Monmouth Medical Center Receives a $1 Million Gift to create a consultation facility for opioid addiction recovery

by Laura D.C. Kolnoski • photos by patty pixel

Patients dealing with substance abuse, along with their families, have a new, comfortable private consultation room to meet with physicians, recovery specialists, patient navigators, and counselors in the Emergency Department of Monmouth Medical Center thanks to a $1 million donation from the Tigger House Foundation.

Located in Long Branch, the center is part of a state grant- funded Opioid Overdose Recovery Program, offering support services and treatment following Emergency Room services. The space honors the late Rick “Tigger” Stavola Jr. and supports the center’ s response to the opioid overdose crisis.

“Our son, Rick Jr., who was known as ‘ Tigger,’ was larger than life; he had a big heart and a special smile that would light up a room,” said Rick Stavola, who started the Tigger House Foundation with his wife, Lisa, in 2013 in memory of their son following his death from an accidental overdose. “If we can help prevent other families from going through what we did, we will have been successful and honored his memory. I believe this partnership with Monmouth Medical Center will help save more lives.”

“The statistics surrounding opioid use and overdose in Monmouth County are staggering,” said Bill Arnold, president and chief executive officer of Monmouth Medical Center. “The generosity of the Tigger House Foundation will greatly assist Monmouth Medical Center in our efforts to combat this deadly epidemic.” Center Recovery specialists play a critical role in engaging patients with the goal of entry into the appropriate level of care, while patient navigators work to ensure access to appropriate treatment and services and a smooth transition of that care.

The Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to reducing the death rate of overdoses due to heroin and opiate addiction, and also works to change public attitudes towards those who struggle with addiction by addressing the heroin and opiate epidemic while reducing the stigma surrounding the disease. In addition to partnering with government, law enforcement, legal, and medical professionals to provide opportunities for rehabilitation and halt the spread of illicit drugs through local dealers and prescription drug abuse, it maintains a 12-bed sober living house in Middletown.

Managed by Oxford House, Tigger House is helping to establish sober-living housing throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. “This heartfelt gift from the Tigger House Foundation ensures that patients and families struggling with addiction have access to the support they need,” said Tara Kelly, vice president of development at the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation. “The work Tigger House and the Stavolas are doing in memory of their son is truly remarkable and will certainly make a difference in the lives of other families.”

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Monmouth Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children’ s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey’ s largest academic medical centers and has been a teaching affiliate of Philadelphia’ s Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. The Tigger Opioid Overdose Recovery Consultation Room opened with a dedication in September attended by State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, local officials, and hospital representatives.

Monmouth Medical Center 300 Second Avenue Long Branch / 732.914.3815