Last Thursday, a delegation from Amerigroup NJ Health Plan, led by President Teresa Hursey, paid a visit to Lakewood to show their appreciation to the community and see how they can give back to the town and work together with the residents and local businesses.
During the visit, they showed their support for the various organizations that keep this community safe, healthy and well-cared for by presenting donations to a number of these organizations and displaying their desire to work with them in the future for the benefit of so many. Amongst the organizations they visited and presented donations to were Tomchei Shabbos, Hatzolah, Bikur Cholim, Misameach, Lakewood Shomrim and Ahavas Tzedakah.
The delegation toured the headquarters of most of these organizations and strongly praised their great work.
The first stop was Lev Rochel Bikur Cholim of Lakewood, where the delegation went to personally see the tremendous scope of their work. Presenting their donation, Ms. Hursey noted that Bikur Cholim’s work, in addition to helping those in hospitals and care facilities, helps to keep people healthy and out of the hospital through preventative methods. She added, “Just hearing and seeing the progress of Bikur Cholim is amazing. I am so impressed by all that they do.”
Meir Brull and Yehuda Osina of Bikur Cholim accepted the check and expressed how impressed they are with Amerigroup’s commitment to the welfare of Lakewood and to all residents of New Jersey whom they service.
The Amerigroup representatives then visited Tomchei Shabbos, and stated how amazed they were by the incredible amount this organization provides to so many families in need of assistance. One member of the group said, “The magnitude of the food distribution is unbelievable and is a testament to the giving nature of the community and the dedication of the tireless volunteers who man this operation.”
Ms. Hursey related that it was her third time visiting Tomchei Shabbos and she has personally packed boxes for them to be able to have a share in their work.
A representative of Tomchei Shabbos said, “I have been really impressed to see how Amerigroup is so dedicated to making sure the health care in our community is up to par. Since I got to know Amerigroup, I have seen how they are ‘for real’. They really care about people.”
Ms. Hursey replied that she sees Tomchei Shabbos, which distributes fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods, is an important part of maintaining the health of the community and she is proud to work together with them.
From there, the delegation visited the downtown location where a hub will soon be opening for Amerigroup members who are insured by them. This Amerigroup Lakewood center will be a headquarters for members of the insurance plan to meet with representatives and receive whatever assistance they need to find resources, referrals, doctor recommendations and more. The workers at the site will be on-hand to assist with anything a member will need to provide in-person help, rather than less personal over-the-phone service. This is one more way that Amerigroup is showing their dedication to the Lakewood community and is a sign of the community atmosphere they have created and the strong, friendly relationship they have nurtured.
They then met with Lakewood Shomrim and related how impressed they were with the volunteer community watch group’s commitment to keep Lakewood residents safe and secure. Ms. Hursey stated, “I am really amazed by the magnitude and professionalism of this volunteer squad. In light of recent threats and even attacks on the community, it is heartening to see that a group of volunteers are so committed to ensuring that everyone is protected and to see how well they work with the law enforcement community. It is great to be able to have a part in keeping the community not only healthy but also safe. We are honored to be able to give back to the community through Shomrim.”
As with all of the other organizations they visited, Shomrim were presented with a donation from Amerigroup to help them keep their services going.
Osher Perlow of Shomrim accepted the donation and thanked Amerigroup for being a true friend of the community and working together to keep everyone safe and healthy.
The next stop was the Misameach Family Center, where the delegation was shown all of the wonderful games, activities and services available for local families dealing with a child’s health challenges. Lipa Schwartz of Misameach provided them with a tour and a look into their work, as well as a virtual tour of what the new Misameach campus will look like once it is completed. The group signed a brick that will be placed in the new building in appreciation of Amerigroup’s help and support of Misameach and pledged to continue to work with Misameach in the future.
Mrs. Hursey said, “The work of Misameach really goes a long way in making sure patients are happy, upbeat and taken care of as they work through health issues, which does a tremendous amount for the well-being of our patients. What Misameach does is truly amazing. It truly changes people lives. All I can say is: Wow!”
Lipa Schwartz noted that Amerigroup has been a friend of Misameach’s for some time and have displayed their genuine concern for every child and family going through health challenges. He said that the partnership between Misameach and Amerigroup is able to provide both for the child’s physical and emotional care as the patient works towards a recovery.
On Wednesday, the representatives returned to Lakewood to visit with Hatzolah and Dr. Shanik’s Ahavas Tzedakah.
Mrs. Hursey told Dr. Shanik, “Your work on behalf of so many is very important to the community. We appreciate all that you do.”
Dr. Shanik replied, “We are very grateful to you for your help to the community and to the families we assist. We appreciate your friendship.”
At Hatzolah headquarters, they were given a full tour and were awed by the vast scope and professionalism of their lifesaving operations. One member of the group said, “You really are saving lives every day! You are proving how much can be accomplished when people genuinely want to help each other.”
One of the Amerigroup representatives summed up the trip by saying, “There’s really no place like Lakewood. I don’t know of any other community that has so many organizations and initiatives aimed solely at helping others in al kinds of ways. It is an honor and privilege for us to be able to have a share in their work and it is our pleasure to be able to provide health services to so many wonderful people in such a remarkable town.”