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Greek CommunitySt. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health: 20th Anniversary of Acute Rehabilitation Unit...

St. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health: 20th Anniversary of Acute Rehabilitation Unit & One-Year Anniversary of Rehabilitation Partnership

Hellenic News of America
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St. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health this month are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their clinical affiliation that brought the expertise of the Hackensack Meridian Johnson Rehabilitation Institute to serve residents of North Jersey at the St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center campus.

In addition, St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center is commemorating the twentieth anniversary of its 20-bed inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit. Since opening in November of 2002, the unit has provided individualized care to thousands of patients to help them regain function and return to an independent lifestyle.

“As we celebrate twenty years of delivering comprehensive, acute inpatient rehabilitation services, I want to thank our dedicated, multi-disciplinary rehab team for the outstanding care they provide to every patient – day-in and day-out,” said Kevin J. Slavin, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health. “This high-quality rehabilitation program is a shining example of St. Joseph’s commitment to offering advanced care and leading expertise to meet the healthcare needs of our entire community.”

In 2021, St. Joseph’s Health partnered with Hackensack Meridian Health to bring the expertise of the Hackensack Meridian Johnson Rehabilitation Institute (JRI), offering the highest levels of rehabilitation medicine. Recognized as one of the nation’s top acute rehabilitation hospitals by US News, with leading experts and specialty programs, the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute services are now available at St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center.

“We are delighted to celebrate the one year anniversary of our rehabilitation clinical affiliation with St. Joseph’s Health,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Throughout the state, our rehab experts have been improving lives through their vast expertise in healing and restoring quality of life after a serious illness or traumatic episode. This affiliation has placed our advanced services closer to home for residents of Northern New Jersey.”

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For more than 50 years, the nationally-acclaimed JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, located in Edison, New Jersey, has been a leader in the field, breaking ground in the areas of stroke rehabilitation, innovative orthopedic programs, cutting edge sports rehab, and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

“My team was warmly welcomed by the St. Joseph’s staff,” said Roger Rossi, D.O., medical director, Acute Rehabilitation Unit at St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center. “We, in turn, are grateful for the collaborative approach to care and for the opportunity to help more patients in their journey to recovery from a debilitating medical condition or accident.”

Dr. Rossi’s team at St. Joseph’s includes Veronica Chehata, MD. Dr. Cheheta joined the team in October 2022 after completing a fellowship in care for spinal cord injury several years ago, in addition to Anthony Doss, MD. These physicians treat patients with complex rehabilitation injuries such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, amputations, neuromuscular and neurological conditions, major trauma, and other medical complexities. Dr. Rossi’s extensive background in Parkinson’s has expanded care in focus to include more functional and neuromuscular disorders like Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and post stroke care.

“Our team shares a passion about reducing disability and maximizing functional independence after a patient sustains an injury or suffers from a debilitating disease that has compromised their functional ability,” said Priscilla Kaszubski, D.O., Chair, Rehabilitation Medicine, St. Joseph’s Health. “We are dedicated to the treatment and recovery of our patients to improve the quality of life to the greatest possible extent.”

“The success of this program at St. Joseph’s has exceeded our expectations,” said Sara Cuccurullo, MD, chair, vice president and medical director of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. “Our highly trained experts are advancing the work in helping patients reach their highest levels of recovery.”

Since St. Joseph’s is certified as a Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of competence for the treatment of serious stroke events, patients and families can be assured that inpatient rehab is delivered according to national quality standards. Other patients who benefit from care at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit include those recovering from hip fractures, joint replacements, trauma, amputations, and neurological disorders.

Three years ago, St. Joseph’s Health and Hackensack Meridian Health announced a clinical and strategic partnership that deepens both organizations’ commitment to providing access and delivering the most advanced care throughout the region. Expanding rehabilitation services is one such example of how the partnership is bringing additional expertise to the community.


Founded in 1867 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s Health is a world-class hospital and healthcare network supported by more than 5,000 leading and renowned physicians, nurses and care teams. From its humble beginnings, St. Joseph’s Health has become one of the premier health systems in the state, serving more than 1.5 million patients annually. The organization continues to evolve as the leading health resource in the community, the largest employer in Passaic County, and one of the largest providers of charity care in New Jersey.

The St. Joseph’s Health system is one of the leading clinical teaching and academic centers in the country, and has been recognized for its innovative programs and cutting-edge services. The health system operates a full continuum of care, including a regional tertiary care medical center (St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson), an acute care medical center (St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, Wayne) a state-designated children’s hospital (St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Paterson), a rehabilitation and long-term care facility (St. Joseph’s Healthcare & Rehab Center, Cedar Grove), an outpatient facility (St. Joseph’s Totowa Health Campus, Totowa) comprehensive home care (Visiting Health Services of New Jersey), and multiple ambulatory care centers located throughout Northern New Jersey. The system is further supported by St. Joseph’s Health Medical Group, which operates more than 100 physician medical and specialty practices across northern New Jersey.

Among its awarding-winning specialties, St. Joseph’s is home to the nationally acclaimed Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO®) program; the first accredited Geriatric Emergency Department in New Jersey; and recognized by US News with a top nursing home award and a five-star rating. In addition, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center is a five-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence, the profession’s highest honor. In September 2019, St. Joseph’s Health established a strategic and clinical partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health, one of New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive and integrated health networks. Together, the two health systems operate a jointly-owned home health and hospice agency, serving patients and families across Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties. In addition, St. Joseph’s and Hackensack Meridian have collaborated on clinical affiliations in acute rehabilitation (with the HMH JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute) and comprehensive oncology care (with the HMH John Theurer Cancer Center). For more information, please visit www.stjosephshealth.org.

About Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute:

Named one of the Top Rehabilitation Hospitals in the Country by U.S. News and World Report, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is a 94-bed facility in Edison, New Jersey, that offers the state’s most comprehensive rehabilitation services to restore function and quality of life to those with physical impairments or disabilities. For nearly 50 years, JFK Johnson has served children and adults in the tri-state area — and has developed programs in specialties such as brain injury, stroke rehabilitation, orthopedics/musculoskeletal and sports injuries, cardiac rehabilitation, pediatrics, and prosthetics and orthotics. JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute is part of the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, which also includes Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at Ocean University Medical Center and Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at Riverview Medical Center. Each rehabilitation hospital brings together highly specialized physicians and professionals with the goal of “Advancing What’s Possible” for every patient. The JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute also partners with the St. Joseph’s Health Acute Rehabilitation Unit at St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center in Wayne, New Jersey. JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute serves as the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of the Hackensack Meridian Medical School and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To learn more, visit JFKJohnson.org.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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