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CentraState’s Medical Explorers Program Selected as New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award Honoree

By |2020-02-03T11:07:08-05:00June 12th, 2019|

(Pictured left to right): Cheryl Anne Craig, BSN, administrative director, Behavioral Health Services, and committee member and presenter, Medical Explorers Program; Maryellen Dykeman, RN, manager, Community Wellness, and co-chair, Medical Explorers Program; Barbara Yuhas, MSN, director, Nursing Medical Surgical Division, and co-chair, Medical Explorers Program; and Nanette D. Spedden, MS, director, Volunteer & Guest Services, and co-chair, Medical Explorers Program.

CentraState Healthcare System is proud to announce that its community outreach student Medical Explorers Program has recently been selected as a 2019 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award Honoree in the Volunteer Program/Group category.

Each year, the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards highlight the spirit of civic engagement among New Jersey’s 1.8 million volunteers and provide medals in 22 categories of volunteer service.

CentraState’s Medical Explorers Program, offered in partnership with the Boys Scouts of America, is a co-ed program that gives high school students between ages 14 and 20 the opportunity to explore a variety of careers in the health care field through interactive learning with medical professionals, hands-on workshops and activities, and hospital tours. The Program has made a difference in 341 young lives since its inception in 2015. The Medical Explorers Program’s 58 staff and community partner volunteers were designated as a Jefferson Award Honoree for their work in the youth program, demonstrating unique vision and dedication, and serving as inspiration for others.

“We are delighted to be lauded for our work with the youth in our communities and helping them to learn about the various roles in health care,” says Maryellen Dykeman, manager, Community Wellness, CentraState Healthcare System. “It’s rewarding to see them take such interest in a field where you help others and determine if a career in the medical field may be in their future.”

Jefferson Award Honorees, including CentraState’s Medical Explorers Program committee chairpersons Maryellen Dykeman, Nanette Spedden, and Barbara Yuhas, were recognized at a local ceremony on May 19 at the War Memorial/Patriot Theater in Trenton, NJ, and received a Jefferson Award lapel pin and certificate of recognition.

The New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award is a joint program administered by the Community Foundation of New Jersey, The Star-Ledger Powering, and The Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism, with support from corporate underwriters. The Jefferson Awards is a national volunteer recognition program established in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service in cooperation with the US Senate and the White House. The Jefferson Awards are considered America’s highest honor for public service and volunteerism.

For more information about The Medical Explorers Program at CentraState, call 732-308-0570 or visit

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