Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes – Thank You!

On Tuesday, August 11th, Matheny was visited by a great group of volunteers from Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes. They distributed 6,500 pieces of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to Matheny employees.

Founded by Rhonda Roland Shearer and launched in April, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes distributes PPE directly to organizations, communities, and individuals most in need – hospital, homeless shelter and nursing home workers, veterans, and public housing residents. So far, they’ve handed out more than 725,000 items of PPE.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Rhonda and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes for their time and generosity! You can learn more about their wonderful work here and on their Facebook page.

Learn more about the event at Matheny here.

Children’s Specialized Hospital and Matheny School and Hospital Announce Strategic Collaboration

Children’s Specialized Hospital (CSH), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and Matheny School and Hospital, Inc. have announced plans to enter into a strategic collaboration. This agreement will allow CSH and Matheny to share expertise, experience and resources in an effort to improve access to high quality clinical care and education for those with disabilities throughout New Jersey.

The organizations’ missions are parallel – to provide the programs and services necessary for those with special health care needs to live a life full of opportunity and potential. Matheny is a residential special hospital and school for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. Matheny offers comprehensive and compassionate care to people with disabilities throughout the state of New Jersey. CSH is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children and young adults from birth to 21 years of age facing special health care challenges. These include chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health.

“I am confident that our collaboration with Matheny will prove beneficial not only for our two organizations but most importantly for the special needs community throughout New Jersey and beyond,” said Warren E. Moore, FACHE, President and CEO, Children’s Specialized Hospital and Senior Vice President, Pediatric Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “I am looking forward to working together to create a system of care for the patients and families we serve throughout their lifespan.”

“Through this collaboration, we will be able to serve more people with special needs, offer more services, and therefore increase access to care which is currently a challenge for this population,” said Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD, President and CEO, Matheny School and Hospital. “I want to thank everyone who made this collaboration possible. We are proud to be associated with Children’s Specialized.”

About Children’s Specialized Hospital

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children and young adults from birth to 21 years of age facing special healthcare challenges – from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. At 13 different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and effective so each child can reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.childrens-specialized.org.

About Matheny School and Hospital

Matheny’s mission is to provide exceptional care and an optimal quality of life for children and adults with special needs and medically complex developmental disabilities. Matheny is a 501c3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Somerset County. It was founded in 1946 and today offers comprehensive quality care through its fully accredited special hospital; outpatient medical and dental clinics; adult day center; private nonprofit school; five adult group homes; and the award-winning fine arts program – Arts Access. Matheny patients live with multiple medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND) and a wide range of other rare disease including Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Cornelia De Lange syndrome, Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and 4Q Deletion syndrome. For more information, visit www.matheny.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram: @mathenymedical. 

Miles for Matheny 2020 – Thank you for participating!

Virtual Miles for Matheny 2020 was a blast! 

We officially kicked off our special, virtual Miles on Friday, June 12th at our Peapack campus with modified Wheelchair Walks on our three residential zones and three community group homes.

As the week went on, we were excited to receive photos and videos from the wider Matheny community telling us how they celebrated Miles!

If you want to check out great event photos, check out our album below, or follow our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Thank you for your support and participation! We couldn’t have done it without you!

We Love the Friends of Matheny

Have you heard about our incredible friends and partners, the Friends of Matheny?

For over 30 years, they have raised close to $4 million to support Matheny’s programs. Thanks to the Friends, Matheny’s physical space and programs have been expanded, and our students, residents, and staff have enjoyed special trips and events. From volunteer work at the Second Chance Thrift Shop to offering the Breakfast of Champions at Miles for Matheny each year, the Friends give us so much, and we couldn’t be more grateful for them.

The Friends recently offered another financial contribution of $100,000! In these difficult and uncertain times, we are thrilled to have the generous and passionate Friends as part of our Matheny family!

A Statement from Matheny’s President and CEO

Dear Matheny Community:

These troubling times have underscored the racial, economic, and health injustices that people of color face in the US and around the world.  We fully support the #BlackLivesMatter movement and condemn injustices and discrimination on the basis of color, sex, or ability.  We also stand with the peaceful protestors who are exercising their rights thanks to the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Having lived through the civil rights movement and having served poor black families as a pediatrician, I am especially affected by current events. Systemic racism in healthcare exists and causes health disparities that are rampant in the black community.  Systemic racism also adversely affects black families when it comes to housing, food security and education.  Now is the time to stand up against all types of discrimination and try to lift each other up.

Over 74 years ago, Matheny was founded on the basis that there were very few educational opportunities for people with disabilities.  Today, Matheny is a comprehensive non-profit hospital and school where people of all races, economic status, and abilities are cared for with the love and respect they deserve.  We are proud of the diversity of our staff and we are committed to continue our efforts to combat racism on all levels. Matheny stands in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters and we are hopeful that this is the beginning of the end of systemic racism.

