Attend an Event from the Comfort of Your Couch
As part of the Urology Series, a series of virtual seminars about urological research and technology, we hosted our second virtual talk. If you, or someone you know, are affected by urinary tract infections, or kidney and bladder cancer, this is a don’t–miss webinar.
Participants in this urology webinar received the latest information about technology and research in urinary tract infections and kidney and bladder cancer from Michael Stifelman, M.D.; Ravi Munver, M.D.; Debra Fromer, M.D.; and Mutahar Ahmed, M.D.
Special thanks to Amniox Medical, Axonics, Precision Surgical, Inc. and Allergan, Inc. for their support.
You can view this insightful online seminar here.
Kicking Off the New Year with a “Topping Off”
The Helena Theurer Pavilion, named for our dear friend and longtime benefactor Helena Theurer, celebrated an important milestone in the facility’s construction earlier this month – its official topping off.
On January 11, Hackensack Meridian Health leaders and Mrs. Theurer, responsibly gathered to sign the building’s final steel beam, a meaningful moment in the project’s construction, which began in September 2019.
The Helena Theurer Pavilion will transform the Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center campus into one of the most prominent health care facilities in the nation, providing an enhanced patient experience, while preserving the privacy and dignity of patients and their families. The addition of the building will ensure that the campus can address the growing health care needs of the region for generations to come.
The pavilion was named in honor of Mrs. Theurer and her generous philanthropy, as she has donated $35 million to advance cancer research and patient care at Hackensack University Medical Center’s John Theurer Cancer Center, named in tribute to her late husband.
We remain unconditionally grateful to Mrs. Theurer for her vast contributions to cancer research and patient care at John Theurer Cancer Center and Hackensack University Medical Center.
HUMC "Topping Off" Ceremony
After Losing Battle with COVID-19, Beloved Physician’s Legacy Lives on through Scholarships
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of many of our dearest friends, loved ones and colleagues. Sadly, our network has lost some of our very own frontline health care heroes to the virus, and we will always continue to honor their lives. Michael Gerard Giuliano, D.O., a physician at Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center, cared for COVID-19 patients at the beginning of the pandemic and in April, lost his own battle against the virus.
Dr. Giuliano cared for generations of patients in his Nutley office and served as the physician for Nutley township workers for 15 years. In a News 12 story about his passing, Nutley Mayor Joe Scarpeli, recalled how he treated everyone like family. Nurses at Mountainside Hospital remember Dr. Giuliano as always being in a good mood and recall the special way he comforted his patients. Patients also remember him for his great sense of humor evidenced by his extensive Charles Shulz Peanuts collection on display in his office.
To celebrate his life, his family established the DRMGG Memorial Fund. The goal of the fund is to raise money to memorialize Dr. Giuliano for his vast contributions to Hackensack Meridian Health and to reduce suffering from infectious diseases through ongoing advancements in research, education and care through scholarships.
Providing students with the gift of education through scholarships is a top priority at Hackensack Meridian Health. Scholarships emphasize our long-term commitment to the financial security of our students, placing us on par with top-ranked schools of medicine across the country.
We are forever grateful to Dr. Giuliano’s family for continuing his incredible legacy through generous scholarships from the DRMGG Memorial Fund. Dr. Giuliano will forever be missed by his patients and colleagues throughout our network.
Donor Funded Program Supports Siblings of Sick Children
Sibling relationships can be emotionally powerful and critically important, especially in childhood. When one child undergoes a challenging medical emergency or illness, it has a profound impact on their siblings. Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital has received generous funding to develop and implement an important Sibling Support Program to meet the emotional needs of brothers and sisters of children undergoing medical treatment.
The program, funded by the generosity of Sandra and Joshua Abrams, Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation and Tommy Strong Foundation, will be managed through the children’s hospital’s Child Life department and include one-on-one therapy and group therapy, including bereavement groups and organized recreational outings. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these sibling support programs will temporarily be held virtually.
