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East Orange General Using Videoconferencing To Help Assess Behavioral Health Patients’ Needs

EOGH_Telepsych_EquipmentBehavioral Health patients arriving at East Orange General Hospital's Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services may find themselves "face-to-face" with a doctor sooner than they expected thanks to an innovative use of technology known as Telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry is the use of state-of-the-art audio and video telecommunications equipment to deliver psychiatric care when the patient and practitioner are at different locations. As of 2011 this application of Telemedicine has been the most successful to date.

Started at East Orange General within the last few months, the use of two-way, secure videoconferencing allows patients to talk to and be assessed by an off-site psychiatrist in real time. The use of Telepsychiatry reduces patient wait time and the cost of mental health care while allowing doctors the opportunity to evaluate and determine the immediate needs of patients. With 77 patients seen to date, the videoconferencing has produced positive outcomes.

The rising demand for behavioral health services in Essex County combined with a national shortage of hospital-based psychiatrists prompted EOGH officials to launch the service. "So far the use of an interactive video link has proven to be a win-win for both the patients, the psychiatrists and the hospital," said East Orange General's Behavioral Health Services Medical Director Kathy Rivera, MD, FAPA. "The off-site trained telepsych doctor is able to determine sooner what treatment the patient may need next, while the patient's wait time for that care is significantly reduced."


Hundreds Of Children Enjoy Ribbon Cutting At East Orange Basketball Court

DSC_1135Elmwood Park may be small, but being in the middle of a residential area, it is very important to the community.

On July 2, 2013 at around 11am East Orange Mayor Robert L. Bowser along with sponsors including Coca-Cola and its Sprite brand, and Village Shoprite gathered with city officials and invited luminaries at 'center court' for a rededication ceremony and completion of a $40,000 initiative to create a 'state of the art' basketball facility.

Local star and Orange native Christopher Copeland signed a non-guaranteed contract with New York Knicks and made his debut on November 2, 2012. His best performance was against the Atlanta Hawks on April 17, 2013, with a career high 33 points. He was the star amongst the children on this special day for East Orange, when much needed activities for the children will be the center of attention thanks to the uplift provided by the basketball court.


An Award for Hard Work

Many times we have seen that only celebrities and politicians are awarded, but this time East Orange General Hospital has dedicated theirDSC_0263 state-of-the-art residential complex, Hope Gardens, to hard working former board chairperson, Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams.

During her tenure as board chair, Dr. Ellis-Williams helped guide the creation of Hope Gardens from a dream to reality. Hope Gardens is an on-site Supportive Housing facility for adults who have a history of homelessness and behavioral health issues.

As I previously wrote in a Local Talk article, "Essex County's only independent hospital held a grand opening on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 80 South Munn Avenue in East Orange, NJ. Hope Gardens will provide 24 efficiency apartments which include staff, a multi-purpose room with a warming kitchen, an eat-in-kitchen, private bath, storage closets, a combined living/sleeping area, elevator service, resident lounges on the second and third floors, laundry room and more.East Orange General Hospital (EOGH) has achieved another milestone as they are the first hospital in New Jersey to provide a supportive house program to mentally challenged and homeless persons. All 24 residents are filled in, and there is a wait list in double digits."


East Orange Homicide Under Investigation

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and East Orange Police Chief William C. Robinson announced that the EastIMG_3280 Orange Police and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which includes officers from East Orange, are investigating the murder of Noel Oroma, 52, of East Orange.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly, who is in charge of the Homicide Unit, said Oroma was fatally shot in East Orange in the vicinity of 76 Washington Street while walking home at approximately 2:35 p.m. March 19. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at University Hospital in Newark. The preliminary investigation indicates he was the victim of a robbery.


West Orange Teacher Charged With Illegal Sexual Relationship With Student

Erica_Depalo1Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and West Orange Police Chief James P. Abbott announced that West Orange school teacher Erica Depalo, 33, of Montclair was charged with having an illegal sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student she taught in her Honor’s English class.

The arrest warrant charges Depalo with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to West Orange Police Detective Louis Mignone, it is alleged that Depalo, who in addition to teaching English is also the Junior Varsity tennis coach, began a sexual relationship with a male student on or about June 15. At the time, the victim was 15 years old. The relationship continued until August 28.

Depalo was voted as the 2011-2012 Essex County Teacher of the Year. She was also commended by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders in October 2011.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.


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