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Faith-Based Workshop Brings Officials Together

Crowd at the OCHD event.
Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ

The Ocean County Health Department has been through a lot. First, there was an outbreak of Mrsa in schools. Then, the Swine Flu or H1-N1 Influenza came around. Next, there was an epidemic of bed bugs around the area. Now, they’re ready to deal with anything and are getting some extra help from faith-based organizations.

Leslie Terjesen with the Leslie Terjesen with the Ocean County Health Department leads a segment of the day long talk
Leslie Terjesen with the Ocean County Health Department leads a segment of the day long talk. (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

Over a hundred of them met on the Toms River campus of Ocean County College yesterday for a day-long summit. It was done for two key reasons; identifying the potential problems and issues that worry them in their communities – and ultimately defining their roles in potential health crises. There were representatives from several churches, synagogues and other religious groups. There was plenty of communication going on which is what they strive for.

Everything was on the table and nothing was off limits. Topics ranged from health issues, programs and services to seniors, bullying, bias crimes and what to do in the event of an emergency either natural or man-made.

Daniel Regenye, Public Health Coordinator with the Ocean County Health Department, explains they learned a lot from their HELP group involving school officials during the H1-N1 outbreak years back.

Regenye says “we realize the more hands we have on deck, the better equipped we are to handle these things. Our goal is to make this a few-times-a-year thing. We want to hear from these leaders about what’s on their minds and use their knowledge of the community as a collaborative effort.”

Learn more about the plan at their website,  OCHD.org.

 

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