Established in 2016, New Jersey 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 a Certified Home Health Aide Training Program and a Certified Nurse Assistant Bridge (CNA) Program to CHHA under the guidelines of The New Jersey Board of Nursing. New Jersey Caregiver Academy partners with the Institute of Professional Care Education Inc. to offer both training programs in an on-line format that is flexible and convenient for the student.
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.
Lisa Cugasi, RN, CDP
Lisa Cugasi RN, CDP, is the Director of Nursing for Comfort Keepers. She graduated from Mercer County Community College. Lisa’s experience has focused on geriatric and pediatric home care. Lisa first worked as a caregiver for Comfort Keepers several years ago before returning as an RN and learning all aspects of the home health care business. She has previously worked for Bayada Pediatrics, the New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey Department of Corrections, a recruiting firm and a pharmaceutical marketing company.
Lisa is 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 through the NJ Caregiver Academy. Lisa is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Approximately 80% of those seeking services through Comfort Keepers have some form of cognitive impairment.
Lisa and her husband, Pete, have been married 22 years and have two children. She enjoys reading, writing, learning and traveling, especially overseas. Two of her poems have been published in The Kelsey Review, Mercer County Community College's county-wide literary journal.
Denise Blanchard, BSN, RN
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.
Theresa Andrewsky, RN
Lead Clinical Instructor
Theresa Andrewsky RN, is a graduate of Mercer County Community College's nursing program and has worked in the
field of nursing for 45 years. Theresa has worked in local community hospitals in various aspects of nursing including medical-surgical, cardiac step down, pediatrics, and emergency room. Theresa also worked in the field of urology and at a local Surgery Center focusing on pre and post nursing care for patients undergoing diagnostic testing including upper endoscopies, colonoscopies and pain control.
Theresa currently works for Comfort Keepers in Robbinsville,
New Jersey, as a registered nurse and supervises certified home health aides. Theresa is 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. As a registered nurse with many years of experience, Theresa brings a wealth of knowledge to educate students enrolled at New Jersey Caregiver Academy. In her leisure time, Theresa enjoys going to the shore, boating, and most importantly spending time with her two sons and five grandsons.
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.