Often when a child is chronically ill, siblings have feelings of guilt, depression or resentment. Child Life specialists work with healthy siblings, providing them with emotional support and therapeutic programming. However, requests for support often go beyond what is available. The Sibling Support Program will allow for a dedicated specialist to provide resources to expand this much needed initiative.
The services will be free of charge to families and will be available to siblings of oncology patients, patients who have passed away and chronically/critically ill patients.
Christine and Andrew Fitzpatrick, parents to Tommy Fitzpatrick (pictured with his brother Jack and sister Sophie) know all too well how important a Sibling Support Program is. Tommy, their young son who loved Star Wars, Legos and playing with his brother and sister, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017. After fighting bravely for two years, Tommy passed away in February 2019, leaving behind a legacy of strength, smiles and purpose.
Inspired by their son’s strength, and harnessing the power of their community, the Fitzpatrick family created the Tommy Strong Foundation, which has supported Tackle Kids Cancer’s efforts to find cures for pediatric cancers and provide support to families coping with the disease.
“We learned firsthand that cancer doesn’t just affect one child – it affects the whole family,” said Christine. “Tommy’s brother and sister were a big part of his support system and he was happiest when they were by his side during treatment. It is a very difficult time for siblings too – they need support. Having a dedicated staff member to work specifically with them is so important and something that we’re very happy to help fund.”
The Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation, an organization that provides needs-based financial assistance to families struggling with pediatric cancer, understand that a cancer diagnosis and its treatment affect the whole family. Often, they have seen the challenges that siblings face when supporting their sick brother and sister, when being cared for by someone other than their parent, when asked to be patient, to do without and to adjust without understanding what is happening.
Andrea Inauen, executive director of the foundation, shared that the board of directors looked at ways to address this unmet need, and creating a designated sibling program run by those with expertise in caring for the needs of children and siblings became an imperative for our foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with Tackle Kids Cancer and Hackensack Meridian Health on this initiative.”
We are beyond grateful for this incredible support from Sandra and Joshua Abrams, Fighting Children’s Cancer Foundation and Tommy Strong Foundation. We know this program will provide such essential support for siblings of chronically/critically ill patients.
Supporting Siblings of Sick Children
A New Year with New Tax Benefits That May Benefit You!
As we begin this new year, we would like to share information about important tax changes that could benefit you, as well as your favorite charities.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on December 27, includes some of the benefits of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act that have been extended and modified for the new year.
A few notable highlights include:
- the universal charitable deduction for cash gifts has been extended and is now $300 for single filers and $600 for married couples filingjointly;
- the income tax charitable deduction for cash gifts to public charities, up to 100% of the donor’s adjusted gross income, has been extended for 2021 (Prior to the CARES Act, an individual’s income tax charitable deduction for cash gifts to public charities was limited to 60% of the donor’s adjusted gross income.); and
- the 25% of taxable income limit that applies to contribution of cash and food inventory made by corporations to public charities is also extended for 2021(up from 10%).
This is good news all around! Should you have any questions about these changes can benefit you and your favorite charities, please call our Office of Gift Planning at 732-751-5118 or email email@example.com.
#JackStrong Makes an Impact in the Woodcliff Lake Community
In times of celebration or need, loved ones, friends and the community rally around one another in a show of support. For Jack Silver, a 16-year-old Woodcliff Lake high school athlete and beloved friend currently fighting a bone marrow disorder, and his family, it has never rung truer.
In August 2020, Jack had an emergency appendectomy. He and his family expected a fast recovery, but by November, Jack had been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. To garner support from the community, Jayme, Jack’s older sister, created a #jackstrong campaign on social media to share Jack’s story and help raise funds to support Tackle Kids Cancer and other organizations.
Jack’s family, friends and neighbors also joined forces to support him and his family. Rachel Beck, a longtime family friend, formed an Eli’s Challenge team in Jack’s name and organized two Peloton rides over a weekend in December. Through Eli’s Challenge, TKC Team Captain and former New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning matches community donations to Tackle Kids Cancer. The turnout was incredible – more than $8,500 was raised by more than 100 riders who all joined together to bike for Jack. The ride made waves on social media with Eli and Peloton both sharing the ride on their social media.
