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Event Recap: NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Celebrates Everyday Heroes

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NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Everyday Heroes event on January 18, 2017 at the Trenton State Museum. Standing L-R NJTV News Correspondent and Master of Ceremonies Michael Hill; NJ Advance Media writer Stephen Stirling; Executive Director of Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Angelo M. Valente; Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato; Endeavor House Medical Director Dr. Christopher Johnston; and NJTV General Manager John Servidio
Seated: President and CEO of The Overdose Prevention Agency, Paul Ressler and writer Alicia Cook. Award recipient Patty DiRenzo is not pictured.
Photo I. George Bilyk/NJTV

 

NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Celebrates Everyday Heroes in Ceremony on January 18, 2017 at the Trenton State Museum

January 18, 2017 — TRENTON, NJ — NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, hosted the Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis Everyday Heroes Celebration at the Trenton State Museum on Wednesday, January 18th.  The event, part of the network’s year-long  Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis community engagement initiative, was hosted by NJTV News correspondent Michael Hill.   The goal of the evening was to celebrate those in the community that are working tirelessly to end the stigma of drug addiction and forward progress on its education, prevention, treatment and recovery.  There are many, hundreds if not thousands, who are on the front lines of helping others with this issue.  On Wednesday night, NJTV celebrated a few shining examples who are making a difference.  Remarks were made by NJTV’s General Manager John Servidio, Acting Commissioner of the Health Department Elizabeth Connolly, who was sent to represent Governor Christie, and included a taped message from US Senator Cory Booker commending NJTV for its work on this issue. Writer Alicia Cook also recited addiction-themed poetry that she and others submitted as part of the network’s poetry initiative launched in conjunction with the year-long program.

The night’s six honorees, which received awards from John Servidio:

  • JOURNALIST STEPHEN STIRLING, NJ ADVANCE MEDIA.
  • DR. CHRISTOPHER JOHNSTON, CORPORATE MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF PINNACLE TREATMENT CENTERS AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ENDEAVOR HOUSE
  • PATRICIA DIRENZO IS A PARENT/ADVOCATE
  • ANGELO M. VALENTE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A DRUG-FREE NEW JERSEY
  • OCEAN COUNTY PROSECUTOR JOSEPH D. CORONATO
  • PAUL RESSLER IS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF TOPAC—THE OVERDOSE PREVENTION COMPANY

Said Servidio during the ceremony, “We strive to go deeper into the communities we serve through community engagement projects like our healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis initiative.  Thanks to our efforts and all those involved, from our staff to our stakeholders, we’ve been able to bring the conversation about new jersey’s drug addiction and overdose epidemic to a new, personal yet public level.  A level of awareness that those we celebrate tonight work every day to maintain.”

NJTV’s Development Director Sarah Rosen and Communications Director Deb Falk were also in attendance. NJTV’s Community Engagement Liaison Selma Betancourt, MS coordinated the multi-faceted event. NJTV News’ Matt Rosen filmed the livestream coverage.

Watch the evening’s event here: http://www.njtvonline.org/addiction/event/healthy-nj-new-jerseys-drug-addiction-crisis-everyday-heroes-award-celebration/

And coverage by NJTV News with Mary Alice Williamshttp://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/honoring-fighting-njs-heroin-epidemic/.

NJTV’s Healthy NJ: New Jersey’s Drug Addiction Crisis initiative is made possible with major funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and additional support from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Organizations collaborating on this effort include the Community Foundation of New Jersey, Junior League of NJ – State Public Affairs Committee, New Jersey Drug Policy Alliance, Mental Health Association of NJ, Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention, among others.

Michael Hill, NJTV News

Michael Hill, NJTV News

John Servidio, NJTV

John Servidio, NJTV

Elizabeth Connolly, Acting Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Human Services

Elizabeth Connolly, Acting Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Human Services

Special Message –  U.S. Senator Cory Booker

Special Message –  U.S. Senator Cory Booker

Special Message –  U.S. Senator Cory Booker

Special Message –  U.S. Senator Cory Booker

NJTV'S HEALTHY NJ: NEW JERSEY’S DRUG ADDICTION CRISIS EVERYDAY HEROES AWARD CELEBRATION

NJTV’S HEALTHY NJ: NEW JERSEY’S DRUG ADDICTION CRISIS EVERYDAY HEROES AWARD CELEBRATION

Alicia Cook

Readings from NJTV’s Poetry Initiative on Addiction – Alicia Cook in honor of Molly Ina O’Donnell

Stephen Stirling, NJ Advance Media

Communicator Award: Stephen Stirling, NJ Advance Media

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Community Award: Paul Ressler, TOPAC

Christopher Johnston, M.D., Endeavor House /Pinnacle Treatment Center

Health Award: Christopher Johnston, M.D., Endeavor House /Pinnacle Treatment Center

Rosseann Scotti acceptin=g award on behalh of Patty DiRenzo, Parent Advocate

Inspiration Award: Rosseann Scotti accepting award on behalf of Patty DiRenzo, Parent Advocate

Joseph D. Coronato, Ocean County Prosecutor

Innovator Award: Joseph D. Coronato, Ocean County Prosecutor

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Prevention Award: Angelo M. Valente, Partnership for A Drug-Free New Jersey

NJTV'S HEALTHY NJ: NEW JERSEY’S DRUG ADDICTION CRISIS EVERYDAY HEROES AWARD CELEBRATION

NJTV’S HEALTHY NJ: NEW JERSEY’S DRUG ADDICTION CRISIS EVERYDAY HEROES AWARD CELEBRATION

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Paul Ressler and guest

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Special Voices Award presented to writer Alicia Cook

Award recipient Angelo M. Valente and guests

Award recipient Angelo M. Valente and guests

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Award recipient Joseph Coronato and guests

Award recipient Stephen Stirling and his wife

Award recipient Stephen Stirling and his wife