Inaugural event raises vital funds for the Center for Discovery and Innovation to advance scientific breakthroughs
Edison, NJ – June 2, 2022 – Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation raised $5 million to support the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) at its first ever Network-Wide Celebration on Saturday, May 21 at The Glasshouse in New York City.
The celebratory event recognized the extraordinary work of David S. Perlin, Ph.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president, and his team at the CDI for their scientific breakthroughs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and honored the memory of admired physician and educator Dean Bonita Stanton, M.D., the founding dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and president of Academic Enterprise at Hackensack Meridian Health. Music was provided by the New Jersey Symphony and five-time, 2022 Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste, also an Oscar and Golden Globe winner, bandleader and musical director for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
“What a fantastic evening, coming together as a health network at our inaugural Network-Wide Celebration,'' said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The event was long overdue because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were pleased to recognize Dr. Perlin and his team for the extraordinary scientific advances made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at the Center for Discovery and Innovation and remember our dearest friend, Dean Stanton. The proceeds from last night’s celebration will surely help us to fulfill our mission and transform health care in New Jersey. ”
Under the leadership of Dr. Perlin, researchers at the CDI developed the first rapid commercial COVID-19 test, reducing wait times for results from days to hours; a high-throughput test that can detect multiple variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in two-and-a-half hours, a major advance in tracking the virus and treating patients; and was a pioneer in the use of convalescent plasma therapy to treat infected patients.
Earlier this year, Hackensack Meridian Health lost a visionary educator, physician and friend when Dr. Stanton passed away. At her direction, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s unique curriculum was created to foster teamwork and a humanistic focus on community wellness through its Human Dimension program. The program integrates biomedical, behavioral, social and population sciences and is placed in the context of the patients and communities, which touches underserved cities across New Jersey.
“It was such a joyous evening to join our closest network of supporters, recognize Dr. Perlin and his team at the Center for Discovery and Innovation, raise crucial funds to advance scientific research and remember our dearest colleague, Dean Stanton, at our first Network-Wide Celebration,” said Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “For more than two years, we have seen the powers of community and philanthropy come together to make a positive difference in the fight against COVID-19. We are so grateful to our leadership, trustees, sponsors, donors and guests for their continued support and generosity in helping us make last night one to remember.”
Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation was formed in February 2021, bringing together fundraising operations from Hackensack Meridian Health entities across the state. Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation serves as the parent foundation, oversees all local hospital foundations and raises funds for several Hackensack Meridian Health priorities, including the CDI, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, children’s health, behavioral health and nursing.
"We had such a special evening celebrating Hackensack Meridian Health and raising much-needed funds to benefit the Center for Discovery and Innovation," said Mark D. Schlesinger, M.D., chair, Department of Anesthesiology, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center and Network-Wide Celebration event chair. “Science is at the heart of our patient care, and we are thrilled at the evening’s success!”
The Network-Wide Celebration was generously supported by Presenting Sponsors: Envision Healthcare, Jersey Mike's Franchise Systems, Inc. and Regional Cancer Care Associates; Platinum Sponsors: Blanchard Turner, Emergent Medical Solutions, Hackensack Radiology Group, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Foundation, Konica Minolta, Lumeris, PepsiCo, Ray Catena Motor Car, TeamHealth and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP; and Gold Sponsors: Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, Inc., Complete Care, David Kostinas and Associates, Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., Joseph M. Sanzari, Inc., Med-Metrix, New York Football Giants, Inc., St. George's University School of Medicine, Synergy/EA Health, TD Bank, Quest Diagnostics, and United Surgical Partners International.
To learn more about Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/Donate. To donate to Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, visit Give.HackensackMeridianHealth.org/GiveNow.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
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.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH FOUNDATION
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.
Pictured: Keith Banks, co-chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation; Debra Banks; Domenic DiPiero, co-chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation; Hilary DiPiero; Mark D. Schlesinger, M.D., chairman, Department of Anesthesiology, Hackensack University Medical Center, events committee chair; Rosemarie Sorce, chair, Hackensack Meridian Health Hospital Corporations Board; Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health; Laura Garrett; Adie Fekete; Frank Fekete, CPA, chairman, Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees; Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation; and Pete Hendricks.