PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
May 14, 2012

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

DHSS and NJ Interagency Council on Osteoporosis Honor Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Volunteers and Professionals

Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd and the New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis (ICO) today announced the winners of the 2012 New Jersey Osteoporosis Prevention Awards.  Certificates of Achievement are presented to dedicated volunteers and professionals annually to coincide with Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month celebrated in May.

 This year's recipients are:

  •  The Community Advocate Award - Mr. Maury Seisler, (Highland Park, Middlesex County) has been promoting physical activity since his retirement 27 years ago. In 1997, he became involved in the ICO and was among the first leaders of Project Healthy Bones, a 24-week peer-led exercise and education program for people at risk of osteoporosis.  At one point, Maury was teaching five classes a week.  He is a strong advocate for bone health and physical activity, reminding us that men also can have osteoporosis.  In addition to his commitment to the Council, he leads the HealthEASE exercise program for older adults in Middlesex County, encouraging all older adults to become active. Working with the Middlesex County school system, he teaches tennis to special need students to help them stay active and promote hand-eye coordination.  He has worked with the Special Olympics for 25 years.  At 89 years-old, Maury is an outstanding volunteer.


  • The Professional Award - Ms. Patricia Seuffert, M.S., ANP-BC (Red Bank, Monmouth County) was recognized for her professional contributions as someone who works to improve the health of people with or at risk of osteoporosis in New Jersey.

    Patricia is a tireless advocate for those with osteoporosis. She helped spearhead the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) pilot initiative to improve hip fracture management with the hospitalized patient. She was among two nurse practitioners chosen to present research she completed on osteoporosis at the National Osteoporosis Foundation meeting April 2012.

    As a Research Coordinator for University Orthropaedic Associates, Patricia Seuffert manages all of the organization's clinical research operations. She received her RN from California State University, her MS from Rutgers University, and her post-masters certificate Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is board certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition she is certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD).

      Osteoporosis, known as the "Silent Disease," is a serious condition in which bones become thin, brittle and easily broken.  Nearly 1.5 million New Jersey residents either have or are at high risk for developing osteoporosis.  About 7,500 individuals over age 65 have a hip fracture annually.  The cost per hip fracture with hospitalization in New Jersey ranges from $18,000-$27,000.  Almost one quarter of those with hip fracture will die within the first year following their fractures.

       Osteoporosis can be prevented through healthy behaviors including a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise, a healthy lifestyle without smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, and bone density testing and medications when appropriate.  New Jersey's strategy for preventing and reducing falls includes two nationally recognized programs:  Project Healthy Bones exercise and education program and A Matter of Balance falls prevention program.

Project Healthy Bones is a 24-week peer-led low impact exercise and education program available in all New Jersey counties.  The program is designed to decrease bone loss, increase bone density and improve strength, balance and flexibility.  More than 2,000 older adults participate in Project Healthy Bones annually. 

A Matter of Balance is a nationally recognized, evidence-based and peer-led falls prevention program that is new to New Jersey.  Currently available in eight counties, the program is designed to increase activity levels of older adults while reducing the fear of falling. 

The New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis is dedicated to the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive osteoporosis prevention and education program for the benefit of New Jersey residents.  Award recipients will receive their certificates at an Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention event co-sponsored with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton on May 14th.


            For more information on the ICO, Project Healthy Bones, or A Matter of Balance, call 609-633-8746 go on-line to www.aging.nj.gov

Last Reviewed: 7/23/2012