John Theurer Cancer Center Receives Donation from AV Hero Fund

August 4, 2016

On June 13, the AV Hero Fund, created to honor the memory of Angelo Vayas, held its inaugural golf outing at the Maplewood Country Club.  A portion of the proceeds was recently presented to the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health.

Angelo, a longtime Maplewood resident and owner of the Village Trattoria restaurants, was a patient of Samuel A. Goldlust, M.D. and George J. Kaptain, M.D., of the Brain and Spine Institute at the John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC.

“The AV Hero Fund was created to carry on Angelo’s legacy as a philanthropic community leader,” said Mary Vayas, Angelo’s wife.  “My husband loved golf and it became his respite and opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. A golf outing in his honor helps us raise awareness for glioblastoma, the brain cancer that took his life much too soon. We are proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds in the amount of $30,000 will benefit the Caroline Vandemark Fund for Brain and Spine Tumor Research at HackensackUMC.”

“We are honored by the generosity of the Vayas family,” said Dr. Goldlust, medical director of the Brain and Spine Institute at the John Theurer Cancer Center. “Grassroots efforts in our community have a tremendous impact on our ability to provide cutting-edge care, such as our clinical trials programs in immunotherapy and viral mediated gene therapy.”

Dr. Kaptain, surgical director of the Brain and Spine Institute, added: “It was a privilege to care for Angelo, and to honor his determination and fighting spirit in our shared vision of a cure for glioblastoma.”

With such an outpouring of support, plans for the 2017 AV Hero Fund Golf Outing are already underway.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit