Month: January 2014

Accessing Help & Hope

Established in 2007, Our New Journey provides support to families impacted by the challenges of illness or disability.  Services are provided by individuals who have first-hand experience as caregivers, as well as by those whom receive care.

Dedicated to working with one family at a time, this personalized service assists family caregivers of elderly and disabled adults through:

  •  Providing Limited Financial Support For Direct Care Services
  • Individual Guidance Directed Towards Understanding Personal Needs
  • Help with Locating Available Services
  • Caregiver Peer-to-Peer Support

Our New Journey is a free service, supported by individual donors and various fundraising activities.  For more information contact Our New Journey – (201) 288-2867 or email


Our New Journey Founder Anne Ciavaglia McMahon

Anne Ciavaglia McMahon is a lifelong resident of Hasbrouck Heights. In 1976 Anne graduated from HHHS, followed by attending Ramapo College of New Jersey where she earned a degree in Social Work. On October 11, 2008, Anne joyfully celebrated her unity of marriage to Brendan McMahon of Carlstadt.

Anne was born with Progressive Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She is the youngest sister of Bob and Anthony, parented by Rose and Ralph Ciavaglia. Rose and Ralph, who positively influenced all they encountered, not only provided a full and productive life for their children, but pioneered a world of independence, opportunity and hope for people with disabilities and their families.Dedicated to serving the community, Anne served as a Board of Education Trustee to the Bergen County Special Services School District for nine years, is a lifetime volunteer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, member of the Hasbrouck Heights Community Access for All Committee and a former Board of Trustee member of Heightened Independence and Progress.

Professionally, Anne Ciavaglia McMahon enjoyed a 27 year career in the field of human services. Serving in high level administrative positions in government, private and the non-profit sector, Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon directed the delivery of services for the elderly, people with disabilities and caregivers.

In 1999 Anne was appointed Director of the Bergen County Division of Senior Services. As Director, she provided leadership to her staff of over 25 people who were dedicated to the development and implementation of numerous programs and services supplied to older adults and caregivers within Bergen County. Anne fervently maintained a working relationship with state and local agencies and organizations. She offered her expertise and knowledge to promote local, state and national improvements, systemic change and the expansion and delivery of innovative programs.

Anne began her tenure with the County of Bergen in 1981 as an Information and Referral Specialist. Within two years, she was promoted to the position of Director of the Division on Disability Services. In 1990, Anne left the public sector where her career centered on the independent living movement for people with disabilities in her position as Executive Director of Dial, Inc.

Prior to her employment with the Division of Senior Services, Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon was appointed to the Commissioner’s staff in 1993 as a Policy Advisor for the New Jersey Department of Labor. Anne advised the Commissioner on all employment-related issues for people with disabilities to ensure that equal access of services provided through the Department were implemented at the local level. Anne then worked as the Certification Administrator for the ADA Unit at NJ Transit. She was responsible for the development of a statewide system to screen potential passengers to be eligible for the Access Link Paratransit System.

In April 2007, Anne chose to retire due to health issues that were limiting her desired level of productivity. Without hesitation, she began to explore ways in which she could utilize her personal and professional experiences. Effective immediately, in conjunction with Heightened Independence and Progress, she launched Our New Journey, a unique project to support people with disabilities and their families.

As a volunteer, Anne dedicates each day from her home to meet Our New Journey’s mission: To give hope and help to families impacted by the onset of illness or disability. It is a free service, supported by individual donors and various fundraising activities. For more information or questions contact Ms. Ciavaglia McMahon by emailing