Morris County Honors COVID-19 Response Partners – Morris County, NJ

Posted on April 29, 2022

Resolutions presented to five organizations

The Morris County Board of Commissioners this week presented honorary resolutions to five organizations that have greatly assisted the county’s first responders in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic at key times since the time the virus mortal struck the region for the first time.

“Everyone in Morris County is grateful to those who have helped us get this far and get through the pandemic, despite the many people we have lost on our two-year journey. Tonight we want to honor the efforts of five of Morris County’s COVID-19 response partners,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selenas the presentation ceremony began last Wednesday evening at a meeting of the Commissioners’ Business Session in Morristown.

COVID honors 6 Scott.jpg Honorary resolutions were presented to County College of Morris, Saint Clare’s Health, Atlantic Health System, Lab Q Diagnostics and Troop C, 1st Squadron 102nd Cavalry Regiment New Jersey National Guard.

“I must begin by acknowledging the enormous work undertaken by our Department of Law and Public Safety and Morris County Sheriff’s Office to protect us all when the pandemic hit,” Director Selene mentioned. “The organization and coordination of local and county agencies was cited by the State of New Jersey almost immediately in 2020 as a pandemic response model for the rest of the state to follow. … On behalf of the Council of Commissioners, allow me to thank you again and your teams. We are indebted to you.

The response strategy was developed by county emergency personnel before the first case of the virus was documented in New Jersey in early March 2020. It involved connecting with private and public partners to plan everything from distribution of personal protective equipment to protect the most vulnerable populations in the county.

The distinctions presented on Wednesday mainly related to the work of setting up three examination centers during the last two years in Morris County CollegeasCOVID Honors 5 CCM.jpg as well as the establishment and operation of the Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center. The vaccination center was established in a former Sears mall at Rockaway Townsquare Mall in Rockaway Township and operated from January 8, 2021 to July 16, 2021, delivering more than 340,000 vaccinations.

“You have all been so crucial to the efforts of Morris County, the state and the entire country – in the vaccination effort and the testing effort. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how difficult those times were and where we are now, and what a great service you have given people. I mean the compliments we received from people who went to the vaccination and testing centers were just amazing. The service you provided was so important. You have changed lives and saved lives. And we can’t thank you enough,” said Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus.

Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center

COVID honors 2 AHS.jpg On Jan. 8, 2021, the Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center, commonly referred to as a state “mega-site,” opened in the empty Sears store that the Department of Law and county public safety selected two months early for a massive vaccination operation. Governor Phil Murphy attended the opening and he expressed his full confidence in the operation, even before the first shot was administered, saying “Morris County functions as a summit.”

But there were uncertainties about what to expect. The partners who created the center share a common assessment of this time during the pandemic: “We were building the plane while we were flying it.”

These partners included Atlantic Health Systemwho took care of the vaccinations, and Sainte Claire Mobile IntensiveCOVID honors 4 Nat Guard.jpg Paramedicswhich occupied the center for the first few months because, at the time, vaccines were largely unknown and allergic reactions had been reported. C-Troop of the National Guardalso a partner of the center, has expanded from helping set up the facility to logistics, check-in, crowd flow, patient observation areas and taking care of any other task that needed to be done

The Governor’s confidence has proven to be well placed. The operations went well and the center was declared a model for other vaccination sites.

Test centers

COVID honors 3 St Clares.jpg Atlantic Health System and Morris County College (CCM) helped Morris County establish a drive-through testing center in the college’s parking lot #1 on March 30, 2020, just weeks after the virus spread to New Jersey. It was a time when the state and much of the nation was locked down, and people were afraid to get close, but testing proved important early on to monitor the spread of the virus and provide residents with the opportunity to find out if they were infected.

CCM took the opportunity on two additional occasions when testing was needed, opening its student center on December 14, 2020 to allow free PCR tests and distributing 21,000 before the center was dismantled on July 16, 2021. When a contagious variant of the virus appeared again last December, CCM offered its student center for a testing center which opened on January 10 and served the public until March 11.

LabQ diagnosiswho had just opened a new headquarters in May 2021 in Mount Olive, was enlisted to provide COVID-19 testing the last time the testing center was open. Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum and his team connected the healthcare company with Morris County first responders, and LabQ served more than 1,000 people a day during the first weeks of operation.

Receive the honors on Wednesday

Atlantic Health System

  • Kevin Joyce, Vice President, Insurance Networks
  • Catherine McCarthy (Cathy), Director, Corporate Health
  • Karen Jean Feury, Injury Prevention Specialist (APN)

Morris County College

  • President Anthony Iacono
  • Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors George Milonas
  • Director of Public Safety Steve Ackerman

Health of Saint Clare

  • John Cronin, Director of Emergency Medical Services
  • Deborah Paglianite, Clinical Manager, Emergency Medical Services

Troop C, 1st Squadron 102nd Cavalry Regiment New Jersey National Guard

  • Captain James “Jimmy” Ruane
  • First Sergeant Leandro Enriquez
  • Steve Zimmerman

Lab Q Diagnosis: Unable to attend, but received a resolution on another date.


Top right: The commissioners standing with the winners after the ceremony.

Top left: Scott DiGiralomo, director of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety, addressed the honorees along with commissioners (lr) Doug Cabana, deputy director John Krickus, Deborah Smith and director Tayfun Selen.

Center right: Director Selen congratulates CCM President Anthony Iacono. Behind him are CCM Director of Public Safety Steve Ackerman and Acting Chairman of the Board George Milonas.

Center left: Director Selen presents a resolution of honor to Atlantic Health System representatives (lr) Kevin Joyce, Catherine McCarthy and Karen Jean Feury. At far right is Commissioner Deborah Smith. On the other side are (lr) Commissioners Doug Cabana and John Krickus.

Bottom right: Director Selen congratulates National Guard members (lr) Capt. James “Jimmy” Ruane, First Sergeant Leandro Enriquez and Steve Zimmerman.

Bottom left: Director Selen reads the honor resolution before presenting it to St. Clair Reps. John Cronin and Deborah Paglianite.

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