Meet Our Comfort Keepers Caregivers in Toms River, NJ
Our team of Comfort Keepers caregivers is uniquely qualified and ready to help in Toms River, NJ
Every member of our team of Comfort Keepers caregivers is professional and well trained in Toms River, NJ. We conduct a thorough screening and interviewing process to identify the best home care providers, and only those who pass this process go on to complete training to deliver our special brand of home care and become Comfort Keepers® caregivers. What truly sets our people apart, though, is their natural gift for caring for others.
All Comfort Keepers caregivers pass extensive background checks and complete continuing education. They are bonded, insured and covered by workers' compensation insurance to protect our clients and their families.
Contact us today to learn more about Comfort Keepers of Toms River, NJ.
Stephanie Howe, RN
Stephanie Howe, RN, is the owner of six 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.
Henry (2011 - 2018)
Director of the Golden Rule
In Spring of 2018, we lost Henry, our four legged friend, who served as our Director of Love & Respect. Every day, Henry reminded all of us the importance of treating others how we wish to be treated... the "Golden" Rule.
Henry was a fun loving pup, who could be found around the office to greet our guests.
While Henry is no longer with us, his legacy lives on as we remind ourselves the importance of kindness and respect for others.
Director of Cuteness
Millie was hired as our Director of Cuteness in March 2018. As the Director of Cuteness, Millie's responsibilities are very limited, yet very meaningful---- be cute.
Despite getting caught taking occasional naps during the work day, Millie fulfills her responsibility day in and day out.
Sheila Truncellito, CDP
Sheila Truncellito is the General Manager with oversight of all services in the central office and six territories of the franchise. She began her career with Comfort Keepers as Client Care Coordinator in 2012, and she is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) endorsed by the National Council of Certified Practitioners
Sheila hails from Indiana where she grew up in a farming family. She received a B.A. from DePauw University and went to work on the start-up staff of People Express airlines. She gained human resources experience there which she put to work in a career as a human resources manager in the insurance field.
She took a hiatus to raise her daughter and in those years also worked as a professional storyteller/singer, performing in many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, senior centers and schools in the tri-state area. She has further served as a community mediator in her local municipal court system. In her spare time, she loves singing in a cappella groups and costuming shows.
Sheila has been married to her wonderful husband, Gene, for 34 years. They have a lovely daughter, Eva, who also works for Comfort Keepers.
Her daily joy is knowing when Comfort Keepers has found the perfect match between client and caregiver that lets clients and their families feel at ease and in good hands.
Lisa Cugasi, RN, CDP
Director of Nursing
Lisa Cugasi RN, is our Director of Nursing. Lisa graduated from Mercer County Community College and her 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 (CDP). Approximately 80% of those seeking services through Comfort Keepers have some form of cognitive impairment.
Lisa and her husband, Pete, have been married 19 years and have two children. She enjoys reading, writing and learning. Two of her poems have been published in The Kelsey Review, Mercer County Community College's county-wide literary journal.
Kristin Harrison, CDP
Outreach Ambassador - Robbinsville, Monroe Township and Toms River
Kristin Harrison is our Outreach Ambassador. Prior, she was the Territory Manager in our Robbinsville office for two years. She graduated from Monmouth University in 2017 with a B.A. in Communications, concentrating in Public Relations. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) endorsed by the National Council of Certified Practitioners.
During college she had two Marketing internships that helped her grow professionally. Kristin's junior year at Monmouth, Kristin became a member of the academic club, PRSSA. In her senior year, she became the Director of Media Relations for PRSSA. She also published articles in The Verge, Monmouth University’s online newspaper.
When Kristin is not working, she enjoys hanging with her friends and family, going to Country concerts, being active at the gym and watching rerun episodes of Friends.
Outreach Ambassador - Bridgewater, Morristown and Warren
Megan James is Outreach Ambassador for the Bridgewater, Morristown and Warren territories. She believes home healthcare services are priceless, as in-home services allowed her grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease to thrive and live with dignity until her passing. The memories of her grandmother’s home healthcare aide made an indelible impression on her and solidified her strong opinion that home healthcare can be a necessary component at various stages of life.
A native Oregonian, Megan moved to Washington, D.C. in 1994 to work for the late U.S. Senator, Mark O. Hatfield. There, she immediately developed the skill of working on behalf of constituents while advancing policies. After the senator retired, Megan served as lobbyist for an agency that represented non-profits. She leveraged her experiences in the public-affairs and -relations industries for the next several years, and was most recently Director of Social Responsibility where she identified community need and developed programs to address these issues head on.
