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Doug Harris

Yolanda Fleming

Teens and seniors find common interests

Teens from the Youth Enrichment Services Program (YES) at Elizabeth High School make connections several times a year with elder patients at Trinitas Regional Medical Center. The teens participate as volunteers in the Trinitas Regional Medical Center Elder Life Program (HELP) that creates an environment for elder patients to remain more alert and engaged during a hospital stay. Young and old alike find enjoyment in creating seasonal arts and crafts projects. Students Jorge Cortijo, Sasha Lavayen and Herberth Tepas recently spent time with Maria Goncalves of Elizabeth decorating construction paper strips that took shape as a hanging shamrock decoration for St. Patrick's Day.

Johanna Thomas, Eldercare Clinician at Trinitas, coordinates the teen visits with Cristina Pineros, Clinician and Art Therapist of the high school's YES program. "As Elder Life Assistant Diana Noboa and I work coordinate the HELP activities, we notice that the patient/teen interactions give the patients a boost," says Johanna. "They have the chance to relax with the young people and suddenly we're aware that they are sharing some of their life experiences with the kids. It's a perfect match of fun and encouragement that both generations enjoy.

We're pleased that the connection that we've made with Cristina Pineros and YES social worker assistant Leida Martinez has been such an asset to our work with elder patients. It's just another way we can keep the elders mentally active and socially engaged."


About Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Trinitas Regional Medical Center (TRMC), a major center for comprehensive health services for those who live and work in Central New Jersey, is a Catholic teaching medical center sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation. With 10 Centers of Excellence across the continuum of care, Trinitas has distinguished itself in cardiology, cancer care, behavioral health, renal care, nursing education, diabetes management, wound healing and sleep medicine.

Posted: March 21, 2015

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