Pictured above: With their awards at the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting: Deborah Heart and Lung Center’s Joseph Chirichella, President and CEO, and Christine Carlson-Glazer, Government and Community Affairs Liaison; Cooper University Health Care’s President and CEO Adrienne Kirby and Louis Bezich, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances.
Princeton, NJ – Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills and Cooper University Health Care in Camden were honored by the New Jersey Hospital Association with the 2018 Community Outreach Award at its Annual Meeting. The organizations were recognized in the category of “enhancing access and quality of care to reduce disparities” for developing HeroCare Connect, an innovative program to increase access to health care for veterans, active-duty military, retirees, and their families.
HeroCare Connect is a first-in-the-nation collaborative project between two hospitals to provide specialty medical services to the more than 44,000 service members who live and work in southern New Jersey.
Launched in April 2017, Deborah and Cooper stepped in to fill the gap and address the acute and chronic care needs of the nation’s heroes. The knowledgeable HeroCare Connect staff provides custom-tailored concierge service, personally handling every appointment request within 48 hours, and connecting patients to the more- than-75 medical specialty services offered by the two Hospitals, also handling all related insurance issues, following up on medical records and forms, and ensuring that each and every patient experiences superior care at every step along the way.
As well as working closely with the 87th Medical Group on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the HeroCare Connect program staff has partnered with the Veterans Administration, able to fill patient-care medical needs when the VA has need of additional resources. As a community resource, HeroCare Connect communicates with veterans’ organizations, county health departments, American Legions and VFWs, as well as the many organizations whose primary focus is the health and well-being of the nation’s military.
The HeroCare Connect staff works from a dedicated call center at Deborah, and has a wealth of resources for additional services veterans may need, including PTSD counseling and mental health or substance use programs. In less than a year, the program has assisted many veterans, active duty and retired military members and their families in receiving timely care, scheduling more than 1,200 appointments.