When Megan isn’t busy supporting her family and spending time with friends, you can find her outdoors running/walking, hiking, biking and/or gardening.
Grace Meyer, CDP
Territory Manager - Robbinsville
Grace is the Territory Manager in Robbinsville, which services Mercer County. Grace graduated from Cabrini University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, the University of Alabama with a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, and is working on a second Master’s degree in Social Work from Widener University. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) endorsed by the National Council of Certified Practitioners.
Grace’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease while she was in college. Shortly after, her grandfather was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she saw firsthand how these diagnoses can impact a family. She witnessed the different caregivers and nurses in and out of their home. Those people really made a difference in their family dynamic and she quickly knew that was what she was meant to do.
Before starting with Comfort Keepers, Grace previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Alabama and a pharmacy technician. In her spare time, she loves to be with her family and friends or at the beach!
Kristin McCoy, CDP
Territory Manager - Monroe Township
Kristin McCoy is the Territory Manager of our Monroe Township location. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) endorsed by the National Council of Certified Practitioners, and she attended Monmouth University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology. Before college, she worked in various ministry opportunities including: a youth ministry in Lakewood, NJ, an international non-profit organization based in Israel, as well as traveling to South and Central America to help renovate homes and provide clean water to local families.
Prior to working with Comfort Keepers, Kristin worked in customer service at a small credit union. She has used those organizational and management skills to provide excellent support for her Monroe clients.
Kristin is empowered by the conviction that every individual-- regardless of age, demographic, or background—has a specific and intricate purpose. Every life is necessary and everyone has something unique and beautiful to contribute to society. In her work with us, she revels in meeting new prospective clients, hearing their stories, and growing the CK family.
Territory Manager - Toms River
Our Toms River Territory Manager, Megan Durbin, has been with Comfort Keepers since 2013. Prior to being the Territory Manager, she was the Lead Staffing Coordinator in our Robbinsville location. Before joining Comfort Keepers, Megan worked as a private caregiver. She had many clients whom she loved dearly. Megan will admit she is not a good cook, but her one client loved her spaghetti, even though she had to put two packets of sweet and low in it! Megan loved taking care of her clients, especially singing and dancing with them. She even gave one of her clients the nickname of “hummingbird” because her client would hum all day long.
Megan formerly resided in Maryland for seven years. Prior to Comfort Keepers and private caregiving, Megan helped care for her grandmother and was a manicurist at an upscale salon for 21 years. Megan loved doing nails, but she felt it was time for a change and decided it was time to revisit her passion in helping the elderly.
Terry Westerhaug, CDP
Territory Manager – Warren
Terry Westerhaug is the Territory Manager of our Warren office that services Somerset and Union counties. Terry has been with Comfort Keepers since 2007, and he is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) endorsed by the National Council of Certified Practitioners
Terry grew up in Minnesota, where he studied architecture and business at the University of Minnesota. He spent four years as a professional skiing instructor and still loves to ski whenever he can. Shortly after getting married Terry and his wife moved to New Jersey. They love to entertain friends and show off their culinary skills. Their family includes a college aged daughter and an overactive Wheaton Terrier.
Having spent many years in the corporate world, as a purchasing manager, plant manager and director of operations, Terry decided to take some time off and spent six wonderful years as a stay at home dad. Terry brings vast experience as a manager, trainer, recruiter and business executive. He is extremely dedicated to our clients and takes pride in the satisfaction of knowing their loved ones are in good hands.
Scheduling Coordinator - Robbisnville
Laura is our Scheduling Coordinator in Robbinsville. Before Comfort Keepers, Laura worked at Six Flags as a Ride Operations dispatch supervisor. Laura then transitioned to the Human Resources department at Six Flags as a Human Resources recruiter.
Laura attended Ocean County College where she was working towards an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts.
She has learned having previous experience in a fast-paced environment has made her transition as a Staffing Coordinator easier. Her compassion for people and ability to remain positive helps her succeed in this new role!
Outside of work, Laura enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching TV, and cuddling with her two dogs, Sophie and Marvin, on the couch.
Scheduling Coordinator - Robbinsville
Amanda is one if our scheduling coordinators in our Robbinsville Office. Prior to working forComfort Keepers, Amanda extensively worked two jobs in retail and management. These jobs have immensely helped her gain experience and the confidence in her career today.
