Patient and Family Advisory Council Members

Get to know the members of the Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at Clara Maass Medical Center! These dedicated volunteers collaborate with hospital staff and administration to influence policies, procedures and activities that will improve the quality of care we provide and the patient experience.

Kellie GeltrudeKellie Geltrude

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Kellie graduated from Nutley High School prior to obtaining her degree in interior design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. She currently owns and operates a prominent interior design firm that she started more than twenty years ago. Kellie felt inspired to join the PFAC after a life-changing medical experience at Clara Maass Medical Center, and she feels this is the best way to give back to the medical community for helping her during that difficult time.

Kellie is particularly proud of her work at the PFAC because it gives her the opportunity to improve the hospital experience for patients and their families during potentially challenging circumstances. As a member of the PFAC, Kellie helped institute the chart of pain control and comfort options designed to help patients and doctors make pain goal decisions together. She also contributed to the development of medication wallet cards which allows patients to more efficiently manage their medications. These cards present health information that can be quickly and accurately displayed to medical personal prior to any treatments.

In addition to being an avid traveler, Kellie enjoys working out, yoga, and is an accomplished equestrian.

Cynthia Toro Cynthia Toro

Cynthia Toro has been a resident of Bloomfield, New Jersey for almost two decades. She is a New Jersey-licensed social worker holding a bachelor's degree from Montclair State University and graduated from Rutgers University in 2015 with a Master of Social Work degree. She is also a former county elected official who served from 2015-2017 on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders now known as the Essex County Commissioners. Cynthia's social work experience includes working with mental health patients in a hospital emergency room psychiatric screening center, providing therapy to adolescents and families, participating in mental health programs, case managing therapeutic interventions with the incarcerated and currently working as a high school social worker. Her career passion and devotion has been helping the less fortunate and relieve suffering, fight for social justice and improve lives and communities. Cynthia has served for the last three years on the Clara Maass Patient and Family Advisory Committee, finding fulfillment in doing her part to promote patient- and family-friendly, quality health care services.

Cheryl Young Cheryl K. Young

Born and raised in New York, Cheryl K. Young is a two-time lung cancer survivor who moved to New Jersey in 1987. She has beaten breast cancer and was at high risk for ovarian cancer. Cheryl is a volunteer mentor at Clara Maass Medical Center, where she engages with Oncology patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In addition to providing emotional support, she also offers the services and resources of her non-profit organization, The Preston Young Cancers Awareness – I AM YOU, Inc. She is on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee as well as on the Bioethics Committee at Clara Maass. Cheryl has received three proclamations in appreciation for her service to the community from the Townships of Belleville, Montclair and Essex County within the last year. Cheryl has worked as an executive secretary, for deputy commissioner of five boroughs of family court and worked directly for David Kessler, who was the deputy commissioner for four years.

Cheryl went into private sector as executive secretary for vice president the legal department at American Express Headquarters and was there for 10 years. From there she went to Bear Sterns as executive secretary/paralegal for the vice president for the legal department. She worked there for 27 years. After that she had decided to open up a 24-hour daycare in her own home in the state of New Jersey from 1995-2005. She was also a therapeutic foster parent from 1996-2005. That was when she learned that she had lung cancer.

Cheryl is the founder and CEO The Preston Young Cancers Awareness – I AM YOU, Inc. She absolutely loves what she does. Cheryl has been a crossing guard for the township of Montclair for 10 years. She goes back to the hospital to volunteer in between her shifts as a crossing guard.

If you know someone who is interested in becoming a PFAC member, please call (973) 450-2177.

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