Stride with a Purpose in Support of Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at the Inaugural Bonita Stanton, M.D., Memorial 5K Run/Walk

Funds raised to support scholarships for talented physicians of the future

October 5, 2023 - Nutley, NJ - Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine is pleased to announce its first ever Bonita Stanton, M.D., Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, October 15 at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield.

Proceeds from the inaugural Bonita Stanton, M.D., Memorial 5K will directly benefit the established Bonita Stanton, M.D., Scholarship Fund at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, which will provide vital scholarships to future physicians accepted into the highly-sought-after medical school.

In January of 2022, Hackensack Meridian Health lost a beloved leader and true friend when Bonita Stanton, M.D., the founding dean of Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and president of its Academic Enterprise, unexpectedly passed away. Dean Stanton was a prolific researcher, author and educator committed to health care equality. Her legacy extends from the impoverished corners of the globe to the most prestigious halls of academia, including Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine - the medical school she helped create in a new mold amid the promise of a better 21st century future.

Dean Stanton’s leadership and mission has structured Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s unique curriculum 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.

“We are so pleased to host the inaugural Bonita Stanton, M.D., 5K Run/Walk this year,” said Sheila Wolfinger, executive director, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “Dean Stanton was truly admired by all who were lucky enough to know her, especially her colleagues and students. She had such a profound impact on her students through her kindness, support and medical teaching, so much so that this event was highly requested by them! It is only right that we honor her memory through raising funds to offer scholarships to the next generation of physicians at the school she founded.  I look forward to a beautiful day celebrating her life!”

"Bonnie Stanton was a history-making educational leader, and a committed runner," said Jeffrey Boscamp, M.D., the current president and dean of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. "This event honors her legacy in the best way - by helping support the great doctors-to-be from the school she founded as a culmination of a great career."

The Bonita Stanton 5K Run/Walk is a family friendly event suited for all ages and is sanctioned by the USA Track and Field. 

This year’s sponsor of the Bonita Stanton, M.D., 5K includes A Better World, a foundation established by Dean Stanton that was created to support initiatives near and dear to her heart, including medical education. 

To register or purchase a sponsorship, visit To learn more about the event or how you can support Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, please contact Sheila Wolfinger at 

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 On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Hackensack Meridian Health assumed its independent operation in July 2020. The school achieved full accreditation in February 2023. The school’s vision is that each person in New Jersey, and in the United States, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, will enjoy the highest levels of wellness in an economically and behaviorally sustainable fashion. The School’s unique curriculum focuses on linking the basic science with clinical relevance, through an integrated curriculum in a team-oriented, collaborative environment. The school prides itself on outreach, through programs like the Human Dimension, which is active in communities across New Jersey. 


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 seven community-based medical center foundations, as well as key initiatives, programs and services offered by Hackensack Meridian Health, including nursing support, behavioral health, children’s health, Hackensack Meridian Health’s Center for Discovery & Innovation and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. 

Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation has been designated as both a High Performer Overall and Healthcare System High Performer by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) within their 2022 Report on Giving.

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