Last Day to Call DOD

Stamps to 37 Cents

Corporate Angels

When Reading Is The Problem

N.J. Completes GIS Photography

Grants to Benefit Infants and Parents

Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the June 26, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Healthcare Under the Microscope

What could be more challenging than running a top-notch

healthcare system in a managed care environment, circa 2002? Hospitals

that have risen to the occasion, winning awards from Quality New Jersey

for their results, are set to share their secrets for success.

On Thursday, June 27, at 8 a.m. the American Society for Quality holds

a full-day "Leading Healthcare into the Next Decade" seminar

at the New Jersey Hospital Association Conference Center on Alexander

Road. Cost: $199. Call 609-777-0940. Among the award winners addressing

the gathering are AtlantiCare and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Hamilton.

Debbie Cardello is chief operating officer of RWJ Hamilton.

A resident of Hamilton Township, she has been with the hospital since

it opened its doors. A nurse, she holds a bachelor’s from Felician

College and an master’s degree from Widener University. Warm and energetic,

she says her background in nursing has been a great help in understanding

— and solving — the challenges her institution faces.

Perhaps ironically, the biggest challenge right now is finding and

keeping nurses. As medical technology becomes ever more sophisticated,

skilled technicians are tough to find too, as are pharmacists. But,

says Cardello, it’s the nurses that are the most prized quarry.

The same is true at nearly every healthcare facility. Cardello says

RWJ Hamilton uses the quality criteria of Quality New Jersey, basically

the elements of the Malcolm Baldrige quality program, to attract and

keep good nurses.

"You can offer signing bonuses. You can raise salaries," says

Cardello, "but that won’t get nurses to stay." What will,

she says, is a supportive working environment with good leadership,

all the equipment the nurses need to do their jobs well, and —

perhaps most important of all — recognition for their performance.

Every manager, says Cardello, is encouraged to send letters of recognition

to the homes of nurses who are doing an exceptionally good job.

The quality appraisal process RWJ Hamilton went through includes seven

elements — leadership, strategic planning, customer service, management

of information, human resources, process management, and results.

It did well enough in its appraisal and implementation to win a gold

medal.

Of all the categories, Cardello is most proud of her hospital’s customer

service results. "Our patient satisfaction level is in the top

six percent of the country," she says. Every patient receives

a phone call the day after being discharged. Negative comments are

not discouraged, she says, because the hospital is eager to know exactly

where any problems exist. Factors that make for a positive patient

experience, she says, include efficiency, caring, and concern. "It’s

a lot of people behavior," says Cardello.

While tending to patient-pleasing behaviors inside of the hospital,

Cardello also is overseeing expansion. Demand for RWJ Hamilton’s services

are growing by leaps and bounds. A new cancer center, offering, among

other things, radiation oncology, is coming on-line in the fall. A

three-story building just opened. It houses a number of growing departments,

including critical care, intensive care, telemetry, and a new E.R.

department.

While RWJ Hamilton at 20 years old is a relative youngster on the

New Jersey healthcare scene. AtlantiCare in Atlantic County has roots

that go back over 100 years, to the time it was Atlantic City Hospital.

That institution is still one of its facilities, but it has added

another acute care hospital, a hospice, a child care center, 13 outpatient

behavioral care centers, and more.

AtlantiCare also participated in the Quality New Jersey program, and

has won recognition in the form of the 2001 Governor’s Award for Performance

Excellence.

Joan Brennan, director of quality management, addresses the

June 27 healthcare seminar. "We used the criteria to see how well

integrated we are all across our business units," she says. Determining

that every patient seen in every setting is getting the full value

of AtlantiCare’s many services was the challenge.

Part of that challenge, and a big issue for AtlantiCare, is operating

under the constraints of the insurance companies, which pay the bills.

Balancing patients’ needs, best medical practice, and insurance companies’

policies is not an easy job. For example, says Brennan, "even

though you believe the patient can get a service in an outpatient

setting, the payer might prefer another setting."

It becomes a challenge for AtlantiCare, and for every other healthcare

provider, to walk the line — giving patients’ the best care, often

in multiple settings, while satisfying the demands of insurance companies.

On June 27, Cardello and Brennan, and a number of other leaders in

providing quality healthcare services, share how applying quality

appraisal standards help them balance the complicated, often conflicting,

demands of running a top-notch hospital system.

