Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
May 18, 2015

Wellness at Yavneh – a healthy perspective

Author - Camp Yavneh

Welcome to the summer of 2016. We are again anticipating a great one! In order for every camper to have the utmost camp experience, it is important that we all stay healthy. That is our goal as your camp nurses and doctors.  To do so, we take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach and work to anticipate and prevent concerns before they arise.   We are, of course, always available to treat ongoing issues but we work by the adage that a healthy camper is best able to take full advantage of all that Yavneh has to offer.


The medical staff serve many functions at camp, even before the campers arrive. At the start of the season, we meet with the Roshei Ayda to share with them the important health information we have from their medical records and that you, their parents, have already shared with us.  This communication is critical so that the counselors are cognizant of individual campers’ needs and special circumstances.  We have found that such communication results in few surprises. Also prior to their arrival, we organize all the campers’ medications to facilitate a smooth transition from home. We will review these medications, dosages and timing with you on opening day to ensure that all is properly aligned.  In addition, when you arrive, the staff will have already been trained to use Epipens, to recognize emergencies, and to identify subtle signs that a camper may not be thriving. All of this “prep” work pays off when the campers arrive and get settled.  We also offer age appropriate “talks” to the Aydot on issues regarding health and wellness.


Our staff  (bios outlined below) is available 24/7 and has many years of combined experience at Yavneh.  We take our job of your children’s well-being seriously and are committed to smooth communication with parents – we know you, better than any, have invaluable insight into your child’s health and emotional issues. We look forward to another great season!!

Suzi, Debbie and Stacey – Yavneh nurses


We are lucky at Yavneh to have such a talented medical staff. Dr. Walensky is our medical liaison to our board of directors and also spends a week at camp as a physician.  We also have several alumni who come back to Yavneh as our physicians in the summer.  Our three nurses below have cared for our children for many years and together make up one of the best medical staffs in our industry.


Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH is the mother of 3 boys (ages 11, 13, 15), has been a Yavneh parent for the past 6 years, and has been a member of the Camp Yavneh board since September 2014. Her enthusiastic support for Camp Yavneh derives from her sons’ collective passion for the camp as a place dedicated to nurturing lifelong friendships, ruach and personal and Jewish growth. Rochelle has spent several weekends at Yavneh during synagogue retreats and a week as the Yavneh as the “camp doctor,”  and has therefore experienced this passion first-hand.

Suzi Polirer has been a nurse at Yavneh since 1992. Married to Rabbi Richie and living for many years in nearby Manchester, NH, her connection to Yavneh goes back to 1986 when the first of the Polirer kids – Jonathan, Eric, Meredith, and Daniel – began attending camp. During the “off-season,” Suzi has served as a school nurse/health educator in the Broward County Schools in South Florida. She cares for her students and teaches health and wellness as well as daily medical care for diabetes. In addition to her Nursing Degree, Suzi has a B.A. in Social Work, and she has taught at Hebrew Day Schools in New York City. When Suzi is not “nursing,” she enjoys Mah Jongg, walking the hills around Yavneh, shopping for her grandchildren in tax-free NH, and absorbing the rays and Vitamin A on Lucas Pond.

Debbie Forman has been a nurse at Yavneh for 26 years. Her connection to Yavneh goes back to the 60’s when she was a camper for six years. During the year, she serves as a nurse practitioner at the Bentley University Center for Health and Wellness in Waltham, MA., where she functions as a primary care provider for students away from home. She has been there for the past 11 years. Prior to that she worked as a nurse practitioner for several years in Pulmonary and GI practices. When not “nursing” Debbie enjoys playing Mah Jongg,  bicycling and swimming in Lucas Pond.

Stacey Wyner joined the Marp staff 6 years ago being initiated during “Swine ’09”.  Her first experience with Yavneh was as a counselor in 1991 for K’firim girls, then returned for Family Camp for a few summers with her husband and four children.  Stacey has been working as a nurse practitioner for the past 18 years in a family practice in Connecticut providing primary and urgent health care to children and adults. Her children have all loved camp. Her oldest, Jacob, is returning for his second year as a counselor here at Yavneh. Outside of work and camp, Stacey enjoys hiking, camping with her Girl Scout troop, and playing mahjong on the Marp porch.