Devils, RWJBarnabas Health Continuing 30-Year Partnership | FEATURE | New Jersey Devils

Devils, RWJBarnabas Health Continuing 30-Year Partnership | FEATURE | New Jersey Devils

The Devils’ players require the best quality of care in the world to stay healthy and on the ice. A dedicated RWJBarnabas Health physician will serve as the club’s associate provider, working with the Devils athletic care team. RWJBarnabas Health will continue to provide services which include team physicals, imaging, lab work and injury preventive strategies and treatment.

“Alongside our commitment of providing access to health care and serving patients across the state and region, we are so proud and privileged to be able to provide care to the athletes here with the Devils,” Manigan said.

“RWJBarnabas Health has always been special to me, my wife and my daughters throughout my time playing in New Jersey,” Devils alumus Patrik Elias said. “When we were starting as a young family, they always strived to take care of us and it was important to me to give back to them and make their patients and staff a priority. It’s great to see them have the opportunity to be represented on the Devils’ home jerseys in front of fans that mean so much to both organizations.”

Among the newest programs and initiatives between the two longstanding partners is the launch of “Dougie’s Buddies.” It’s a community program where multiple times a month throughout the season, the Devils’ defenseman will host a guest and their family at a Devils home game.

“I’ve met a lot of kids the past few years and I always enjoyed that. It means a lot to them and means a lot to me as well, the connection you get with them,” Hamilton said. “To be able to do it and partner with the Devils and RWJBarnabas Health, and do it as my program is really cool for me. I’m really excited to start it. Hopefully, we can grow it as it goes.”

The guests will be determined by the Devils’ Grassroots and Community Initiative groups, many of which areRWJBarnabas Health patients. The experience will include tickets to a Devils’ home game, food and beverage, Devils merchandise and a postgame meet and greet with Hamilton.

“It will be kids in need, for them to get a distraction away from what they’re going through in their life,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully, we can impact some kids and families and give them something to remember, enjoy and keep following us as time goes.”

One of the major aspects of the agreement is a comprehensive, overarching youth hockey program to work with children across the state of New Jersey. This program is designed to grow the sport with training, on/off-ice skills and promoting health and wellness. As part of the New Jersey Devils Rink Partners program, this initiative will work with over 40 hockey rinks throughout the state.

“Such a big piece of the integration,” Reynolds said of the program. “You talk about RWJBarnabas Health and the impact they have on New Jersey, with youth and particularly youth hockey, to be able provide that accessibility, that opportunity, the education on injury prevention, what they should be eating, to be able to give that back throughout this platform is an incredible moment.”

The Devils and RWJBarnabas Health have launched numerous successful campaigns throughout the three decades of working side-by-side, such as the Devils 5K Run & Walk, youth hockey programs such as Learn to Play, the system-wide hospital visits by players, alumni and mascot NJ to lift the spirts of patients and staff, blood drives, and the Rock Star program, a VIP gameday experience that honors patients and their RWJBarnabas Health care teams with meet and greets with players and in-game recognition.

“All the events we do with the Devils throughout the year, when the players come to our institutions to spend time with our employees and patients, it’s an incredible experience,” Manigan said. “I see the glow in the eyes of not only the patients but our teammates. It’s really terrific.”

RWJBarnabas Health will continue with one of the most successful initiatives, acting as presenting partner for the Devils’ annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night. The evening honors patients and survivors of cancer while raising funds that have helped renovation and enhancements at hospitals such as The Valerie Fund at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the purchase of transportation vehicles to help with patient accessibility.

“You’ve seen the integration and interwoven within our organization and taking this to another level,” Reynolds said. “We’ve had so many platforms and programs with them throughout the years. This is just the next step.”

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