Top Of Page
Last Day to Call DOD

For entrepreneurs hoping to get government grants, you

have until Friday, June 28, to get on the inside track for some of

the $600 million that will be given out by the Department of Defense

over the next six months. Until the end of June you can call those

who control those funds to discuss the grant requirements and sell

your company’s capabilities.

"We have just entered what is probably the busiest time of the

year for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program with

hundreds of millions of dollars of R&D grant opportunities available

from the big three agencies and others," says Randy Harmon,

director of the Technology Commercialization Center. Proposals are

being solicited by the Department of Defense (DOD), NASA, NIH, and

the departments of education and agriculture.

"The biggest SBIR agency is the Department of Defense," Harmon

says, "and like all the agencies, it is trying to switch the grant-making

process to online." To encourage use of the online version of

the grant list rather than the paper version, the DOD releases the

online version in May and the paper version in July. Until the paper

version is released you can call up the people that sponsor different

topics. "You can get more-or-less inside information about the

sponsors’ interests and market your core technical competencies to

them," says Harmon. "This information can help you write a

stronger proposal and improve your prospects for an award. But in

July they won’t talk to you."

To find the right person to call, go to the National Science Foundation

website (www.sbir.com), where you will find a link to the DOD site.

You can conduct searches of open solicitations, put in key words,

and identify the grants that match your core competency. The search

also works for past solicitations, and, as Harmon points out, the

past is often a predictor of the future.

For free help in identifying topics that may fit your core competencies,

contact the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers of Rutgers

Business School at 800-432-1832. The centers will also help companies

develop their proposals.

These proposals can garner up to $850,000 for proof of concept work

and development of a prototype, but three years after the first grant,

entrepreneurs are expected to commercialize their technology.

"Beyond the immediate value of providing companies with a much

needed cash infusion, the real underlying value of SBIR is that it

can be a pathway to equity financing," says Harmon. "By completion

of Phase II, a company may be able to remove enough risk from their

venture to attract the interest of equity investors."

"With more than $1.3 billion available annually, SBIR is inarguably

the best source of risk capital for developing promising new technologies

and is probably the closest thing to `free’ money," says Harmon.

"Given the current state of the equity markets, and the elimination

of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology’s valuable

Springboard program, SBIR grants are more important to New Jersey’s

high tech businesses than ever."

Top Of Page
Stamps to 37 Cents

Postal rates rise on Sunday, June 30. In requesting,

and winning, the rate increases the United States Postal Service (USPS)

cited a rise in the price of fuel, transportation, utilities, labor,

and healthcare costs. It said the effects of the anthrax attacks it

suffered play no part in the increases, for which it applied on September

10.

The price of a first class stamp rises from 34 cents to 37 cents.

In answer to questions by those seeking to avoid a pocket full of

pennies, the USPS says the stamps were not priced at an even 40 cents

because "no one should have to pay more than necessary." Also,

the agency says, on its website (www.usps.com), most customers do

not purchase just one stamp, but rather buy stamps in books, paying

$3.70 for 10 or $7.40 for 20.

Priority Mail increases an average of 13.5 percent, while Express

Mail goes up 9.4 percent. The overall average increase for periodicals

rises 10 percent. Standard mail rises an average of 7.1 percent.

More detail — much, much more detail — is available on the

USPS website, which devotes no fewer than 30 pages to spelling out

the minutia of the changes. Those seeking the least expensive way

to send out bulk mailings will want to study this information.

Of more general interest is the fact that among the newest 37 cent

stamps is a gorgeous collection of photographs by America’s top photographers.

Peter Bunnell, professor of the history of photography and modern

art at Princeton University and curator of photography at the Art

Museum, assembled the collection. Demand has been brisk, especially

at Princeton area post offices. See story on page 32.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

<d>Johnson & Johnson has given $610,000 to Rutgers

for such projects as mentoring programs for Hispanic and black youth,

a statewide conference on culture diversity, preparation of nontraditional

students for careers as healthcare professionals, pharmacy outreach

for underserved populations, artists’ workshops in South Africa, and

fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students. The grant brings

J&J’s total gifts for this fiscal year to more than $1.4 million.

This year’s community grants from Western Pest Services include

$1,000 to First Book to purchase books for underprivileged children,

$500 to the Historical Society of Princeton to support volunteer programs,

and $500 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County to support "Hugs

and Smiles for Orphans."

