About Us


  Lynette Whiteman, Executive Director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey came across RWJF’s Culture of Health Initiative and brought the grant opportunity to the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation. The grant would enable the newly formed Toms River Family Health & Support Coalition to receive $200K over four years to make our community healthier. The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation brought together over 50 of their partner agencies: nonprofits, schools, political leaders, police, business owners and philanthropists who all signed up to become part of this exciting new coalition. After conducting research about the current status of health issues in Toms River, the group proposed the highest areas of need as follows:
  • Nutritious Food Connections
  • Senior Isolation
  • Substance Abuse
  • Youth Emotional Wellness

As the JLGF is a family foundation, a fiscal sponsor was required to facilitate the grant. That distinct privilege was held by the Ocean County YMCA when we were awarded the grant in June 2016. Based on the above levels of need, the coaches and leadership team were chosen to attend a Boundary Spanning Institute led by the RWJ Foundation. The community leaders involved in this grant are:
  • Peter Rosario, Co-Director for the Coalition; CEO of the Ocean County YMCA
  • Jeremy Grunin, Co-Director for the Coalition; President, Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
  • Heather Barberi, Co-Director for the Coalition; Executive Director, Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
  • Gemma Brennan, Co-Chair, Nutritious Food Connections
  • Wendi Silver, Co-Chair, Nutritious Food Connections; Network Engagement Team Manager, Fulfill
  • Lynette Whiteman, Co-Chair, Senior Isolation; Executive Director, Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey
  • Dr. Teri Kubiel, Co-Chair, Senior Isolation; Assistant Vice President, Community Medical Center
  • Keri Britske, Co-Chair, Senior Isolation; Community Outreach Manager, Community Medical Center
  • Scott Corbett, Co-Chair, Youth Emotional Wellness; Principal, Ocean Academy
  • Adeola Sonaike, Co-Chair, Youth Emotional Wellness; Senior Vice President of Health, The Family Resource Network
  • Kelli Chiarello, Co-Chair, Substance Abuse; Clinical Program Manager, OMC-SOMC Behavioral Health
  • Jillian Messina, Co-Chair, Substance Abuse; Community Affairs, Toms River Police Department

Post training, the group met to develop a mission and vision to enable all members of the coalition to be able to let our community know about this wonderful opportunity to make all residents of Toms River healthier together.


We are charged to create a blueprint for success by May 2017.

Through training, our group realized there may be other areas of health needs not addressed by the data we found originally.

CLICK HERE to see the New Jersey Health Initiatives Building a Culture of Health - Communities Moving to Action (CMA) Social Media Tracking Project/Evaluation