Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation Raises $5 Million at Network-Wide Celebration on May 21

June 02, 2022

Inaugural event raises vital funds for the Center for Discovery and Innovation to advance scientific breakthroughs
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.

Inaugural event raises vital funds for the Center for Discovery and Innovation to advance scientific breakthroughs 

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.  

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