Hospital Offers Support Groups

PERTH AMBOY – Raritan Bay Medical Center offers support groups for HIV patients and their caregivers, people who have had or are considering bariatric weight loss surgery, and breast cancer patients or survivors.

The HIV support group meets every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the hospital’s Perth Amboy location, 530 New Brunswick Avenue. Anyone diagnosed with or caring for someone infected with HIV is welcome to attend. Free and confidential rapid HIV testing is also provided by the medical center, with results known in 30 minutes.


The Bariatric Surgery Support Group meets Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the hospital’s Perth Amboy location, 530 New Brunswick Avenue, in Centennial Hall B. It is for individuals who have had weight loss surgery, are contemplating weight loss surgery or are trying to maintain a healthy weight. Facilitators Lauren Sausmer, RD, and Leslie Guido, RN, will lead discussions. Family and friends are welcome.

There will also be a Bariatric Weight Loss Support Group meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Old Bridge location in Auxiliary Hall B & C located on the lower level of the Medical Arts Building, adjacent to the hospital on Ferry Road between Routes 9 & 18.

The Breast Cancer Support Survivor Network meets on Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Medical Pavilion at Woodbridge, 740 Route 1 North, Iselin. The support group is for men and women currently in treatment or who have completed breast cancer treatment, to share experiences and learn tips to deal with everyday issues. Program group leader Beth Rothman, MSPT, M.Ed., CLT, has over 25 years experience as a physical therapist, is a certified lymphedema therapist that specializes in breast cancer rehabilitation and has undergone treatment for breast cancer.

For more information or to register for any of the groups, call 1-800-DOCTORS.

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1 comment for “Hospital Offers Support Groups

  1. July 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    For hundreds of other other no-fee community support groups in the area for most any illness, disability, addiction, loss of a loved one, parenting situation, caregiver concern, abuse experience, or any one of hundreds of other stressful life situations, just call the non-profit NJ Self-Help Group Clearinghouse at their group information helpline: 1-800-367-6274, more easily remembered as 1-800-FOR-M.A.S.H. (Mutual Aid Self-Help).

    For example, see this 2-page listing of examples of the groups meeting in Middlesex County:

    “My years as a medical practitioner, as well as my own first-hand experience, have taught me how important self-help groups are in assisting their members in dealing with problems, stress, hardship and pain… the benefits of mutual aid are experienced by millions of people who turn to others with a similar problem to attempt to deal with their isolation, powerlessness, alienation, and the awful feeling that nobody understands… Health and human service providers are learning that they can indeed provide a superior service when they help their patients and clients find appropriate peer support.”
    – former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, who also served as a member of Compassionate Friends, an international self-help group for bereaved parents, following the sudden death of his own college age son. There are about ten Compassionate Friends support group meetings in NJ.

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