SPRING | 2020
Like all of you, at Summit Medical Group Foundation we are trying to adapt to these unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the needs of our most vulnerable communities are changing constantly. We are working closely with our local food pantry and community partners every day to assess how we can help meet their needs. From masks, to personal cleaning supplies, to critical COVID-19 information that can be easily shared with their members, we are working hard to keep the pantry leaders safe so they can continue feeding our neighbors in need.

We are also getting masks to patients going through cancer treatments, and offering several of our Cancer Comfort Programs virtually, to help patients and their caregivers maintain their emotional and spiritual well-being in this uncertain climate. 

And we are committed to supporting our Summit CityMD Healthcare Heroes with needed PPE, comfort items, snacks and more … to keep them safe and strong as they fight for all of our health and safety.

Ways you can help: 
  • Make a gift to the SMGF COVID-19 Relief Fund so we can continue to be responsive to the dire and changing needs of the most vulnerable among us.

  • Make hand-sewn masks, which we will distribute where the need is greatest. For instructions on how to make masks, click here. Please email info@smg-foundation.org to arrange for drop-off or pick-up of the masks.

Now more than ever we need your help to meet the growing and changing need in the days to come - please help us help others in this time of crisis 

We wish all of you and your families continued good health and safety during this unsettling time. 
To see first hand how we are making a difference each day, please follow us:
During a global pandemic, it can be very difficult to find good news. Dr. Sheila Nadiminti and her family decided to change that. Over dinner one night, Dr. Nadiminti and her husband, Dr. Hari Nadiminti, who is on the board of Summit Medical Group Foundation, were brainstorming ideas with their three children about what they could do to help people being impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Ajay (a second grader) and Priya (a first grader) had an idea – what about a chess tournament? From there, the wheels were in motion. Read more ...
While our programming has changed for the moment, we’d like to share with you our first quarter newsletter with some uplifting stories … stories we are looking forward to adding onto very soon!
“Nothing is more rewarding than being able to help people in need,” expressed Walter Cifuentes, pharmacist at Summit Medical Group Walgreens. Walter recently volunteered with us at a Food, Health, Hope wellness screening at Greater Refuge food pantry in Plainfield, New Jersey to speak with the screening program clients about the various medications they are taking. Food, Health, Hope is a partnership between Summit Medical Group Foundation and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey that aims to change diets and lifestyles, reduce the need for urgent care and hospitalizations and change the lives of food insecure individuals in Essex, Passaic and Union counties.
Clients at the Greater Refuge food pantry were asked in advance to come prepared with a list of their current medications, as well as any questions they may have for the pharmacist. They were then able to have one-on-one conversations with Walter as he reviewed and discussed their individual medications. "Now I know why it's important to take my medication at the right time every day," explained Fernando, a Food, Health, Hope client.
During the screening session, Walter advised clients on the proper way to take their medications, possible side effects and the long-term importance of taking medications as they are prescribed. Many of our clients do not have a primary healthcare provider they can speak with about these concerns, and they truly appreciated Walter’s time and expertise. Walter was also able to answer many questions our clients had about their prescriptions. “When I first started as a pharmacist, individuals who didn’t have a regular healthcare provider relied on me when they weren’t feeling well,” he explained. “Volunteering with the Summit Medical Group Foundation allows me to continue providing care for those who need it.”

Thank you, Walter, for being such a valuable resource for clients, and thank you to SMGF's individual donors and community partners, including The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, The AMA Foundation and BD , whose generous support makes the Food, Health, Hope program possible.
On February 27th, thirty-two Biomedical Science students from Technology High School in Newark experienced Healthcare Professional For A Day (HP4D), a full day of immersive learning with SMG healthcare professionals. Many of these young, motivated students will be the first in their families to attend college and they are interested in pursuing healthcare careers.

The day kicked off bright and early with General Surgeon Dr. John Cunningham demonstrating a continuous suture on a banana. “Four to five students have to share materials when we suture in the classroom,” explained Christina, assistant educator at Technology High School. “Today, each student has their own banana and suturing kit to work with!”