“Our community wanted Jack and his family to know how much we care and how often they are in our thoughts,” said Rachel. “Whatever they need, we are here for them. We are so proud to support Jack, Tackle Kids Cancer and other patients at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. We want them all to return to good health.”
“Jack has been a true warrior throughout all of this, and we are so incredibly appreciative of the support Jack and our family have received,” said Michael and Leslie, Jack’s parents. “There are so many people who are giving to us, and we want to give back.” The family is donating all proceeds from their fundraising to Tackle Kids Cancer, The Jillian Fund, a partner of the hospital which provides financial assistance to patients in need, and other meaningful charities.
Through Tackle Kids Cancer, Jack has also had the opportunity to meet Eli Manning and New York Mets pitcher Dellin Betances, both of whom had virtual Zoom sessions with Jack to share words of hope and encouragement. “Jack was thrilled to speak to Eli and Dellin,” said Michael. “Jack is a big sports fan, and he was so excited to meet them virtually.”
We are all cheering for Jack as he continues to progress in his treatment and thank the Silver family and Jack Strong team for sharing Jack’s story and demonstrating the meaning of community.
Local Banks Join Forces to Support COVID-19 Vaccinations at Hackensack Meridian Health
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Hackensack Meridian Health has been on the receiving end of such significant acts of kindness from corporate partners, donors, trustees and neighboring businesses in local communities. Last month, more than $145,000 was donated to our network by several local headquartered banks and affiliated foundations, including OceanFirst Bank, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Manasquan Bank and Valley Bank in response to our COVID-19 vaccination preparation.
These generous donations are supporting Hackensack Meridian Health’s staffing and operational efforts to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine to our health care heroes and the community. Our network has developed and implemented a comprehensive vaccination distribution plan that follows the expected guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our network has also purchased several extreme temperature freezers necessary for storage of the COVID-19 vaccine and identified sites within the network that has accepted doses, and more than 30 potential vaccine distribution locations.
Our community bank partners shared that they recognize the unwavering commitment of our team members and hospitals, and expressed their great appreciation for all that has been done to protect and serve our communities. We join their sentiment in hopes that this vaccine will bring great relief to us all.
Hackensack Meridian Health is working closely with the New Jersey Department of Health to support the state’s wide-scale vaccination program, whose goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population in the state in a six-month period.
As we continue in the second wave of this unprecedented pandemic, we gratefully recognize that these donations will continue to help us secure the additional staff and resources our organization needs to distribute the vaccine, allowing our front-line caregivers to continue the fight and treat patients affected by the virus. We are so appreciative of this wonderful show of support from these incredible banks. If you would like to make a gift in support of Hackensack Meridian Health’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, please visit give.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/COVID-19VaccineEfforts.
Honoring a Loved One with an Easy IRA Rollover
Marilyn Baldi, an award-winning photographer, and her late husband, Aldo Gaetano Baldi, M.D., a highly regarded and dedicated pathologist at Hackensack Meridian Riverview Medical Center for more than 30 years, always believed in supporting their local hospital. Years after Dr. Baldi’s passing, Marilyn found a unique way to make a gift that honors the important work of her husband.
Since Dr. Baldi’s passing in 2003, Marilyn has carried forward the philanthropic spirit they shared. A dedicated advocate and friend of Riverview Medical Center, Marilyn has supported transformational projects like the cancer center, as well as other hospital priorities and objectives.
Perhaps the most impactful decision Marilyn has made in supporting her local hospital was in naming Riverview Medical Center as a beneficiary of her IRA. This gift allows us to celebrate Marilyn’s philanthropic spirit during her lifetime, while she enjoys knowing her legacy of changing health care in her community will continue many years into the future.
