Deitz Honored For Heath Leadership, Volunteerism

The Heath Village Retirement Community has announced the induction of resident Erna Dietz into the Hackettstown Area Senior Hall of Fame.

Building on a lifetime of volunteerism and a passion for caring for others, Dietz was recognized for her numerous volunteer efforts including her work with the Clarence W. Sickles Health Care Center and the Friendship Center.

Photo Caption: Heath Village resident Erna Dietz accepts her Senior Hall of Fame award from John Johnson, president, Foundation for Hackettstown Medical Center; and Joe DiPaolo, president, Western Region, Atlantic Health System.

Formerly of Chester, Dietz didn’t waste any time making an impact on the Heath Village community. Within six months of her arrival in 2009, she was elected to serve on the Residents’ Council. Upon joining the Council, she immediately volunteered to chair the Friendly Visitors Committee, the largest and most demanding of all committees. In this role, she was responsible for coordinating visits to those living in Mayflower House and the Clarence W. Sickles Health Care Center. She started and continues to organize a fun, weekly game of Pokeno in the HCC; an activity that is eagerly anticipated by independent and HCC residents alike.

In addition, “Miss Erna,” as the kids call her, has been a Pen Pal at the Friendship Center, the Intergenerational child care center, ever since she and her husband moved to Heath Village. According to Dietz, interacting with the children helps keep her young and energized. One might think that after nine years, a volunteer would get bored with the program; not so with Dietz, it’s like every new pen pal is her first. She makes each one feel special.

“She has such heart and passion for the HCC residents,’’ said Director of Activities Cindy Livingstone. “In addition to Pokeno, she is part of our craft group that creates fun, holiday art projects that serve as a ‘pick-me-up’ for our frailest residents. Erna even plays an elf to her husband George’s Santa during the holidays. She really goes above and beyond for our HCC residents. She is a gem.” 

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