Jul 20, 2023 Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Injury Prevention Coordinator and Dunellen Resident Honored by National Trauma Center Association of America

Starace TCAA Award 2023

(New Brunswick and Dunellen, NJ) – Dunellen resident Diana Starace has received the Trauma Center Association of America (TCAA) Circle of Excellence award. The Award of Excellence is presented by the TCAA to an individual for their dedication, leadership and outstanding contribution to the trauma community.

This was the first time the award was presented to a non-clinician (surgeon or nurse) member. Starace, who serves as Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Level I Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) and Safe Kids Middlesex County Coalition, was honored for her leadership in educating both children and adults in the community about safety and injury prevention.

“We are extremely proud to see Diana’s tireless work recognized with this prestigious award,” said Lisa Falcon, MSN, RN, TCRN, NE-BC, Director of Trauma and Injury Prevention for RWJUH. “Throughout her career Diana has been a passionate advocate for injury prevention who has brought together countless community-based organizations, volunteers and professionals in our field to educate the public and keep our children and families safe. There is no more deserving individual to receive this recognition.”

Starace adds, “I see my job as an opportunity to teach individuals how to stay out of the emergency department and trauma bay. Keeping the community safe is what we do.”

Starace is a certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a Child Passenger Safety Instructor (CPST-I) and is a member of both the NHTSA Region 2 CPS Committee and NJ Teen Driver Safety Coalition. She serves as co-chair of the Executive Board of the Middlesex County Coalition for Healthy Communities and is a member of the 

Operating Council of the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Middlesex County Sexual Violence Coalition. Starace is active on Underage Drinking and Prescription Drug Task Forces within Middlesex County and is called upon to lecture on numerous prevention topics in schools, organizations and corporate settings throughout Central New Jersey.

She has presented at a variety of state and national conferences including the NJ State School Nurse Association, NJ Planned Parenthood Teen Conference, NJ Association of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, NJ State Council on Compulsive Gambling, NHTSA Region 2 CPS Technical Conference, Trauma Center Association of America, Lifesavers and Safe Kids Worldwide Leadership Conferences.

Starace is an Honors graduate of Barry College in Miami Shores, Florida with post-graduate studies in Public Health Administration at Florida International University and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

About RWJUH’s Level I Trauma Center Injury Prevention Program

RWJUH’s Injury Prevention Program identifies injury risks in the community, initiates related prevention strategies, and conducts outreach, research, education and awareness programs;

ensuring that injury prevention is a public policy priority. RWJUH’s Trauma Center has strong community partnerships that have proven successful in reaching at-risk individuals and families in New Brunswick, including school districts, community service organizations, first responders, and local and state transportation agencies, for almost 30 years. RWJUH has been the lead agency for the Safe Kids Middlesex County, an affiliate of Safe Kids Worldwide, since 2003, supporting a focus on our most vulnerable population, our children.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is a 640-bed academic medical center that is New Jersey’s largest academic medical center through its deep partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. RWJUH is the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and other 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 earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Recognition for Nursing Excellence and being named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals. The RWJUH Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association as meeting The Joint Commission's standards for Disease-Specific Care Comprehensive Stroke Center Advanced Certification. RWJUH has also earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Disease-Specific Care Certification for Spine Surgery; The Joint Commission Gold Seal Certification for Bariatric Services; and The Joint Commission Gold Seal Certification for Hip and Knee Replacement services. The Joint Commission also awarded RWJUH a Gold Seal Certification as well as an Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Implantation.

Contact: Peter Haigney
RWJUH Public Relations
(732) 937-8568