Kessler News

Kessler Institute Honors Patients & Staff at Annual Triumph of Human Spirit Event

Special Presentation Made to the Wounded Warrior Project


West Orange, NJ - Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation celebrated the achievements of its patients and staff at the hospital’s annual Triumph of the Human Spirit gala. The evening featured the presentation of the hospital’s first ever Distinguished Alumni Award to Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers University football player and Kessler patient, who survived a devastating spinal cord injury five years ago, and a stirring speech by Mary Tallouzi, Wounded Warrior Project spokesperson, whose son, Sgt. Daniel Tallouzi, sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq and was treated at Kessler.

"Each year, we recognize a special group of individuals who have distinguished themselves among their peers. Their dedication, determination and individual achievements not only inspire us, but prove just how resilient the human spirit is," said Sue Kida, President, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and CEO of Kessler’s Chester campus.

Recipients of Kessler’s 2015 Human Spirit Award included patients Karen Canetti of Califon, Kim Careccia of Ramsey, and Maryann Hobbie of South Orange, N.J.

Kessler’s President’s Award was presented to Michele Beltram, PT, DPT, OCS, director of orthopedic residency and clinical education at Kessler Rehabilitation Center; Barbara Bridges, equipment coordinator, Kessler - Saddle Brook; Diane Sloane, nursing unit secretary, Kessler - Chester; and Sue Souza, office administrator, Kessler-West Orange, for their commitment to excellence and tireless work on behalf of the more than 7,000 patients Kessler treats annually.

In addition, Thomas Lammertse, M.D., associate medical director of Kessler’s Chester campus, received the Henry H. Kessler Award for Medical Excellence; and Patti Morris, director of admissions for Kessler Institute, was presented with Kessler’s Leadership Award.

As part of its commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, Kessler Institute and Kessler Rehabilitation Center employees raised more than $11,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides extensive resources and support to injured servicemen and women.

More than 500 Kessler staff and guests attended the dinner event, which was held at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, NJ.

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