Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Welcomes Vice President of Development at Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Palisades Medical Center Foundation and Director of Development at Palisades Medical Center Foundation

Edison, NJ – May 19, 2021 – Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation is proud to announce that Rachel Simoneau has joined

as vice president of development overseeing Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center Foundation, and Eduardo Plata has joined as director of development at Palisades Medical Center Foundation.  

“There is so much positive growth and expansion happening at Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation and I am delighted to welcome Rachel and Eduardo to our foundation family,” says Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “Their individual expertise in fundraising will surely benefit our medical centers, patients and local communities in northern New Jersey, and I cannot wait to see what they accomplish.”

Most recently, Simoneau served as the major gifts fundraiser at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the country, affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine, also recognized as one of the best medical schools in the country. After her tenure with BJC HealthCare System, Simoneau was director of development at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center, which serves more than 80,000 participants with 200 programs. Prior to her service in St. Louis, Simoneau served with distinction as director of development and communications at the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in New York City, a global leader in funding research diagnosis and treatment related to primary immunodeficiency disorders, including providing physician and patient support. 

“It is an honor to join Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation and lead fundraising for Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Palisades Medical Center Foundation,” said Simoneau. “I am thrilled to return to my roots here in New Jersey and work closely with hospital leadership at Hackensack University Medical Center and Palisades Medical Center, as well as our foundations’ board of trustees, dedicated donors and local communities. I know that with their support, we can continue to positively impact our communities to the benefit of our patients and their families.”

Prior to joining Palisades Medical Center Foundation, Plata was executive director of The Out Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, empowering and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community by facilitating their participation in health and wellness programs. He was also the acting executive director and office manager for the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction (DBA My Face), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with facial differences. 

“What an opportunity it has been to join Palisades Medical Center Foundation,” says Plata. “I have truly enjoyed my time with the foundation thus far, working closely with our community, board of trustees and hospital leadership. With their continued dedication to our mission, I am confident that we will be able to achieve so much.”

Simoneau is leading fundraising for Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center and all service lines at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center. Plata will further promote and build a culture of philanthropy, raise much-needed philanthropic support and build a grateful patient pipeline of donors at Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center. 

To learn about how you can make a gift to Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation or Palisades Medical Center Foundation, please visit Give.HackensackMeridianHealth.org/GiveNow. 

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit healthcare organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and JFK University Medical Center in Edison; one university teaching hospital – Ocean University Medical Center in Brick; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; eight community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Old Bridge Medical Center in Old Bridge, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness center, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having more top-ranked hospitals than anyone in New Jersey, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22. Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings.

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's best cancer center, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22.  This premier cancer center is also the largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. John Theurer Cancer Center is part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. To learn more, visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org. 


Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3), is the philanthropic division of Hackensack Meridian Health, a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. The foundation oversees fundraising for the network’s three academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and six community-based medical center foundations, as well as key initiatives, programs and services offered by Hackensack Meridian Health, including behavioral health, children’s health, Hackensack Meridian Health’s Center for Discovery & Innovation and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.  Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation is recognized as one of the top three nonprofit organizations in New Jersey in the NJBIZ Reader Rankings. Visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org/Donate for more information.

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