Maplewood health officer honored by Freeholders

Photo Courtesy of Glen Frieson
Robert Roe, center, was recently honored by, from left, freeholders Lebby Jones, Leonard Luciano and Wayne Richardson, and Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored Maplewood health officer Robert Roe during its meeting at Maplewood Town Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 26, for being named “Essex County Volunteer of the Year,” according to a December press release. Roe had received his award from the state of New Jersey Governor’s Council On Alcoholism and Drug Abuse during the agency’s council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Mercer County College Conference Center in West Windsor.

Having served as Maplewood health officer since 1990, Roe has also served as the Maplewood Municipal Alliance coordinator for more than 20 years. He has worked in the public health profession since 1972.

As vice-president of the Essex Regional Health Commission and an active member of the of the Essex County Alcohol Drug and Prevention Team, Roe is a champion for healthy living and strives to enhance prevention efforts, according to the release; he achieves this by providing effective programs aimed to reduce the commercial and social availability of alcohol to minors, strengthen family bonding, encourage residents to get involved in community activities and make a substantial investment in delaying the age that youth start to use alcohol.

One of Roe’s significant accomplishments was the implementation of the Peer Leadership Programs. Under this program, students who become active participants go through an official interview process with local police, alliance members and school officials. Selected students take an oath to be substance-free and are expected to act as role models for their fellow students. These strict guidelines serve as deterrents for students to avoid risky behaviors, enhance their self-confidence, and strengthen relationships between parents, teachers and peers.