By: Follow South Jersey Staff
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) and Acenda Integrated Health, Inc. commemorated the signing of their new premier partnership at a ceremony held on the Gloucester campus Wednesday, February 8 followed by a ribbon cutting event on the Cumberland campus on Thursday, February 9.
State and local government officials, including the Board of County Commissioners from Gloucester and Cumberland, along with administrators, educators, and health care leaders were joined by college faculty, staff, and students to celebrate this noteworthy event. The objective of this premier partnership is to prioritize mental health and wellness for RCSJ’s students and employees, as well as the entire South Jersey region.
RCSJ awarded Acenda with exclusive naming rights to the Gloucester campus’s Behavioral Sciences Center Building as an outcome of the partnership. The building will now be known as the Acenda Behavioral Sciences Center.
“Our partnership with Acenda Health is a unique and important one,” said Frank DiMarco, director, Gloucester County Board of County Commissioners in a press release from the college. “With the rebrand of the Acenda Behavioral Sciences Center, we’re opening opportunities for our students, and our community on a personal and educational level. We are constantly working to think beyond the ordinary and commit to bringing the best of the best here.”
“Today is such a special day because we are combining [efforts] and saying with our mouths and with our wallets [that] educating young people is also about healing their mind, body, and soul,” said Jim Jefferson, Gloucester County Board of County Commissioners, liaison, Gloucester County Department of Health and Human Services.
One of the goals this association aims to achieve is to create a campus culture that prioritizes wellness via collaborative mental health promotions and awareness workshops that will benefit students and staff.
“Students are experiencing more mental health challenges than ever before, so it is vital that we find new and innovative ways to prioritize their wellness,” Dr. Anthony DiFabio, president/CEO, Acenda stated. “This partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey will not only give students direct access to comprehensive counseling services, it will also provide the wellness resources necessary to help them navigate their busy lives as students.”
Two RCSJ students, who spoke at the ceremony, shared their thoughts on the importance of the partnership between the College and Acenda.
“I am very excited about Acenda coming to the college to offer more opportunities for internships, placements, and possible employment for students like me,” said Emily Reid, who wants to make a positive impact in this world by working in the field of social services. “I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity that Acenda is bringing to our College.”
“I am positive that the partnership between Acenda and RCSJ will be successful in aiding young adults in preparation for the future,” said Angelica Rivera, who has set an intention to empower, advocate, and guide individuals seeking emotional and psychological support. “I am proud to attend a college that supports and prioritizes the needs of its students.”
Another intriguing benefit to be gained by this premier partnership is RCSJ students, including those who participate in the Rowan Choice program, will be able to receive mental health and wellness services throughout the academic year.
“Seeking help for mental support can be terrifying, discouraging, and costly,” said Rivera, a Social Services major, RCSJ Gloucester. “With the help of Acenda providing professional … wellness [education], students can prepare for real life challenges, or maybe even save a life.”
“I am … very excited about Acenda making mental health services more available to students at RCSJ at no out-of-pocket cost to them,” said Reid, Social Service major, RCSJ Cumberland. “This is a huge deal!”
This compelling collaboration is also intended to reinforce RCSJ and Acenda’s outstanding commitment to educating, retaining, and filling needed behavioral health and social justice positions in our community.
“One of the goals for Cumberland County is to provide additional opportunities that will prepare individuals for careers in demand, that will also be an incentive to live and work within the County,” said Douglas Albrecht, director, Cumberland County Board of County Commissioners. “The partnership with Acenda will be a big part of that.”
The partnership will also provide expanded educational opportunities for students pursuing studies in all areas of Behavioral Sciences and Law & Social Justice. RCSJ and Acenda have also instituted a “direct connection employment program” which gives the College’s students a chance to explore numerous employment opportunities at the integrated health organization. Additionally, RCSJ will provide a 40 percent tuition and fees discount to all Acenda employees.
“RCSJ is proud to partner with Acenda Integrated Health, Inc. and together, lead the South Jersey region in prioritizing mental health education and services,” said Dr. Frederick Keating, president, RCSJ. “Not only are we excited to provide direct connection employment opportunities for our students, but also retain health professionals in the area for years to come. Our tuition discount to all Acenda employees also shows our commitment to educating the workforce in our region.”
For more information about Rowan College of South Jersey’s Behavioral Sciences and Law & Social Justice programs, please visit RCSJ.edu/BehavioralSciencesJustice. To learn more about Acenda Integrated Health, visit AcendaHealth.org.
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