About Us

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Robin Lavorato 

Executive Director of the Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center 

The Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center (EHAWRC), is a NJ registered Non For Profit, located within Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. The EHAWRC began as the Essex Opioid Task Force (OTF), which was a community organization launched on June 5th, 2018 at a shelter in Newark, NJ; over 80 individuals, from all municipalities throughout Essex County gathered for the opening.

The OTF was organized by Robin Lavorato, an Essex County resident and former Substance Awareness Counselor in a Morris County school district


Presently, the Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a volunteer organization. Robin Lavorato is the Executive Director. Her work history includes writing and coordinating New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Administration’s DEDR Municipal Alliance Grants in one county for 13 years, and in another county for 9 years. She also organized the OTF and established the Essex Health and Wellness Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center over the course of a two-year period. She has worked in substance use prevention, intervention, and treatment in local government, schools, treatment programs, and now in a hospital-based recovery center. 


The mission of the Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center is to provide peer support and guidance to individuals and families entering their chosen pathway to recovery, offering opportunities to grow through addressing their symptoms and building resiliency, support systems and a positive sense of self-worth. 

We will fulfill this mission through approaches that foster healthy behaviors and increase resilience. It is understood that Medically Assisted Treatment, appropriate housing, educational growth, steady employment, strong life skills, social support and acceptance, and a sense of hope, often support recovery

Board Directors 

The Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center’s Board is comprised of individuals who all have strong knowledge of substance use disorder.  

Our Board President, Mr. James J. Hunt is an Essex County resident. He is a recently retired from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  He was the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office.  

Mrs. Susan Ferrullo, an Essex County resident is our Board Treasurer. She is a Chief Financial Officer for a flooring company in Essex County.  She has family history of addiction and recovery.


Our Board Secretary is Mrs. Colleen DeTroia, employed by Caldwell University. She is an Essex County resident.  She also has family history of addiction.  

Our Advisory Board members include Mr. Pete Diglio, Mr. Steven Kroll, retired from the field of finance. Mr. Kroll is an Essex County resident. Mr. John Cuff, a retired U.S. Marshall, Mr. John Golden, an Essex County business owner who lost a family member to overdose, and Mr. John Michaud, who works in the treatment field and is in recovery for over 4 years. No Board member is employed by the Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center. 


Recently, we lost our Board Information Officer, Mrs. Joanne Diglio. Joanne was an Essex County resident. She was retired from the field of television commercial production. Her husband, Mr. Peter Diglio is also on the Advisory Board.  They lost their son to overdose.  The Essex Health and Wellness Recovery Center at Saint Michael’s Medical Center was dedicated to Joanne on February 7th, 2020, with the resource room named for their son, Michael Diglio. 

As we continue to grow, we will be adding additional Board members.  Those members will work closely with the CPRS to advise them on new partnerships with community agencies that we can partner with to offer services for our recoverees.  We will also be developing committees to support the Board in areas of finance, fundraising, relationship building, and alumni outreach.  

Our Board of Directors is committed to making decisions in the best interest of the organization and its participants.  Board meetings include review of the mission, goals and outcomes.