Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jan 4, 2008
Contact : Laura Pollio  


Teri Wurmser, of Middletown, and Richard Ridge, of Tinton Falls, receive state-wide New Jersey Hospital Association nursing award  

Neptune, N.J. - Teri Wurmser, Ph.D., MPH, RN, CNAA, and Richard Ridge, R.N., MBA, Ph.D., CNAA, BC, both of Meridian Health, received the New Jersey Hospital Association "Diva and Don Award", which recognizes exceptional individuals in the field of nursing, at a recognition gala held in Princeton. Eight other New Jersey nursing professionals were honored, with proceeds of the event benefiting scholarships and research grants for nursing students across New Jersey.

Teri Wurmser, the director of the Meridian Ann May Center for Nursing which supports the evolving needs of Meridian's nurses through educational enrichment, financial support and research initiatives, has worked at Meridian for the past ten years. Teri also oversees fundraising and scholarship activities and was vital in creating the new nursing model of care at Meridian Health, which includes Jersey Shore University Medical Center, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, and various partner companies.

Before holding her current position, Teri worked at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. She has been a nurse for the past 34 years. She started her career as a nurse at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, and has since worked for Brookdale Community College, Monmouth University, and Thomas Edison State College as a nursing educator. She also worked for the New Jersey State Nurses Association as an HIV grant coordinator.

Richard Ridge is currently the director of Nursing Education at Meridian. Richard manages and coordinates nursing education and staff development at Meridian's four partner hospitals. He has been a nurse at Meridian since August 2002.

Previously, Richard was employed at Fletcher Allen Health Care-University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont as the director of Medical-Surgical Nursing and has held previous nursing management positions at University of Virginia Health Sciences Center and Boston University Medical Center.

Both Richard and Teri have earned Ph.D.'s and are members of numerous professional organizations. They have also been published a combined 30 times.

Richard Hader, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN, senior vice president of Nursing at Meridian, said "both Teri and Richard have made such great contributions to the field of nursing and, in particular, to nursing at Meridian Health. Through the years, Teri has been instrumental in leadership development and has mentored many students in pursuing long-term academic achievements. Richard has been fundamental in the implementation of major staff-focused programs including nursing certification initiatives, medical and surgical symposiums, a five-level emergency nursing triage, and numerous patient safety initiatives."

"In addition," Hader adds, "It is a true testament of the quality of nursing at Meridian that two of our professionals received the Diva and Don Award in a single year."

About Meridian Health Meridian Health is a family of not-for-profit health care organizations comprised of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Partner Companies that include home care agencies, long-term and assisted living communities, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and occupational health located throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. Meridian Health's centers of excellence include cardiac care and surgery, orthopedics and rehabilitation, cancer care, and women and children's health. Meridian Health is the regional provider of trauma services and cardiac surgery, which has been ranked as one of the top programs in New Jersey. Meridian Health was the first health organization in the nation to achieve the prestigious Magnet designation for its nursing staff at each of its partner hospitals and has been named one of the top "Best Places to Work in New Jersey" by NJBiz magazine for three years in a row. For more information or for a physician referral, please call the Meridian Health Line at 1-800-560-9990 or visit us on the web at