Bancroft, the largest organization in New Jersey providing education, support and services to children and adults with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, opened its state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Center at Lakeside. The facility is located on the Bancroft site where adults reside, enabling them to receive essential medical treatment right on campus and was made possible thanks to a $197,548 grant from the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey.
Pictured left to right: Kurt Miceli, MD, Medical Director; Brenda Goins, Executive Director of the Salem Health & Wellness Foundation; Toni Pergolin, President and CEO of Bancroft; Adam Taliaferro, Assemblyman; Melissa Decastro, Freeholder.
Adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities face immense challenges when they need medical intervention. A simple physical at the doctor’s office can incite fear, anxiety and aggressive behaviors. The Health & Wellness Center at Lakeside opens a world of opportunity and enables individuals to not only visit their physicians, but also to practice visiting the office as part of their desensitization therapy before medical treatment is necessary.
“The Health and Wellness Center at Lakeside represents the next wave of essential services Bancroft is able to provide thanks to our valued community partners,” said Toni Pergolin, Bancroft President and CEO. “As we continue to grow and expand throughout the region to meet an increased demand for autism services, we are grateful to be able to continue to enhance medical and residential options for families as well.”
“Bancroft is one of the most important organizations in our region, providing essential services to those who need daily support but are also learning new tools each day to encourage more independence and integration into their families and communities. Through these partnerships, we are tackling challenges and providing real solutions for this population of adults and their families,” said Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro (LD 3).
“The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation has been delighted to partner with Bancroft to bring medical treatment and desensitization services directly to individuals who need them, improving access to care and quality of life for these adults,” said Brenda Goins, executive director of the foundation.
The program included a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of the new facility, which is comprised of a comfortable waiting area and several treatment rooms. Speakers at the event included Assemblyman Taliaferro, Bancroft CEO Toni Pergolin and Bancroft Medical Director Dr. Kurt Miceli as well as Brenda Goins with the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation.