Charles “Chuck” Matheny – Model of Possibility

Matheny photo 21 cropped Charles H. Matheny, age 76, died on December 14, 2017. A native of Minnesota, he lived most of his life in his home on the campus of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center in Peapack, NJ.

“Chuck,” who was born in 1941 with cerebral palsy, became the inspiration and the motivating force behind the founding of the Matheny School in 1946, and its decades-long development into a highly sophisticated and renowned specialized school and hospital. The Center currently educates and provides a wide spectrum of services for children and adults with cerebral palsy and other medically complex developmental disabilities.

Chuck was the older child of Marguerite and Walter Matheny, educators who left their home in the Midwest when Chuck was very young.  They moved around the country due to Walter’s position as an Air Force Civilian Consultant and to search for the kind of therapeutic and educational programs that would support the development of their son. They settled in New Jersey when Walter became the manager of a newly established school in the state. Just a few months later, Walter left that job when he and Marguerite decided to establish their own schMr Matheny with dadool–for Chuck and for all children with cerebral palsy.

While the first years of the school were fraught with significant financial and operational challenges, the determination of Chuck’s parents drove them to fashion their vision into reality. From its start as the Burnt Mills School for Paralysis Correction with just three students and a $3,000 operating budget provided through a GI loan, the school took a major step forward when it moved in 1949 into larger quarters in Far Hills. The need for a school like this was huge, and students and families came from across the country and the world to access its services. In 1954, the school moved again, this time to its current location, where it has grown and flourished. The Center is currently comprised of a hospital; a school for students ages 3 to 21, providing academics as well as training in functional life skills; specialized outpatient clinics for individuals with all kinds of disabilities; a notable fine arts program; adult day services, and five adult group homes.

Chuck has been a pivotal force in the development of the Center that bears the Matheny name. Not only was he well educated there, and supported to reach his full potential, but he helped to create the “personality” of this compassionate and cohesive community that has served so many so well.

Chuck grew up to be a warm, kind, positive person, a “storyteller,” a man with a wonderful sense of humor, someone who greatly valued friendship and whose friendship was greatly valued, a person who loved life and loved his particular life, according to those who knew him. He became “the face” of Matheny, but beyond that he became the model of possibility for all those growing up, or newly afflicted, with limitations. He graduated from high school, learned to drive, mowed the lawns of Matheny’s main campus, and actively participated in all of Matheny’s events and fundraisers.Chuck Matheny on his tractor

Chuck Matheny will be remembered as the catalyst for the founding of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, and as a beacon of achievement and a caring friend to so many. His “story” and that of the Center that bears his name are positively and permanently entwined in New Jersey’s educational landscape and history.

The Matheny family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Chuck’s memory to Matheny Medical and Educational Center.

About Matheny

Matheny’s mission is to provide exceptional care and an optimal quality of life for children and adults with special needs and medically complex developmental disabilities. Matheny is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization and is headquartered in Somerset County. It was founded in 1946 after Walter and Marguerite Matheny’s son, Chuck, was born with cerebral palsy (CP) into a world ill-equipped to care for children with special needs. Matheny patients have a diverse range of medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND) and a wide range of rare diseases including Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Cornelia De Lange syndrome, Wolf-Hirshorn syndrome and 4Q Deletion syndrome. To learn more about Matheny, visit us at http://www.matheny.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram: @mathenymedical.

Charles “Chuck” Matheny 1941-2017

Dear Matheny Friends and Family:

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It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of Matheny School’s first student and the face of the Matheny community, Mr. Charles H. Matheny.  Charles was the inspiration and the catalyst for the origins of the school, which has become so many things to many different people, including a hospital, a clinic, a fine arts program, adult program, and group homes.  Mr. Matheny was and is a beacon of possibility and a model of excellence to which all our students, residents, patients, and clients can aspire to be.  During his lifetime, Mr. Matheny finished high school, learned to drive, mowed all the lawns of Matheny’s main campus, and ran the soda machines.

Mr. Matheny was far more than the sum of his accomplishments. He developed close relationships with all the staff and was interested in improving the lives of everyone within the Matheny Community.  He loved to attend Matheny fundraisers and Friends of Matheny events, conversing with people from all walks of life, and he took a very real interest in the students who resided in the school that bore his family name.  He attended back-to-school nights, graduations, plays, choir concerts, and museum coffee houses.  In fact, anything Matheny — he was all in.  Mr. Matheny was kind, humorous, and compassionate. Per his family: “Chuck lived an incredibly rich and meaningful life — a testament to the love and care that is cultivated and shared at Matheny. We are so grateful to the many friends, coworkers, and caregivers who have crossed his path and enriched his life.”

We will all miss Mr. Matheny, yet we shall carry on embodying the undeniable spirit of Charles H. Matheny.

Dr Sprott Signature 2017

 

 

 

Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD

President and CEO

Matheny Medical and Educational Center

December 14, 2017

Amazon Smile donates to Matheny

If you shop online, please use the link in this post and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

The Perfect Gift for Giving Tuesday 2017

The world outside our walls is just as important to patient well-being as our facility itself.

If you could go anywhere on a community outing of your choice, where would you go?

