Operation Recognition: Diplomas for Veterans

In 2000, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NJDMAVA) and the Department of Education jointly launched a program to honor World War II era veterans who left school to join the military and never received a high school diploma. Known as Operation Recognition, the program was expanded to award a state-endorsed high school diploma to any New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to enter military service during World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

To date, more than 2,000 high school diplomas have been awarded to New Jersey veterans either by mail or at community ceremonies. 

Programs similar to Operation Recognition have been established in a number of other states including Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

Who qualifies?

Any current New Jersey veteran who left a New Jersey high school to join the military between the dates of Sept. 16, 1940-Dec. 31, 1946, June 23, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955, or Dec. 31, 1960-May 7, 1975 and were honorably discharged. All branches of service including Merchant Marine and Coast Guard are eligible.

Those who earned a GED are also eligible. Diplomas may be issued posthumously. Surviving family members of eligible veterans are urged to apply. The paperwork needed:

– A copy of the veterans’ DD-214 or discharge papers,
– The name and address of the high school the veteran attended,
– The year the veteran would have graduated and
– The applicant’s name, address and daytime phone number.
– Send your request to:

Operation Recognition
New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs
Eggert Crossing Road
P.O. Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

You may also fill out an application for award by visiting:

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is a “Four Star” – We Honor Veterans, organization. We Honor Veterans is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)  in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)  and community Hospices. The program focuses on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment. If you need help filling out the form and/or mailing appropriate paperwork please contact us at 973-383-0115, ext. 145 we we would be honored to help.

17th Annual Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration Set to Soar on June 10 & 11th

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice will host its 17th annual Butterfly Release Celebration with three events held in Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey and Pike County, Pennsylvania on the weekend of June 10 and 11. “This beautiful event honors the life of family and friends who are still with us and celebrates the memory of those loved ones we have lost,” explained Cecelia Clayton, Executive Director of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. Since its inception in 2000, Smith-McCracken and Wood Funeral Homes have been central to the success of the event, leading the way as the major sponsor.  “We are very proud to support hospice and the annual Butterfly Release Celebration. This event and the hospice exemplify the importance of friends and family,” stated Robert McCracken. 

Participation begins with the purchase of a butterfly for $20.00 in the name of a loved one. Included in the purchase is a commemorative butterfly lapel pin which will be sent along with a personalized acknowledgement card to the designated recipient. “The butterfly pin was designed specifically for this Butterfly Release Celebration,” explained Pam Milone, event committee member and office manager for Smith-McCracken and Wood Funeral Homes. “We have introduced a new color pin each year. Not only have these pins proven to be a thoughtful reminder of those we care for, but a keepsake from the event.” Monarch Sponsors donating $100.00 receive a stunning butterfly sun catcher. A new design in the series is featured annually offering a thoughtful collection opportunity. Participants are encouraged to visit our website to register and purchase a butterfly in advance. Once registered a butterfly pin and acknowledgment card will be mailed to designated recipients and the celebrated name will be printed in the event program. Butterfly celebration pins and name recognition can also be purchased the day of the event before the ceremony begins. 

Each celebration integrates live music with the reading of each name being celebrated and concludes with the release of dozens of Monarch butterflies. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, currently celebrating its 37th year of providing hospice care to patients and their families, is pleased to welcome the community to the Warren County Butterfly Release Celebration hosted at the Karen Nash Memorial Butterfly Garden on the grounds of Memorial Elementary School in Washington, NJ at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 10. Also, hospice supporters and area residents are welcomed to gather at the gazebo in Memorial Park in Milford for the Pike County Butterfly Release Celebration hosted at at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. Sunday’s Butterfly Release Celebration will be hosted at the gazebo on the college green of the Sussex County Community College on June 11, beginning at 2:00 p.m. The celebrations are hosted rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, the butterflies will be released when conditions are suitable. For additional information about the Butterfly Release Celebration or to celebrate the name of a loved one, please visitwww.karenannquinlanhospice.org or call 973-383-0115 or 800-882-1117.

Grief and the workplace

Grief & the Workplace

Whether it’s a colleague’s illness, the boss’ death or trying to help a friend through the loss of a spouse, grief and loss can dramatically affect the workplace. Being sensitive and deliberate in our responses can help the entire office cope with a difficult time.

Supporting a colleague

When someone at work experiences a loss, simply offering your sympathy and support is good way to help. Asking how they are doing and genuinely listening to their response without judgment or comment is usually appreciated. It is important to acknowledge their loss; often a simple “I’m sorry” is enough. Sharing stories of your own loss or avoiding the topic because you aren’t sure what to say is often hurtful to the bereaved person.