Dr

Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD

President and CEO

The Continued Importance of Infection Control

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Matheny remains committed to keeping our patients and staff safe and healthy. Dr. Vincent Barba, our Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, has several recommendations (informed by CDC and World Health Organization guidelines) to help us continue to minimize the spread of the virus in our communities.

Matheny will continue to:

  • Screen our employees in order to effectively keep our workforce healthy 
  • Practice transparent infection prevention practices
  • Keep Matheny clean and the environment safe
  • Wear procedure masks at all times at Matheny
  • Practice excellent hand hygiene
  • Practice social distancing as much as possible on our campus
  • Work to maintain our supply chain of personal protective equipment

We encourage safety practices in our homes and lives outside of Matheny as well. You can protect your communities and loved ones by:

  • Maintaining social distancing in public
  • Wearing a cloth mask in public
  • Keeping your hands clean at all times
  • Staying home as much as possible, especially if you do not feel well
  • Staying out of crowds
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes

Both at Matheny and across the state of New Jersey, we have made real gains in managing this pandemic – but it’s not over yet. We hope you’ll help us continue this vigilance until the pandemic reaches its end.

A Very Special Miles for Matheny: June 13 – 20

Spring is a usually a busy and wonderful season at Matheny. The weather is warm and welcoming. Our campus is green and full of flowers. Fun activities take place outside.

photo credit - Linda E. Horton

We all know that this spring has been different – and difficult. Although we are confident that there will be light at the end of this tunnel, a great deal of work still needs to be done before that time, and the health and safety of our patients and staff remain our top priorities. With this in mind, we will not be holding an in-person gathering for Miles for Matheny 2020. We’re very disappointed – this annual gathering with families, friends, and neighbors is one of the highlights of our year. We will sorely miss seeing you in person, but hope you will join us for a  new and special Virtual Miles for Matheny 2020!

The fundamentals of the event have not changed. We will still come together as a community to celebrate the incredible work done at Matheny. You can still run or cycle (while social distancing!) for us, if you wish. And, as usual, every dollar raised will go directly to our programs and services – medical care, education, physical therapy, music therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, fine arts, and much more. You can learn more at our Miles for Matheny website, and look out for further updates by email and social media!

Even in these past few challenging weeks, we have seen plenty of things that are worth celebrating. Each and every day, our frontline staff – our healthcare heroes – give us reason for immense hope and gratitude, even amid our fear and anxiety. Matheny would not be Matheny without them. And we hope you’ll join us in celebrating them, even if it has to be from afar.

      To our devoted frontline employees and precious patients we lost – this Miles is for you.

State of Diversity: In Pursuit of Good Health for All New Jerseyans

On April 3rd, 2020, New Jersey Business Magazine discussed the challenges of meeting the healthcare needs of diverse populations. Thanks to the NJ Hospital Association, the piece highlighted the inclusion efforts of several health organizations around the state, including Matheny:

“Inclusion is also the goal for other populations, including those living with disabilities. The Matheny Medical and Educational Center in Peapack promotes diversity and inclusion by providing people with disabilities opportunities to engage in their communities through initiatives like its Miles for Matheny Wheelchair Walk and its Brave Bag partnerships with several police departments.”

Click here to read the full article. 

Coronavirus Letter to the Matheny Community

Matheny’s Memorable Moments of 2019

Happy New Year! 2019 was a very good year—with way more than 10 memorable events and achievements. It was a tough choice, but these Top 10 picks are high on the list of Matheny’s most notable happenings. (Numbering does not signify importance.)

1. Matheny’s exceptionally safe, high-quality care for all patients was officially recognized when its specialized hospital passed The Joint Commission Accreditation Survey with flying colors. The compassion, respect, and empathy shown by employees were noted by the survey team.

2. February 9th marked the opening of a professionally curated Sotheby’s exhibit of 56 works by 5 prolific Matheny artists, all long-time participants in Matheny’s Arts Access Program. The Manhattan exhibit garnered widespread media coverage, and 17 exhibited works of art were purchased.

3. Matheny School teacher Darlene Tammara was recognized as Educator of the Year by ASAH, the association of private special education schools and agencies in NJ. A teacher at the Matheny School since 1990, she has introduced innovative skills-teaching activities for Matheny’s Transition classes. Matheny School

4. Music lovers rejoiced when New Jersey Symphony Orchestra members presented a series of performances on Matheny’s campus and in the adult day center in Hillsborough for residents, students, families, and friends in April, May and June, underwritten by Delta Dental of New Jersey.

