Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition


Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition Leadership Team


Heather Barberi – Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
Jeremy Grunin – Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
Peter Rosario – Ocean County YMCA

Co-Chairs, Nutritious Food Connections

Gemma Brennan – Retired
Wendi Silver – Fulfill NJ

Co-Chairs, Senior Isolation

Keri Britske – Community Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health
Dr. Teri Kubiel – Community Medical Center, RWJ Barnabas Health
Lynette Whiteman – Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey

Co-Chairs, Substance Abuse

Kelli Chiarello – Hackensack Meridian Health
Jillian Messina – Toms River Police Department

Communications Director

Kelly Fliller – Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation

Co-Chairs, Youth Emotional Wellness

Scott Corbett – Ocean Academy OHMS
Adeola Sonaike, The Family Resource Network

Research Partners

 Dr. JoAnn Cummings – Georgian Court University
 Dr. Megan Sherman – Georgian Court University
 Efthimia Stefanou, BSN, RN – Rutgers University
 Dr. Michael Wortley – Georgian Court University


In 2015, the Ocean County YMCA and the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation brought together a group of Toms River non-profits to discuss the New Jersey Health Initiative’s (NJHI) Building a Culture of Health in NJ – Communities Moving to Action, Round 2 grant opportunity.  The collective group was committed to creating a culture of health in Toms River, and there was 100% buy-in for the formal establishment of the Toms River Family Health and Support Coalition (TRFHSC).  Today, the TRFHSC is made up of over 50 partners spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors who are working together to improve the health of all Toms River residents.  The mission of the TRFHSC is to mobilize a network that engages every resident with knowledge of and access to healthy resources.  The TRFHSC was fortunate to be selected as a recipient of the NJHI Building a Culture of Health in NJ grant.  The grant funding will enable the coalition to participate in a four-year initiative to address the multiple factors that influence health: health behaviors, social and economic factors, clinical care, and the physical environment.


Over the last year, the TRFHSC has been involved in various planning efforts to build a Blueprint for Action.  The planning has included:

•A series of listening sessions at various locations around Toms River, including diverse audiences;
•Written surveys and phone surveys; and
•Research on the health and wellness challenges within the Toms River area utilizing NJ State Health Assessment Data, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, and local county information.

Based on this research, priorities in four critical areas were identified:

•Nutritious Food Connections
•Senior Isolation
•Substance Abuse
•Youth Emotional Wellness

This Blueprint for Action is the collective work of the TRFHSC and the guide for the next several years as we work to make Toms River the healthiest community in New Jersey.


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