Raritan Valley Community College received $30,000 from Peapack-based

Pharmacia Corporation to help furnish and equip an ophthalmic

laboratory in the college’s new science building, set to open this

fall. RVCC students earning their associate degrees in ophthalmic

science are prepared to work in retail optical stores, ophthalmologist

and optometrist offices, hospital clinics, and private practice. They

can fabricate and grind lenses and fit, adjust, and dispense eyewear

and contact lenses.

Top Of Page
When Reading Is The Problem

Reading problems tend to run in families, says Adrienne

Fogler, and they tend to generate a virulent form of ingrown guilt.

Her mission as an educational psychologist and reading specialist

is to lift that guilt from both adults and children, and to give both

age groups ways to cope.

Neurological problems can’t be prevented, but reading experiences

can be improved. "If dyslexia is inherited, there is no cure,"

she says. "But there are ways of coping and strategies. Reading

to a child constantly can help a slow readers."

Fogler has moved her practice, Read Right Educational Services, from

Manhattan to Lawrenceville. An educational psychologist and reading/writing

specialist, she offers tutoring, educational evaluations, workshops

for parents and educators, and professional consultations. She teaches

with a multisensory system based on the Orton-Gillingham method.

Parents trying to groom a future Ivy League student may berate a son

or daughter who forgets the lesson that was drilled into them the

previous day. "Parents with children who have reading problems

often haven’t been told what the difficulty is, how it begins, what

it entails," says Fogler. "I help them understand that it

is not the child’s fault — that the child is not being lazy, ornery,

or difficult, but that it is neurologically based. There is no one

to blame."

"I give strategies of what to do at home, what to expect from

the school, and how to have a collaborative relationship with the

school," she says. In her workshops she tells how to read to children

and how to look for signs of later reading difficulties.

Read to babies as young as six months old, she admonishes. "They

pick up sounds, how the language is put together, and the rhythm of

the language. It doesn’t matter that they are not understanding. Being

read to is the single biggest predictor of reading ability."

Fogler has always been an avid reader, but she is one of those who

do not do well on standardized tests. The youngest of three children,

she grew up in the Bronx, where both her parents were lawyers. She

went to Sarah Lawrence, then to Hunter College School of Social Work,

and worked as a psychotherapist. When she decided not to continue

as a therapist, she wanted to keep on working "one to one"

and to focus on children with educational problems. "In private

practice I had gotten to love having a close relationship with one

person to help them and guide them. I have always had a special relationship

with young children and reading," she says.

After earning a 60-credit master’s in educational psychology from

Teachers College of Columbia University, she opened a practice to

work with private schools in Manhattan. But after September 11 she

gave up the well-established practice for the quieter climes of Lawrenceville.

Many who emigrate from Manhattan have a hard time adjusting to the

slower pace of suburbia where bagel stores don’t dot every block,

but not Fogler. "I don’t miss a single thing about New York. Here

life is much more manageable. I am a runner, hiker, biker, and birder,

and all those are so much more accessible here. I can breathe fresh

air, see the sky, and be safe on the towpath. What more could I ask

for?"

Read Right Educational Services, 5333 Town Court,

Lawrenceville, Box 3403, Princeton 08543. Adrienne Fogler MSW, CSW

EdM, president. 609-799-2882.

Top Of Page
N.J. Completes GIS Photography

<d>Judith Teller, chief information officer for the

state of New Jersey, announced the completion of the aerial photography

for the New Jersey Orthophoto Mapping Program 2002-’03. This is the

first step in an ambitious undertaking that will significantly improve

the way New Jersey’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) community

does business in the future.

During the early spring before the trees leafed out, a flyover was

done of the entire state — the first since 1995 — using a

scale that will provide much greater accuracy and detail.

"The digital orthophotos that will be developed from the aerial

photos will serve as the state’s high-resolution basemap on the New

Jersey Geographic Information Network (NJGIN)," says Teller. "Orthoimages,

the foundation for many other geographic datasets, are critical to

the development of various municipal and commercial GIS applications

in such areas as property assessment, transportation design, permit

review, land use planning, and emergency management."

To capture aerial photographs of New Jersey’s land surface, three

aircraft, each equipped with sophisticated RC30 cameras and a Global

Positioning System (GPS) unit, were used. The planes flew at an altitude

of 9,600 feet along 48 specific north-south flight lines designed

to cover the entire state. Approximately 4,000 photo frames have been

acquired using Kodak Aerochrome III 1443 Color Infrared film, which

is less sensitive to undesirable atmospheric effects such as haze.

