by Al-Naf Walker, Jahleel Giles and Jailene Perez
Hue – by Holly Grobholz and AnnMarie Ciulla
I’m not Okay – by Samantha Cordero
Listen – by Samantha Nochimsom

An article in The Alternative Press (TAP) provides more information, and comments from various attendees that were compiled by one of the film festival’s bloggers can be read at this link.  More photos can be viewed by clicking here.

Partners for Health will explore further collaboration with the Montclair Film Festival to build youth resiliency through art and film.

Event photos courtesy of Brad Resnick Photography and the Montclair Film Festival:

MFF event photo #1MFF event photo #4MFF event photo #2MFF event photo #5MFF event photo #6MFF event photo #3MFF event photo #7


Edgemont Park House – Open House & Ribbon Cutting

The Township of Montclair celebrated Older American’s Month with an open house and ribbon cutting to officially kick-off senior programs and activities at Edgemont Park House.  The event was held on Tuesday, May 3. Edgemont Park House has seen significant upgrades, new equipment and additional staff in anticipation of its opening as a space for seniors.  This was made possible with support from the Township and a grant from the Partners for Health Foundation.

The Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Department of Health and Human Services collaborated through the Lifelong Montclair initiative to provide senior residents in Montclair with a place to gather, socialize and relax with their peers, and participate in a wide variety of educational and recreational activities in a beautiful park setting.

Edgemont Park House will be open Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for classes and walk-in activities. Opportunities will be available for both group activities and individual interests. Seniors will have reading materials, games, TV and a Wii system available for their use. Organized activities have been planned, including monthly movies, a quilting club, book clubs, walking groups, health screenings and others.

See the Edgemont Park House calendar of events for more information and how to register for classes, or call (973) 509-4915 for more information.

Making Healthy Choices Easier

By Matthew LaZaro

In early March, my Package Design class at Montclair State University was given an assignment to design a label for a bag of popcorn, a healthy snack that would be distributed to major sponsors of the 2016 Montclair Film Festival.  The “client” was Partners for Health Foundation, which is co-presenting a panel discussion at the festival called Young Voices.  The assignment was also a class competition:  the winning design would actually be printed and used.

The graphic solution struck me very quickly:  put “Enjoy the Festival” in a bold, retro typeface, with the letter O cleverly illustrated as a film reel. I wanted it to be simple, so it would send a clear message and resonate quickly.

My design was the winning entry, and I spent the next few weeks revising it based on the Foundation’s input.  I worked closely throughout this process with my Package Design professor, Karen DeLuca, who consults with Partners for Health on all of their communication materials.

After the final design was approved and sent off to the printer, I felt proud to have offered a tidbit of my design skills to share such as important message: Making healthy choices easier!

Expanding Counseling Hotline Services in Northern New Jersey

Caldwell University will expand the services it provides through its Counseling HelpLine, made possible through a grant from Partners for Health. Graduate students provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Dr. Thomson Ling, professor of psychology and supervisor of the graduate students, says they are very pleased that Partners for Health is able to help expand “this valuable service which helps to promote positive mental health in the community.”

The HelpLine is a free, anonymous, and non-judgmental telephone hotline where callers can speak to a peer-counselor in confidence about any matter that concerns them. “Callers don’t have to provide their name or any identifying information. All calls made to the HelpLine are kept confidential and answered by highly trained volunteers who can provide a listening ear,” said Dr. Ling. “It serves the dual purpose of serving the community and giving our graduate students real hands-on crisis counseling experience.”

With the grant, Dr. Ling is putting plans together to double the number of highly trained counseling graduate students who volunteer and double the number of hours of services to the public.

Dr. Ling says that over the last several years the HelpLine has grown in the number of graduate student volunteers who provide over 2,000 hours of service annually. “Each year the center responds to thousands of calls from northern New Jersey and beyond.”