Participating in the memorial by attending visitations, funerals or sitting Shiva are all good ways to show your support. Flowers and memorials from the office can demonstrate your concern and care. Remember, there is no timeline to grief. A colleague may have an unexpected bad day months after a loss, so continue to be supportive even after the funeral.

When a coworker dies

The loss of a coworker is troubling. Providing a sensitive and compassionate environment will help the workplace cope with the loss. Remember that everyone grieves in their own way; providing a space for open communication and dialogue will allow everyone’s grieving style to be respected. Information about the death as well as the plans and arrangements should be shared in accordance with the family’s wishes. It may be appropriate to arrange something at the workplace to commemorate the loss as well, to allow colleagues to express their grief in their own way.

Getting help for the office

It is important for the office to be a supportive place for employees dealing with grief and loss. When a death occurs, it may be helpful to consider professional intervention by a crisis team. The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center is a good resource for providing extra help if needed. Diana Sebzda, Director of Bereavement can be reached by calling 973-948-2283 or email at dsebzda@karenannquinlanhospice.org

Hampton Rotary Club donates $15,000

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The Hampton  Rotary Club, a long-standing philanthropic club that provides financial support to many individuals and organizations in Sussex County, presented checks for $15,000 to both Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and Sussex County YMCA. The club held its last meeting on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lafayette House restaurant. The club, which has raised nearly one million dollars since it’s inception is disbanding due to diminishing membership.

The club also presented checks to the Gideons, DASI, Ginnie’s House and Project Self Sufficiency. We would like to thank Hampton Rotary for being one of our top 10 donors of all time and for all they have done, not only for Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, but for all of Sussex County.

Hospice earns “Elite” Hospice Honors recognition


Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice has been named a 2017 Hospice Honors “Elite” recipient by Deyta Analytics, a division of HEALTHCAREfirst, the leading provider of web-based home health and hospice software, billing and coding services, and advanced analytics.

Hospice Honors, a prestigious program, recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view. Deyta Analytics holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the Deyta Analytics National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions.

The Hospice Honors is a landmark compilation of hospices providing the best patient and caregiver experience. The award recognizes top performing hospices for their hard work and dedication. Karen Ann Quinlan is one of six hospices in New Jersey to be recognized for Hospice Honors and one of two to achieve the Hospice Honors “Elite” designation.

“We are honored to be in the company of other New Jersey Hospices, and health care facilities nationwide, being recognized by Deyta Analytics. To achieve “Elite” status validates the exemplary care extended to our community by our dedicated team,” said Cecelia Clayton, Executive Director at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) was mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As part of the HQRP, all Medicare-certified hospices are required to submit quality data to The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS). The survey was designed to measure and assess the experiences of patients who died while receiving hospice care, as well as the experiences of their primary caregivers. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice utilizes the vendor DEYTA to collect and submit data on our behalf to CAHPS.

DEYTA administers a CAHPS, hospice experience of care, survey to caregivers after the death of a hospice patient. The survey asks questions about care during the patient hospice stay.

Hospice Honors acknowledges high performing agencies by analyzing performance of Hospice CAHPS quality measures. HEALTHCAREfirst identified award recipients by evaluating hospices’ performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Individual hospice performance scores were aggregated from all surveys with a final survey status of complete for the evaluation period and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a national performance score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in HEALTHCAREfirst‘s Hospice CAHPS database.

May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day

Hand hygiene and antimicrobial stewardship

When should I wash my hands?

Many illnesses can be prevented with regular hand hygiene using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Clean your hands often, and request that others do the same.

Before eating;
Before, during, and after preparing food;
After using the bathroom;
After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or caring for someone who is ill;
After taking out the garbage;
After petting animals;
When visiting someone who is sick; and
Whenever your hands look or feel dirty!
What hand hygiene products should I use?

Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a hand hygiene product.

Plain soap and water is one of the best ways to remove germs from your hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are steps to properly washing your hands: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry.

Alcohol sanitizer is good to use if soap and water are not available. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. It’s great to carry a small dispenser with you when you are out shopping, at the grocery store, in an airport, or on a plane.

Antimicrobial soap is used in healthcare settings like doctor’s offices, dentists, or hospitals. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not necessary to use antibacterial soaps at home.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the ability of antibiotics to kill that bacteria. Washing your hands will help keep you healthy and prevent your need for antibiotics. But if you get sick, do not pressure your healthcare provider for antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take all of them—even if you start to feel better.

Here are some other ways to celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day.

You can commit to always cough into your sleeve and not your hands. You can play handwashing games by singing a song for children when they wash their hands. You can make handwashing a routine and important part of your daily life to prevent the spread of harmful germs in your home.

Please join us on May 5 in celebrating the importance of clean hands worldwide to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance!