Princeton Health News

Princeton House Named a Finalist for NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Award

June 1, 2017
2017 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes
Princeton House Behavioral Health is a finalist in the 2017 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards in recognition of groundbreaking research to identify individuals infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and link them to medical treatment.

The research began in 2014, when professionals noted that a significant number of young adults receiving substance abuse treatment at Princeton House were infected with HCV, probably as a result of sharing contaminated needles and other paraphernalia. Princeton House enlisted help on the research project from medical school faculty members and researchers at Rutgers University and infectious disease experts from ID Care.

Ronald G. Nahass, MD, president of ID Care and a longtime medical staff member of University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP), is the principal investigator. He works closely with Kathleen H. Seneca, APN, to evaluate and counsel patients who test positive for HCV. Ruth A. Homer, LCSW, meets with patients individually, in groups and with family members to provide education, case management and clinical counseling on the transmission, treatment and prevention of HCV. She also works to identify and eliminate barriers to care, support patients who are in recovery and reconnect patients who relapse to the services they need.

More than 40 percent of the patients screened at Princeton House have tested positive for HCV. Of those individuals, two-thirds are 35 or younger. Previously, HCV primarily affected the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1945 and 1965).

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that HCV cases nationwide tripled in five years, due in large part to the deadly heroin epidemic that is affecting communities across the country.

“Before mainstream media started calling opioid abuse an epidemic, Princeton House identified the connection between opioid addiction and hepatitis C,” said Barry S. Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System, which includes both Princeton House and UMCP. “The research is crucial for people with hepatitis C who otherwise might not have known they were infected until the disease was advanced and more difficult to treat. Princeton House professionals and Dr. Nahass also have published their findings and presented them at several national conferences, sharing useful insight with countless professionals who are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.”

The Healthcare Heroes awards are produced by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s premiere business news publication, and sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, New Jersey Hospital Association, Atlantic Health System and Englewood Medical Center. The awards honor individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.

Finalists were selected in ten categories: Education Hero-Individual, Education Hero-Organization, Hospital of the Year, Innovation Hero-Individual, Innovation Hero-Organization, Nurse of the Year, Physician of the Year, Public Health Hero, Volunteer of the Year, and Workplace Wellness Hero. Princeton House is one of six finalists in the Innovation Hero-Organization category.

The finalists and winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges including: John Gallucci from JAG Physical Therapy, Nish Parikh from Rangam, Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN from The College of New Jersey, School of Nursing, Judy Schmidt MSN, RN from New Jersey State Nurses Association, and Michael J. Avaltroni, Ph.D. from School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The Healthcare Heroes awards finalists will be recognized and the winner in each category will be announced during an awards breakfast and ceremony on June 20, 2017 at the Palace in Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey.

For more information about the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards program or to reserve seats to the event, please click here or contact Anna Acquaviva at or call (732) 246-5713.

Andy Williams, 609-252-8785

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