Juliana Fanning, SMG Clinical Coordinator, spoke about her experience as a Registered Nurse and how her career has progressed over the years. Walter Cifuentes gave his insights on life as a pharmacist and Dr. Matthew Garberina discussed the different roads you can take to become an Orthopedic Surgeon. 
The day ended with the lights turned down as Cardiologist Dr. William Tansey performed an EKG on one of the Technology High School students. After seeing and hearing the palpitations of the heart on the EKG machine, the students got a truly hands-on experience dissecting a cow’s heart.
The HP4D program would not be possible without our dedicated SMG volunteers. Summit Medical Group Foundation extends a big thank you to: Jessica Alvarado, BSN, RN, CCM, Dr. Alexandra Argiroff, Dr. Zubin Bamboat, Aida Brito, RN, Dr. Howard Blaustein, Walter Cifuentes, Dr. John Cunningham, Raekeisha Dean, PA, Juliana Fanning, Barbara Martucci, Dr. Matthew Garberina, Pamela Grosso, RN, Leslie Killeen, MS, RD, CDE, Dr. Gary Kohn, FAAP, FCCP, Dr. Kerry Le Benger, FAAAAI, FACAAI, Meagan Lynch, PA, John Magalla, RPh, Jessica Natale, DO, Dr. Ghengis Niver, MaryKay O'Connor, Brandon Olson, Sharon Porcell, John Porvaznik, Dr. Gregory Sachs, FACC, Abby Saunders, PA, Robin Simmons, RN, MSN, David Spina, Dr. William Tansey III, FACC and Heather Williams, RN.
Reactions from patients like Sheryl are why Summit Medical Group Foundation was excited to pilot an oncology reflexology and massage program at the Berkeley Heights and Florham Park Cancer Center infusion rooms this February. Patients were able to experience a complimentary hand massage or foot reflexology session in their own personal chair-side space during treatment. “I went to 3 reflexology sessions for neuropathy in my fingertips and occasional foot/leg cramps,” expressed Sheryl, a patient undergoing chemotherapy. “I cannot tell you how much my neuropathy had improved by the 3rd session.”
Massage therapy and reflexology have been shown to reduce incidences of pain, nausea and anxiety for patients receiving chemotherapy, and are especially beneficial for helping with neuropathy. “Patients find it relaxing, even though it’s just the feet,” explained Lauren, reflexology and massage therapist at Berkeley Heights. “They experience a relaxing effect on the whole body, and for those with neuropathy, it tends to make their hands or feet feel more alive.”
Summit Medical Group Foundation offers several other chair-side programs including Reiki (a technique using touch to activate the natural healing process of the body and restore physical and emotional well-being), healing touch (an energy therapy using gentle, intentional touch to help re-pattern the patient's energy field and accelerate healing of the body, mind and spirit) and Jin Shin Jyutsu (a gentle art of healing using light touch over specific areas of the body to balance and restore the energy flow to a more harmonious state).
Sometimes feeling good on the outside can help you feel a little better on the inside too. This winter, SMGF teamed up with Walgreens to bring the “Feel More Like You” program to the Florham Park Cancer Center. Specially trained beauty consultants listened to the needs of patients facing cancer and suggested individualized makeup solutions and personal care products to help with hair loss and dry hair, dry skin and skin discolorations, sunlight sensitivities, changes to nails and cuticles, and so much more. On Valentine’s Day, patients were treated to a “Love Your Look” event by the professionals at Salon Botanique, Morristown . “I feel completely refreshed,” expressed Lisa, a patient undergoing chemotherapy. “Thank you for helping me feel like my true self.”

SMGF is always looking for new partners for our beauty programs. If your salon is interested in providing beauty services to our patients facing cancer - please call (908) 277-8788.
The cost of personal hygiene products is a hidden consequence of poverty, keeping people from achieving their full potential. With your help, Summit Medical Group Foundation collected hundreds of diapers and feminine hygiene products to be distributed at our local food pantry partners. Special thanks to Dr. Marnie Cambria Dardanello (Pediatrics) and Dr. Christine Masterson (OBGYN) for working with SMGF to make this drive a success.
For more information, visit www.smg-foundation.org . Click here to learn more about Summit Medical Group.