5. For the third year in a row, Matheny welcomed Rutgers Biomedical Engineering student-interns—the largest class yet, numbering 23—to its Peapack campus to learn about, and help solve, daily challenges faced by Matheny’s residents.

6. A powerful video entitled, “Matheny Arts Access: 25 Years of Art Without Boundaries,” won 2 first place awards and Best in Show at the 51st Annual Jersey Awards, sponsored by the NJ Ad Club.

7. Five members of the Matheny choir, led by Matheny’s Music Therapy Department, performed at the induction of Tim McCloone, restaurateur, musician, and long-time Matheny friend and volunteer, into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in October.

8. The Friends of Matheny, a dedicated group of volunteers, once again raised more than $100,000 through their Second Chance Thrift Shop in Gladstone. These super-fundraisers have donated more than $3 million to support programs and activities at Matheny.

9. Miles for Matheny, which moved in June 2019 to the Far Hills Fairgrounds, drew a large crowd of participants and topped last year’s high with donations exceeding $130,000.

10. Matheny emphasizes activities that help integrate clients back into the community by working on skills to maximize independence. In 2019, the Recreation Therapy Department averaged 40 trips each month, which is almost unheard of in similar programs.

 

We look back at 2019 with heartfelt gratitude for all of our blessings. Your love and support is the fuel that will keep us going after 74 years of serving the special needs community. Thank you!

In 2020, we look forward to creating new memories!

Matheny School Teacher Named Educator of the Year

News Release

Matheny School

Darlene Tammara, Matheny School Teacher

January 15, 2020, Peapack, NJ – ASAH, an organization supporting the special education community, recently recognized Matheny School teacher, Darlene Tammara as Educator of the Year at their annual conference.

Darlene began teaching at the Matheny School in 1990 and has had multiple roles during her tenure. In her current role as the teacher of the Transition classes, Darlene has created and managed numerous authentic transition tasks for Matheny’s high school students and programs that include the “Tea Time Café”, a student-run food and beverage operation; an opportunity for students to sell snacks called “Tea Time on Wheels”; and the “Tea Time Boutique” where merchandise produced by the students is offered for sale to staff.   Darlene has developed and fostered long term community connections for the students through a job sampling program at several locations in the community.  In addition, the students enjoy frequenting stores in the surrounding communities to purchase supplies for the café.

Darlene holds a Master’s in Education degree and certification as Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired. She works with the Commission for the Blind on functional vision assessments for Matheny students. Darlene created and modified a tactile approach to language-based activities for her visually impaired and multisensory students which incorporated concepts from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired tactile shape library and the Fitzgerald color codes. During this past summer, she worked with classroom staff and taught a lesson based upon this approach to an elementary and middle school class at Matheny.

Under Darlene’s direction, students from the Transition classes have been recognized for their quality work. In what will become an annual event, a group of students made picture frames during their transition class that were used at the Bridgewater library’s awards dinner.  In the new year she will be working with Matheny staff to create a multi-sensory space within Matheny for students.

Darlene has presented the Matheny Transition Program to various organizations, including Community Based Instruction teachers and therapists at The Learning Resource Center in Morris Plains, a Community Based Instruction showcase and as a part of the DCDT (Division on Career Development and Transition) International Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

President and CEO of Matheny and Executive Director of the Matheny School, Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD said, “Many of the classes and programs facilitated by Darlene are extraordinary in any educational setting especially when teaching children with medically complex disabilities. Darlene’s unwavering dedication to her students is sincere. We are lucky to have Darlene as a teacher and we congratulate her on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

ASAH is a not-for-profit organization of private schools and agencies in New Jersey which provide highly specialized services to more than 11,000 infants, children and young adults with disabilities. Founded in 1974, ASAH now serves more than 145 schools and agencies throughout the state.  For more information about ASAH, go to www.asah.org.

The Matheny School, the special education school located on the Matheny campus in Peapack, has been helping students achieve their greatest level of learning and independence through a collaborative approach, integrating traditional academics with therapeutic intervention and pre-vocational skills development. School staff includes special education teachers and aides, licensed therapists in the areas of speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, as well as nurses, social workers and psychologists. The entire team works closely with students’ families and local school districts to design a service plan that is uniquely tailored to each student’s specific needs.  For more information about Matheny, please visit www.matheny.org.

 

Holiday Cheer Delivered by CARS

For nearly 50 years, members of the Committee of Auto Racing Supporters (CARS) have been bringing holiday cheer to the children and adults at Matheny. Each year, CARS volunteers purchase gifts for residents and host a holiday party. During the 2019 holiday season, the dining rooms at Matheny were filled with volunteers, presents and an overwhelming feeling of holiday spirit.

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