Fall 2013 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

By Staff Sgt. Wayne Woolley, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Retired Brig. Gen. Frank Carlini, Director of Healthcare Services honors New Jersey's fallen service members at the State Memorial Day ceremony at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in North Hanover Township, N.J. May 26, 2012. Photo by Mark C. Olsen, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

When Frank Carlini took over the job as NJDMAVA's Director of Healthcare Services eight years ago, he knew he'd have no trouble managing, or leading.

He'd spent a year commanding an Army infantry platoon in Vietnam and nearly two decades in key leadership positions in the New Jersey Army National Guard, retiring in 2004 as a brigadier general.

"But I was an infantry guy and this was healthcare," Carlini said with a chuckle. "I learned a lot and it's a testament to an amazing staff. They taught me the trade with great forbearance and a sense of humor."

After eight years on the job, Carlini retired April 1 from the position overseeing the department's three Veterans Memorial Homes.

"It was a good eight years," Carlini said. "With the hard work of the staff, we've been able to accomplish a lot."

The list of improvements to the homes and their operations during Carlini's tenure is long indeed.

A new home was constructed in Vineland, the longawaited multi-purpose room and ventilation system was completed in Paramus and all of the homes consistently received high ratings for resident care.

But Carlini said some of the biggest changes at the homes were transparent to a casual observer.

During Carlini's tenure, operations procedures for the homes were standardized, the application process was streamlined and the work to digitize all medical records was begun.

Carlini and his team also logged countless hours to establish evacuation procedures that involved cooperation between local, county officials and plans to temporarily shelter residents at National Guard armories in the event of a disaster.

Carlini said he's most proud that during his tenure, the high quality of care in the homes has been maintained.

"You go to other facilities, you see people in wheelchairs sitting in hallways," he said. "That doesn't happen at our homes. There are activities for the residents and that's because of our staff – and an amazing volunteer network."

At 66, Carlini has no firm plans for what he'll do next beyond relaxing and enjoying his grandchildren.

"The biggest things I will miss are the people and just the great atmosphere that exists here at DMAVA," he said. "When a problem comes up, people get together and figure out how to fix it."

If there is one day Carlini's absence will be most conspicuous, it will be Wassailing Day, an event where his leading the DMAVA staff in the singing of the "Hippopotamus Song" has become tradition. No worries. He's passed the mantle on to Ernie Razanno, the Division of Healthcare Services recruiter.



By Mark C. Olsen, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Brig. Gen. Steven Ferrari was selected as Director of Veteran Health Services to replace retired Brig. Gen. Frank Carlini.

Ferrari currenlty is the deputy commanding general support, 42nd Infantry Division. He served as the commander of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during its deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008-2009.

Ferrari was born in Camden, N.J. He joined the NJARNG in January 1981 as a fire direction specialist in Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion 112th Field Artillery, Cherry Hill, and completed basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Okla., in July 1981. He received his commission through the Army Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., in March 1982. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on May 29, 2012.