Oct. 5th Blood Drive and Health Fair is One Man’s Dream Come True

Event is 9:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at Hope Church in Bound Brook

Bound Brook, N.J.— One of Matthew Barber’s last wishes was for others to live well and healthy lives. On October 5th, the public is invited to share his legacy and give the gift of life in his memory at Hope Church in Bound Brook.

RWJBH Community Health Fair and Blood DriveAs he “quietly fought” cancer, Barber worked as assistant director of environmental services at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick before his passing last April. According to hospital chaplain and Hope Church associate minister Rev. Jerrold Smith, Jr., Barber was passionate about making sure minorities are equipped with tools to make healthy lifestyle choices and access to healthcare professionals.

“He approached the hospital’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and RWJ’s Black Professionals Network and made his wishes known,” said Rev. Smith.

As a result, the groups are sponsoring a health fair and blood drive at Hope Church on October 5th from 9:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. rain or shine. There will be a flu shot clinic; blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol screenings; cancer, diabetes and nutrition education; food and children’s activities. There is no cost to attend.

In accordance with Barber’s wishes, the health fair will provide strategies and resources to the underserved, and because the event is held in his honor, RWJ Blood Services will be conducting a memorial blood drive.

“What better way to honor the life of a man who wanted others to thrive,” said Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s blood services supervisor Christia Keyte, “Each unit of blood has the potential to save two lives and each unit we collect helps local patients. ”

New and returning blood donors are invited and all types are needed. Donors must feel well and healthy at the time of donation, eat and drink well before arriving and bring photo ID. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Online registration is available at www.RWJUHDonorClub.org.

“Donors who have questions about travel or medical eligibility can ask us on-site or call ahead and speak with a blood services representative at 908-685-2926,” said Keyte.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is a 600-bed academic medical center that serves as the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (www.bmsch.org). A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first designated Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report five times. In addition, RWJUH was named among the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and received the Equity Care of Award as Top Hospital for Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion from the American Hospital Association. RWJUH Brunswick has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers. For more Information visit us online at www.rwjbh.org/newbrunswick

Peter Haigney
RWJUH Public Relations
(732) 937-8568