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Sussex County Community’s Generosity, Stitched Together to Lighten the Load for Cancer Survivors

SPARTA, NJ, OCTOBER 2011 – Ask most people fighting breast cancer, who often have to lug around a stack of medical records, along with wallets, books, magazines, water bottles and other items to their appointments, and they’ll tell you that preparing for their treatments can be not only a handful to remember, but an armful to carry as well.

With that in mind, the team at the office of Dr. Renee Comizio, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Sparta, NJ, was joined earlier this month by a group of volunteers in an effort to help make it a little easier for breast cancer survivors to shoulder the load.

The “Bags for Breast Cancer,” sewing bee on Friday, October 7, brought together Newton Medical Center hospital staff members, former patients and several community volunteers to sew more than 60 tote bags. The bags will be distributed to people fighting cancer at the Sparta Health and Wellness Center and other locations throughout the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The bags were made from swaths of fabric generously donated by numerous residents from throughout Sussex County. Donations of fabric for the effort exceeded the team’s expectations, and the group will continue to take donations to make more bags in the future.

“It was heartwarming to see so many members of the community donating not only fabric, but their time and efforts to create something to make the experience of fighting cancer a little easier. So many of the donations came with personal stories of how breast cancer affected their lives or the lives of loved ones,” Dr. Comizio said.

Renee Comizio, MD, MS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon for Newton Medical Center who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Her office is located in Suite 207 of the Sparta Health and Wellness Center, located at 89 Sparta Avenue. For more information on how to receive a free tote bag, or to donate fabric for future tote bags, call 973-940-8787.

About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is one of the largest non-profit health care systems in New Jersey, comprised of Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Newton Medical Center. The three medical centers – all accredited by The Joint Commission – have a combined total of 1,308 licensed beds and more than 2,750 affiliated physicians providing a wide array of health care services to the residents of Northern and Central New Jersey. Specialty service areas include advanced cardiovascular care, pediatric medical and surgical specialties, neurology, orthopedics, and sports medicine. Each of these programs has earned top ratings and recognitions in their respective fields. Atlantic Health System is the official health care partner of the New York Jets and an official health care provider of the New Jersey Devils.

Morristown Medical Center’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute performs more heart surgeries than any other hospital in New York or New Jersey, and is one of 20 facilities across the country to perform catheter-based repair and replacement of valves on both sides of the heart. Atlantic Health System’s spine program – where surgeons perform more spine surgery than anywhere else in New Jersey – is one of just 13 hospitals across the country that has received the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission, achieving Disease-Specific Care Certification for cervical and lumbar spine treatments. With the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute based at Overlook Medical Center, the hospital serves as the hub for the New Jersey Stroke Network, and serves about 40 percent of the state’s stroke patients. The system’s Goryeb Children’s Hospital offers more than 100 board-certified physicians in 20 pediatric specialties. Morristown Medical Center is verified as a Level I Regional Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and designated a Level II by the state of New Jersey.

Atlantic Health System has been chosen for the past three consecutive years by FORTUNE® as one of the magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®.” The organization has also been recognized four times by AARP as one of the “Best Employers for Workers over 50.” Inside Jersey magazine partnered with Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and ranked Morristown Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey and the No. 1 hospital for treatment of heart failure and coronary surgery in the state. The survey findings also establish Overlook as No.1 for the treatment of neurological disorders and No. 2 for stroke treatment in NJ. Atlantic Health System is a Major Clinical Research Affiliate with The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and is the primary academic and clinical affiliate in New Jersey of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

Hackettstown Medical Center

651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 900 health care