Established in 2016, NJ Caregiver Academy's mission is to cultivate a positive learning environment that educates and empowers our students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide safe, competent and exceptional care in the communities we serve!

New Jersey Caregiver Academy offers several CHHA programs under the guidelines of The New Jersey Board of Nursing. New Jersey Caregiver Academy partners with Relias, Inc. to offer training programs in a hybrid format that is flexible and convenient for our students.

CHHA Online Training School | New Jersey Caregiver Academy | Become a CHHA
Stephanie Howe, RN

Stephanie Howe, RN, is the owner of 6 Comfort Keepers franchises in central NJ.  She began providing services to her first client in 2005 in her first office in Hamilton and 2006 in Monroe Township.

The business started because Stephanie had a parent with chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis and was admitted into a nursing home at age 44, because there were no services like this available at the time.  Stephanie was diagnosed with the same disease at age 26 and did not want others to suffer as her family did.

She is committed to assisting not just the elderly, but anyone needing home care services in order to continue living safely at home. 

Stephanie is a Registered Nurse and has been elected by her peers to the National Advisory Council to represent other franchisees across the country at the Comfort Keepers corporate level.

In 2016, Stephanie opened the New Jersey Caregiver Academy to certify caregivers as Certified Home Health Aide's with the Board of Nursing. It is a great resource for training our caregivers with the best nurses and curriculum in the state!

Stephanie remains healthy and resides in Robbinsville with her six children and five dogs.

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Denise Blanchard, BSN, RN
Program Coordinator
Clinical Instructor

Denise Blanchard RN, BSN, Program Coordinator, is responsible for maintaining the caregiver classes offered at New Jersey Caregiver Academy.  Denise is approved by the NJBON as Program Coordinator and as a Clinical Skills Instructor to educate those wishing to pursue a career as a Certified Home Health Aide. Denise began her career with an Associate of Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Hahnemann Medical College in 1984. In 1996, Denise obtained her BSN from Neumann College. She furthered her education with a Clinical Research Certificate from Mercer College and Forensic Nursing Certificate from Kaplan University. Denise works as a private RN and as a Comfort Keepers Field Supervisor of CHHA's.


Spanning a  20 year nursing career, Denise has experience in psychiatric, hospice, plastic surgery and med surgery. Denise has a passion and expertise in holistic health, combining conventional and integrative modalities in her home practice. She is an Advanced Quantum Biofeedback Practitioner for Stress Reduction and Reiki Master Teacher furthering her desire to help those in need.

In her leisure time, Denise loves spending time with her family, especially her two granddaughters. She enjoys traveling with her husband to exotic destinations around the world. 

Kelsey Raphel
Program Administrator

Kelsey Raphel, our Program Administrator, is responsible at New Jersey Caregiver Academy for ensuring that students transition smoothly through their courses and have the resources they need to apply for their CHHA license.

Kelsey is a second-generation family member of the business who first started as an Administrative Assistant for Comfort Keepers in 2013. She has held positions in several fields but the healthcare industry continues to be the most rewarding.

Outside of work, Kelsey is completing a degree in Biochemistry at Drexel University.  She enjoys rock climbing, scuba diving, and visiting the beach. She also loves animals; her current "pet project" is fostering newborn kittens and hospice cats at her local shelter.  

Mary Ann Schenker, RN
Clinical Instructor

Mary Ann graduated from Misericordia School of Nursing and began her nursing career in Cardiac Intensive care Units.  She transitioned to developing a telemetry unit and then into Cardiac Rehabilitation.  She developed the programs at Jersey Shore Medical Center, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center.


More recently, she participated in Congestive Heart Failure Prevention programs and pulmonary rehabilitation at Monmouth Medical Center.  Her career path has always been centered in returning people back to  fuller and healthier lives.  She always has been involved in teaching, patients, families, and the persons who cared for them.


As a case manager, she supervised Home Health Aides, and has a great passion for their important place in the healthcare team. She has conducted numerous in-service programs for all levels of the healthcare team.  Also, has been utilized in public speaking by the American Heart Association, and appeared on the Today morning show discussing the use of the AED to defibrillate a person suffering a heart event in a public area.


Mary Ann is presently working at our Robbinsville facility, and approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing as a Clinical Skills Instructor to educate those wishing to pursue a career as a home health aide. She often expresses her delight in being able to share her knowledge and experience in being part of their pursuit.


Her leisure time is spent with her family, her treasured grandchildren, and her love of dogs.  Much of her time is rescuing lost dogs and finding forever homes for them.  She writes for various publications on health issues and also is an artist.