It makes her very proud to make this gift, which will name the pathology lab at Riverview Medical Center in honor of her beloved husband who made an extraordinary impact on the department through his many years of dedication and expertise.
Aldo Gaetano Baldi, M.D. and Marilyn Baldi
Shopping Second-hand Benefits Hospital in Big Way
Despite being shuttered for months because of the pandemic, four thrift shops operated by auxiliaries raised nearly $500,000 to benefit Hackensack Meridian Southern Ocean Medical Center.
The Bird Cage, operated by the Boosters Auxiliary, and located just off the main lobby at Southern Ocean Medical Center; The Holly Thrift Shop in Waretown, operated by the Holly Auxiliary; Second Time Around, located in Tuckerton and operated by the Laurel Auxiliary; and the Old and New Shop in Manahawkin, operated by the SOCH Auxiliary, saw an influx of individuals seeking everything from clothing to furniture when they were able to reopen after closing for COVID-19.
Jim Young, executive director of Southern Ocean Medical Center Foundation is thankful to everyone who helped to support the thrift shops before they closed and after they safely reopened. “Sales from the thrift shops, which are solely run by a group of dedicated volunteers, directly benefit Southern Ocean Medical Center. By supporting them, shoppers were also helping to see the hospital through a particularly difficult year. We are thankful that they chose to shop at our thrift stores.”
The auxiliaries play an important role in fundraising for the medical center. In 2019, the groups donated more than $700,000 to complete their $2.5 million, five-year pledge to support the Cancer Care Center’s purchase of a TrueBeam™ linear accelerator for radiation therapy. In 2020, they began a new five-year pledge of $2.5 million to support the medical center.
To learn more about the auxiliaries of Southern Ocean Medical Center, please visit www.southernoceanmedicalcenter.com/donate/auxiliaries/.
Meet our New Executive Directors
Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation is delighted to announce the addition of three new executive directors: Todd Shellenberger, who will lead Riverview Medical Center Foundation; Melissa Magyar, who will head the Raritan Bay Medical Center Foundation; and Sheri Marino, who takes the helm at JFK University Medical Center Foundation.
In his most recent role, Todd Shellenberger, executive director of Riverview Medical Center, was vice president of development for Make-A-Wish America, a position he held for five years, and in which he led a national development team to grow revenue by more than 51 percent. Prior to that, Todd was vice president of development at Make-A-Wish, New Jersey where he helped that chapter become a fundraising leader of the 60 national chapters.
Melissa Magyar, executive director of Raritan Bay Medical Center Foundation, most recently served as director of campaigns at Englewood Health Foundation, the foundation at which she first launched her fundraising career. Although she left in 2017 after a long tenure with increasing responsibilities, Melissa was enticed to return by a “can’t miss opportunity” to develop the plan, timeline, milestones and goals of the organization’s first comprehensive campaign, a $100 million undertaking. In this role, she served as liaison to the steering committee, developing solicitation strategies, working with hospital administration, key prospects and trustees, while managing a portfolio of prospects. In between her two terms at Englewood Health Foundation, Magyar held the position of director of development at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Institute for Health.
Finally, Sheri Marino, executive director of JFK University Medical Center Foundation, has a distinguished background as a speech pathologist, previously owning and operating her own practices, and having done her internship during college at the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at JFK University Medical Center. Most recently, she has been working to make a difference in the lives of people with autism as the executive director and business manager for Autism Healthcare Collaborative. In this role, she led all philanthropy, event planning, business and program development, financial management, marketing and had oversight of the organization’s board. She developed a team of medical experts from across the U.S. and collaborated closely with the team to address the vast needs of individuals living with medically complex autism. Under Marino’s leadership, the organization raised $2 million to support programs for children and families. She also previously served as director of Pediatric Health Initiatives for Focus for Health Foundation, whose mission is to empower individuals with information to make good health care decisions for their families.
Please join us in extending a warm welcome to these three talented leaders, who will help to grow revenue to enhance the programs and services at these fantastic medical centers.
Meet Our New Executive Directors