The next phase of the NJ Orthophoto Mapping Program involves scanning

and processing of the aerial film. The film is scanned with a precision

image scanner to create digital raster image files. The scans are

then processed, using flight altitude, GPS, and ground control survey

information, to tie them to their correct geographic locations and

to alter them geometrically, so the viewer appears to be looking straight

down at the ground at every point. This process converts the aerial

photographs into digital orthophotos. Colors and brightness are adjusted,

and the digital orthophotos are pieced together to form a seamless

basemap with no overlaps or gaps.

Finally, the digital orthophotos are cut into individual pieces called

tiles. There will be 9,201 tiles, which are about 75 megabytes each

uncompressed. Each will show 5,000 feet by 5,000 feet of ground area.

In addition, several other tile sets will be stored in digitally compressed

formats. The total storage space required for all the tile sets and

necessary accompanying files will be about 1,000 gigabytes.

The production of digital orthophotos from the film will last through

mid-summer 2003. The New Jersey Office of Geographic Information Systems

(OGIS) www.nj.gov/ogis will then host the data at the New Jersey Office

of Information Technology through the NJ Spatial Data Clearinghouse,

according to Hank Garie, director of OGIS and the state’s GIS coordinator.

Garie, who has presented extensively at national conferences on GIS,

indicated that the data will also be archived at the EROS (Earth Resources

Observation Systems) data center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Orthoimagery is one of the primary framework data layers recommended

by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) to help agencies improve

operations. In fact, orthoimagery provides a foundation for developing

New Jersey’s other essential data layers including Geodetic Control,

Parcels (Cadastral), Government Boundaries, Hydrography (water features),

Elevation, Transportation, Critical Infrastructure, and Land Use/Land

Cover.

Top Of Page
Grants to Benefit Infants and Parents

Children’s Futures has awarded nearly $2 million to

six local agencies.

Three of the organizations awarded grants — Catholic Charities,

Mercer Street Friends and St. Francis Medical Center — will create

parent-child development centers that will serve as a hub for activities

focused on improving birth outcomes and strengthening parenting in

Trenton.

Each neighborhood center will recruit women into prenatal care, sponsor

literacy activities and help families access health care. Plans for

a fourth site are underway.

In addition, grants to three other groups will help to engage fathers

in parenting, enhance child care, and address mental health and addiction

issues.

Union Industrial Home for Children has been awarded a $225,000 one-year

grant to encourage and sustain positive involvement of fathers in

early childhood. A "Men’s Collaborative" will include community-based

outreach to fathers, a one-on-one mentoring program to engage fathers

either at the birth of their child or before they are born, and help

fathers link to other services to help them become more involved in

the lives of their children.

Child Care Connection has been awarded a $400,000 one year grant to

improve quality in child care centers and family child care homes

in Trenton. The focus will be on enhancing training and education

of child care providers, creating safe and healthy environments, and

enhancing the educational experiences of young children.

The Greater Trenton Community Mental Health Center has been awarded

a $120,000 one-year grant to address mental health and addiction areas

affecting children’s health, including parental depression and substance

abuse. Through this grant, a team of behavioral health experts will

become part of each parent and child center’s multi-disciplinary approach

to prevention, education, and intervention.

Rush Russell, president of Children’s Futures, notes that the

grants are focused on Trenton’s youngest children and "create

and support an exciting new system to ensure that every child enters

pre-school healthy and ready to learn."

"Trenton now has the unique opportunity to foster new collaboration

across agencies and organizations to fulfill our mission of improving

health and development outcomes in Trenton from prenatal to age three,"

says Beverly Richardson, president of Children’s Futures Board

of Trustees and provost at Mercer County Community College’s Kerney

Campus.

Richardson notes that Children’s Futures expects to receive additional

grant applications from organizations for its "Innovative Approaches

Fund" that is geared to support new ideas and innovative projects

that complement the initiative’s other activities.

Funding for Children’s Futures primarily comes from a $20 million

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant. The City of Trenton is contributing

another $700,000 annually for the next four years from a federal HRSA

Healthy Start Initiative grant to support this program. The Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation, based on College Road East, is the nation’s

largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care.


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