Amanda is attending Ocean County College where she is pursuing an associate degree in LiberalArts. In the fall, she plans to transfer to Kean University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Through the experience of being a college student and maintaining two separate jobs simultaneously has molded Amanda into becoming a great multi-tasker, a team player, and a hard worker. Her optimism, her people skills, and her bubbly personality is the key to success in her new position at Comfort Keepers!
When Amanda is not in the office she is most likely surrounded by her friends and family. In her spare time, she also loves hanging by the pool and spending time with her dog Luna.
Scheduling Coordinator - Monroe Township
Ashley Eads is our Scheduling Coordinator at our Monroe office in Monroe Township, New Jersey. Ashley was raised in East Windsor, New Jersey and studied nursing at Mercer County Community College.
Prior to working for Comfort Keepers, Ashley worked in the hospitality and customer service industry for eleven years. While working in this industry she was able to adapt to working in a fast paced work environment and learn new skills that benefited her in furthering her career. Here at Comfort Keepers, having the ability to communicate effectively is imperative and Ashley prides herself in being an excellent communicator. Being a caregiver herself for a short period of time, she uses those experiences to relate to and understand the caregivers when scheduling.
Whenever Ashley is not in the office you’ll find her in front of the television cheering for her favorite teams: The New York Giants and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Because she is such a huge fan of Ohio State, she even relocated to Ohio for some time. We are very excited that Ashley has decided to come back to New Jersey and has found a home with us at Comfort Keepers!
Scheduling Coordinator -Monroe Township
Caitlyn Judge is our Scheduling Coordinator in Monroe Township. She graduated from the University of Lynchburg in May 2019 with a bachelors’ degree in Business Administration and Health Promotion. In High School, Caitlyn traveled to Spain where she participated in a Study Abroad Program that was life changing for her. She then traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia during her senior year of college where she studied Literature and Religions of Asia.
Prior to working at Comfort Keepers, Caitlyn completed an internship with the International Council on Active Aging. She assisted with conferences and trade shows in their Florida and California locations. Caitlyn also participated in a service-learning project at an Affordable Housing Community. At the end of the project, Caitlyn gave a presentation to both residents and staff of the McGurk House. She discovered her passion for improving the lives of others and hopes to continue with her career at Comfort Keepers.
When Caitlyn is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Caitlyn can’t seem to get enough of the outdoors, whether she is at the beach or rock climbing in the woods. She enjoys traveling throughout the U.S as well as other countries and looks forward to her next trip.
Scheduling Coordinator - Toms River
Kerry Ruggiero is our Scheduling Coordinator in Toms River. In addition to her duties of scheduling caregivers for her clients in Toms River, Kerry uses her natural talent of matchmaking to assure that our caregivers and clients are the perfect fit!
Originally from Kentucky, Kerry uses her Southern Charm and twang to bring her own personal style to our Comfort Keepers team.
When Kerry is not tending to her two children, she is vigorously studying to complete her degree in business. Kerry balances her studying with spending time with her family in the outdoors and enjoying each day to the fullest.
Juliette Robinson, SHRM, SCP
Human Resources Manager
Juliette Millington is our Human Resources Manager for all six locations. Juliette joined Comfort Keepers in 2015 after graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations. She began as our Human Resources Recruiter and was promoted to HR Manager shortly after.
Prior to working for Comfort Keepers, Juliette worked for Six Flags Great Adventure where she was the Human Resources recruiter for the amusement park. She was able to combine her love for amusement parks and her passion of Human Resources.
Juliette understands that recruiting for our territories is never-ending because of our growth, but the fast paced environment at Comfort Keepers is what Juliette covets the most in her job. Juliette uses her creative edge to bring new ideas for recruitment to Comfort Keepers and is always making sure that our employees are happy and that they know what a difference they are making in the lives of seniors.
In her spare time, Juliette enjoys yard work and tending to her new home. Juliette is also a full-time cat mom to her two cats, Cali and Rocky.
Human Resources Generalist
Lauren Wilhide is our Human Resources Generalist that is responsible for compliance in our employee files among other duties. Lauren graduated from Mercer County Community College where she studied Radiography.
Prior to working for Comfort Keepers Lauren had extensive experience in the retail and customer service industry and she finds that these talents have been very helpful to her developing her career. Her communication, organization, and people skills are a great asset to our Human Resources Department at Comfort Keepers.
Lauren leads a very active lifestyle and exemplifies this in her work to make sure that our caregivers are physically fit for the job! She is also absolutely obsessed with dogs and puppies of all types.