For our patients, the answers are as individual as they are.

For Chris, whose passions include baseball and meeting new people, he would accept more shifts at his job as a vendor at TDBank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots.

For Jessica, who enjoys shopping, she would engage in a bit of retail therapy at the Bridgewater Mall.

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For Melvin, a foodie, he would savor a meal at one of the hot new restaurants on the local culinary scene.

At Matheny, our commitment to our patients goes beyond providing high quality medical care and education. We also seek to enrich lives through making recreational opportunities and community outings as accessible as possible. While group outings are the norm, rarely do patients get to choose and embark upon personal outings most important to them due to lack of individualized transportation options.

The addition of a wheel chair accessible van would change that. No longer would patients be limited to large vehicles operated by commercially licensed drivers. Patients and their Recreation Therapists could together plan more frequent, meaningful community trips specific to patients’ needs that would delight and empower them, increase their visibility and role within the community, perhaps even unlock their potential.

In a hospital that also serves as their home, many opportunities are available for group activities and trips into the community with fellow patients. But how often do patients get the opportunity to take an individualized trip?

“The reality is, that doesn’t happen very often,” says Sean Bielefeldt, Director of Recreation Therapy & Adult Day Health Services. “But the addition of a wheel chair accessible minivan would mean such opportunities, both recreational and practical, would flourish for our patients.”

Take Chris, for instance. It had long been Chris’s dream to work in or around baseball, and one of his greatest pleasures is his job at TD Bank Ballpark, home to the Somerset Patriots. For __ years he has worked as a vendor serving refreshments. Amidst sounds like the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd and the smell of freshly popped popcorn, Chris enjoys interacting with fans who share his abiding love of the game. Most of all, he relishes the freedom and inclusiveness of being an active member of his community, and the pride of earning a wage for an honest day’s work.

While his family can sometimes provide a ride to work, this is not a permanent solution. For him and others like him, the addition of a wheel chair accessible minivan would make a huge difference in the quality of their lives through increasing access to the community, which would create unprecedented opportunities for personal and therapeutic advancement.

For many patients at Matheny, residing there is not a life-long prospect. “The goal for our patients is to live in the community,” explains Sean. “How better to prepare those individuals than to work with them within the community itself to develop skills and independence such as navigating curb cut outs, crossing the streets, utilizing public transportation, or making a bank deposit?” In this way, a wheel chair accessible van is not just another vehicle, but an invaluable tool for therapists to create opportunities for patient development, growth, and eventual independence.

The world outside our walls is just as important to patient well-being as our facility itself.

Whether it’s the opportunity to see their favorite band in concert, take in a movie they’ve been anticipating, get to work at their dream job, or find their place within our community, a wheel chair accessible mini-van will open up a world of possibilities for our patients.

Please join us this #Giving Tuesday to make those possibilities a reality for those we serve. Click below to help us give the perfect gift:

2017 #GT Lock Up_0

Matheny School Closure 11/10/17

Dear Matheny School Parents:

Please be advised that the Matheny School will be closed tomorrow, Friday, 11/10/17 due to technical difficulties. A makeup day will be scheduled at a later date. We apologize for the short notice and for the inconvenience.

Please note that the Matheny Hospital and Adult Day programs will be open and will have normal operating hours.

Thank you.

Sean Murphy

 

Full Circle 2017: Art of Possibility

This year’s Full Circle will feature some of Matheny’s most talented individuals!  When you purchase tickets to this special event, you are supporting incredible artists who know no limits!

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Matheny Artist, Ellen Kane, featured in the news.

Solo Dance Coming to Matheny

Read about one of Matheny’s talented artists, Ellen Kane! Her creativity will shine on stage on November 4th during our annual Full Circle Event. To purchase tickets, go to the Arts Access event registration page.

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Read the New Issue of Matheny Matters!

Matheny School Principal featured on Comcast Newsmakers

Today is a Great Day!

 

For shopping!

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Shop today and every day with Amazon Smile linked to your Amazon account. For every purchase made through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion to Matheny, how easy is that? Shop today through this link smile.amazon.com and the graphic above.

Read about how Amazon Smile works.

Matheny’s EIN # 22-1482276

Matheny Hospial Awarded Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

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Don’t Miss Miles for Matheny – 20th Anniversary!

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Sunday, June 4, 2017
Liberty Park, 
Peapack, NJ

Register Donate/Sponsor Support a Participant

Miles for the Matheny is celebrating its 20th anniversary! It’s a community event and fundraiser that gathers patients, students, residents, families, friends, and neighbors to celebrate every person’s achievements and abilities rather than focus on their disabilities. Miles has something for everyone – wheelchair and fitness walks and several cycling events – it’s a fun day for all! When you sign up, you can support a friend, become a sponsor, or setup a team fundraiser. Register soon! Early bird rate ends on May 8th. 

Entertainment Begins at 10:00 am and ends at Noon

Face Painting

Free Breakfast

Free Popcorn, Cotton Candy, and Ice Cream

Liam Quat – Jugglers and Acrobats

 Petting Zoo

Red Bulls Street Team

La Fe Food Product Samples and more!

Download a copy of the 2017 Miles Brochure

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