FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 27, 2007

CONTACT: M. “Peggy” Salisbury 908-771-5730;
Norma T. Sheld 908-771-5815


Union County Freeholders Honor Runnells Activity Professionals

activity professional training
Some of the staff members of RUNNELLS Activities Therapy Department were present to receive a copy of a resolution from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders as part of National Activity Professionals Week. The resolution recognized these dedicated professionals and desired to help increase public awareness of the role they play in improving the quality of life for many older adults.  (Left to Right): Vincenzia “Vee” Beaty, Senior Recreation Therapist, Cliffwood; Deanna Lynn, Recreation Therapist, Fanwood; Edythe M. Toussaint, MT-BC, Music Therapist, Board-Certified, Flanders; Julie O’ Connell, Principle Clerk/Typist, North Plainfield; Bridgette Jordan, Recreation Therapy Aide, Scotch Plains; Susan,  Recreation Therapist; Patricia Scott, Director of Volunteer Services and Activities Therapy, Union; Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes; Jaimee Hawkins, MA, Assistant Director of Activities Therapy, Flemington; Kara Schuhmacher, Recreation Therapist, Watchung; Daniela DeFronzo, MT-BC, Music Therapist, Board-Certified, Springfield; Zalak Patel, Recreation Therapist, Roselle Park; Albert Hendricks, Recreation Therapy Aide, Plainfield and Alice Jackson, Recreation Therapy Aide, Plainfield.

The philosophy at RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital of Union County stresses a commitment to continuous educational training as a vital part of the professional life of the staff. The training of the Activities Therapy Department staff, from art and music therapy to therapeutic recreation treatments hones their skills so that each activity they run is designed to help individuals maintain a healthy, active mental outlook on life.

“The Activity Professionals of Runnells Specialized Hospital strive to enhance the quality of life for residents and patients through creative programs which are designed to promote socialization, physical activity, self-esteem and sensory integration as well as spiritual enrichment, independence, intellectual functioning and community accessibility daily,” stated Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes. “Every activity is designed to help the individual maintain a healthy, active mental outlook on life.”

RUNNELLS’ Activities Therapy Department oversees many events and programs that benefit the facility’s residents and patients. These include seasonal candlelight dinners, summer barbecues, and an annual “senior prom”…ideal opportunities to socialize. Others include fishing and adaptive sports for fun and physical stimulation and “Snoezelen,” a sensory integration program designed to stimulate and entertain the senses of those residents with low functioning abilities and individuals with developmental disabilities, through combinations of soft music, lights, gentle vibrations, tactile stimulation and aromas.

The Union County Freeholders acknowledged the Activity Professionals in Union County to recognize these exceptional professionals at RUNNELLS and to increase public awareness of the role these important individuals play in improving the quality of life for many older adults, whether or not they are residents of Union County.

Anyone wanting to learn more about Nursing Care and the Rehabilitation Center may call the Admission Office 908-771-5901.