Human Resources Recruiter
Emily Battista is our Recruiter for the six offices. Before joining Comfort Keepers, Emily attended and graduated from Rider University in 2012 with a Bachelors in Psychology. In 2015, Emily joined the home care field! She started out as a Client Services Coordinator and then worked her way to becoming Client Services Manager. Up until recently, she decided to take some time off to be with her family. She joined our Comfort Keepers family in August! Emily truly understands the importance of finding the most suitable and qualified caregivers for our clients.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband and son and her nieces and nephews.
Dawn Pidcock joined the Comfort Keepers family in 2012 and serves as our Billing/Payroll Coordinator for all four of our territories in New Jersey as well as our office in Maryland.
Dawn graduated from Cittone Institute in Princeton and started her career off as a court reporter. She also worked for two medical groups previously.
When Dawn isn’t behind her computer working, she enjoys practicing vinyasa yoga, spending time in the outdoors with her family hiking, watching her children ski, and being an advocate for children with disabilities.
Account Payable Specialist
Danielle Davis is our Account Payable Specialist. Danielle graduated from Mercer County Community College with an Associate Degree in Applied Science and became licensed as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. Before working at Comfort Keepers, Danielle worked for over 18 years in the Oncology and Hematology field as a Medical Biller and MLT.
When Danielle is not at Comfort Keepers she is helping her husband run their landscaping business. She enjoys spending time running, reading, beach trips, traveling, walking her dogs and spending time with family. Danielle and her husband reside in Hamilton Square with their two children, cat and two Labrador retrievers.
Quality Care Liaison
Betty O’Donnell is our Quality Care Liaison ensuring that each and every client receives the quality of service that they deserve and have come to expect at Comfort Keepers. She began her career at Comfort Keepers as a companion caregiver and transitioned to working in the offices because of her excellent phone and communication skills.
She has over 25 years of extensive experience in sales and marketing in the technology industry. She graduated with a B.S. from Farleigh Dickinson University in Marketing and has also dabbled in culinary arts as a chef. She enjoys teaching others some of her tricks of the trade in the kitchen.
As a mother of two, Betty is naturally compassionate and patient, a quality that our clients and caregivers find comforting and reassuring. Betty extends her interest in public education by being an active member of her community. Not only does she organize the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Robbinsville, but she is also an advocate for all types of recreation events in her local community.
Mary Puhalski is one of our Administrative Assistants at Comfort Keepers and has been with us since June of 2014. Mary attended Mercer County Community college where she studied nursing and completed her degree in applied sciences.
Mary started her career off working in the medical field for a surgical office where she assisted with the scheduling and office management for a group of surgeons.
After spending many years with the surgical group she was blessed with having children. During this time in her life Mary discovered her hidden talent of painting and even started her own interior painting company with her friend. Unfortunately Mary does not paint too much now but enjoys other activities where she can spend time in the great outdoors, especially at the beach!
Lisa Jones joined our Comfort Keepers team in November, 2019 as an Administrative Assistant.
Lisa received her Associates Degree in Fashion Marketing and Management from Berkeley College in New York City and enjoyed a successful advertising and marketing career. Most recently, as the marketing manager at a Cancer Treatment Center in Somerset, NJ. One of Lisa’s primary responsibilities was to engage with center caregivers and patients ~ which she found very rewarding.
After seven years of a long commute, Lisa decided that she wanted to get closer to home but also wanted to remain in the healthcare industry with caregiver interaction. From the moment Lisa walked in the door, Comfort Keepers immediately felt like home and she knew it would be a perfect fit for her. She looks forward to her role as a “right-hand” to the General Manager and Director of Nursing while also assisting other Comfort Keepers team members.
One of the main reasons Lisa wanted to work closer to home is to be able to spend more time with her family. In her spare time, you will often find Lisa on the sidelines of a lacrosse field cheering on her son.
On-Call Scheduling Coordinator
Linda Nyakundi is an On-Call Scheduling Coordinator. Before working at Comfort Keepers she spent time providing care to her grandfather and realized how enriching and essential the act of caregiving is.
Linda graduated from American University in Washington, DC where she studied political science and journalism. After college Linda’s love of public media took her to WAMU where she worked as part of the fundraising and production teams and performed various administrative tasks. For a while she was also working as a barista in the city which she thoroughly enjoyed because it allowed her to cross paths and connect with some of DC’s most interesting people. This love of connecting and hearing others’ stories has now brought her to Comfort Keepers. She appreciates the care and dedication that CK provides each of its clients and is excited to play a role in continuing that tradition.
In her free time, Linda enjoys listening to music and podcasts, doing freelance audio production projects, and reading.