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Pomona, N.J. / May 17, 2018 – Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and his wife, Amy, welcomed the newest member of their family on May 27 at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona, N.J.
Marshall Patrick Kennedy – 7 pounds, 4.2 ounces and 19 ¾ inches long – was escorted home to Brigantine, N.J. by older sisters and brothers, Harper, 10; Owen, 6; Nora, 4; and Nell, 2.
Marshall’s name was inspired by General George C. Marshall and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. “I want him to be a citizen of the world like Secretary of State George Marshall and a proponent of our common humanity like civil rights leader, Thurgood Marshall,” said Kennedy.
Patrick and Amy Kennedy noted that it was very special to leave the hospital on May 29 – what would have been President John F. Kennedy’s 101st birthday. Marshall was also born two weeks before the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, June 6. “As we reflect on the tragedies of the past, Amy and I are hopeful that this child will know a more compassionate, connected world – one my aunts, uncles, and father fought for every day,” said Patrick.
Since leaving Congress in 2011, Patrick J. Kennedy has written and spoken publicly about his long struggle with bipolar disorder and drug addiction and has become a leading advocate for a stronger mental health care system in the United States.
“We are so grateful for the amazing care we have received through AtlantiCare, and proud that our children were born in a place that truly values mental health,” said Kennedy. “Getting a ‘check up from the neck up’ is critical for everyone, especially new mothers. AtlantiCare really walks the walk when it comes to issues like postpartum depression. That’s a service not just to individuals, but to the entire community.”
AtlantiCare is one of the first health systems in the country to adopt the Zero Suicide framework system-wide. Zero Suicide focuses on patient safety and quality improvement in suicide care. AtlantiCare sees identifying and treating people at risk for suicide as a core responsibility for caring for patients. The goal is to have all patients screened for suicide risk. If assessed as needing follow-up care, AtlantiCare refers patients to a coordinator who creates an individualized plan.
Patrick J. Kennedy, former U.S. Representative (D-RI), is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a former member of the President Trump’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, a co-founder of One Mind, and author of the New York Times bestseller “A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.” He is best known as the co-author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act, which was signed into law in 2008. It provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment by requiring insurers to cover illnesses of the brain, such as depression and addiction, no more restrictively than how they cover illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.
Amy Kennedy was a public school teacher in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for more than 15 years. She now provides consultation services that emphasize evidence-based research and programming to facilitate policy change in the areas of education and mental health and is the education director for The Kennedy Forum. She also serves on the board of Mental Health America, a leading national advocacy organization, and sits on the advisory board of the Jed Foundation’s Set to Go program, which helps high school students emotionally prepare for the transition to college.
For more information about AtlantiCare, visit www.atlanticare.org.
About Patrick J. Kennedy:
Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) is a lifelong mental health advocate and former member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a convening think tank tackling mental health and addiction issues and co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research. In 2015, he co-authored A Common Struggle, a New York Times best seller, which details his personal journey and provides a roadmap for the future of mental health policy. Mr. Kennedy is pushing for full enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. He was the lead sponsor of this groundbreaking legislation, which requires health plans cover mental health, eating disorder, and addiction care health benefits the same way they cover physical health benefits. To learn about Mr. Kennedy’s efforts, please visit www.patrickjkennedy.net.