More Than $600,000 Raised to Benefit the Caryl and Jim Kourgelis Fund for the Center for Behavioral Health at Hackensack University Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation received generous support on behalf of the Caryl and Jim Kourgelis Fund for The Center for Behavioral Health and Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. A special event held at the Venetian in Garfield, NJ, hosted by Jim and Caryl Kourgelis and Joseph M. Sanzari, raised almost $700,000.

With the focus on addressing addiction and behavioral health challenges, more than 1,000 guests gathered for a meaningful and memorable evening. Featured speakers emphasized that substance abuse is a growing public health crisis and a personal crisis for the individuals and families struggling with addiction.

“Extraordinarily generous people united at this special event with a shared purpose,” said Jon M. Fitzgerald, president and chief development officer of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “It was a lavish event that had the down-to-earth quality of a caring community meeting.”

The Caryl and Jim Kourgelis Fund for Addiction and Behavioral Health at Hackensack University Medical Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive, whole person support to ensure that every affected individual has access to personalized care. A key goal is to create an integrative rehabilitation center in Bergen County to provide hope and healing for those in need.

“Addiction is a lifelong journey for the entire family and we thank the Kourgelis family for their generous effort to bring attention and funds to this cause,” said Diego Coira, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and Medical Director of Integrative Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Demonstrating the extent of the need, Bergen County’s Heroin Addiction Recovery Team (HART) program now offers recovery resources at some municipal police stations. Participating departments establish walk-in hours one day per week, staffed by a law enforcement officer and a clinician. HART allows those seeking help to turn over any personal use quantity drugs and enter recovery, without facing criminal charges. This is part of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office strategy, involving criminal enforcement, treatment, and education, to address a growing epidemic.

About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, 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 now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 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. Hackensack University Medical Center 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. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 24 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 25 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. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, which received a national ranking in Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals, and the 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. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.