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U.S. Congressman Robert Menendez to receive Federal Leadership Award of Distinction for Homeland Security at NJAMHA Annual Conference


MERCERVILLE, N.J., May 13, 2002 – The New Jersey mental health community will recognize United States Congressman Robert Menendez for his leadership and dedication to all New Jerseyans and all Americans at the New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies, Inc.’s 51st Annual Conference, Saluting Community Mental Health, on Tuesday, May 14, 2002.  The two-day conference being held at the Princeton Marriott Forrestal Village in Princeton, New Jersey has attracted nearly 200 mental health providers from all across the state in its first day, and is the best attended annual conference in NJAMHA history.  United States Congressman Menendez will be on hand during the NJAMHA’s American Heroes of the Heart: Luncheon and Annual NJAMHA Awards Program being held on May 14, 2002 at 12:30 PM in the Princeton Marriott Forrestal Village Salon D & E.  Congressman Menendez will be awarded the Federal Leadership Award of Distinction for Homeland Security for his many contributions and support of the mental health community. 

As Chair of the House Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, as well as Chair of Governor McGreevey’s Transition Team, Congressman Menendez’s guidance is serving to improve the life, safety and health of all Americans, especially those with mental illness.  He has introduced the Bioterrorism Protection Act to ensure our nation has the resources and tools it needs to contain, respond to, and most importantly, prevent acts of bioterror.  Among many other notable achievements, Congressman Menendez has co-sponsored the Patients’ Bill of Rights; co-sponsored legislation to expand access to health care; and is working to strengthen and protect Medicare and Social Security, while ensuring adequate payments to health care providers.  Additionally, Congressman Menendez continues to work to provide fair funding for hospitals and has been supportive of both the NJAMHA’s work and the New Jersey Mental Health Institutes’ Changing Minds, Advancing Mental Health for Hispanics project.

NJAMHA, based in Mercerville N.J.is a statewide trade association representing nonprofit behavioral health provider organizations.  The NJAMHA represents 125 hospital-based and freestanding mental health agencies throughout New Jersey.  In aggregate, NJAMHA members help children and adults with mental health issues more than 1 million times annually and employ 25,000 members of the New Jersey’s workforce.  Founded in 1951, NJAMHA’s mission is to champion opportunities that advance its members’ ability to deliver accessible, quality, efficient and effective integrated behavioral health care services to mental health consumers and their families.