Championing Hope for Prostate Cancer Patients   

Championing Hope for Prostate Cancer Patients

L. John Dughi, Jr., a long-time donor and trustee of Ocean University Medical Center Foundation

September 08, 2023

John Dughi, Jr., a long-time donor and trustee of Ocean University Medical Center Foundation, has charted the evolution of Ocean University Medical Center into a center for innovation and quality care. As a patient, he experienced it first-hand when he was diagnosed and treated successfully for prostate cancer. John was so impressed by the care he received from Prashant Desai, M.D., radiation oncologist, and MaryAnn Daly-Couch, radiation oncology manager, BS, R .T. (R) (T), that he made an impactful gift that would alter the scope of prostate cancer treatment at Ocean for years to come. 

John’s gift supported MaryAnn’s attendance at a conference presented by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, a prestigious professional group that is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advocacy and the advancement of science and research. It was there that she learned more about Pluvicto™, a new treatment for metastatic prostate cancer that, with much grit and tenacity, she brought to Ocean.

Pluvicto is a targeted prostate-specific membrane antigen treatment that uses radiation to shrink, damage and kill prostate cancer cells that are detected from PET scans. Ocean is the only facility in the southern region of the state to offer Pluvicto, and is considered a major advancement in the treatment of prostate cancer. 

John, an attorney who lives in Westfield and Bay Head, lauded MaryAnn’s efforts in contacting the drug maker to ensure Pluvicto is offered at Ocean. 

“She impressed them with the unique ability of her department to administer this treatment,” says John, crediting her and Dr. Desai for their enthusiasm in “providing superb care for prostate patients in a state-of-the-art radiation oncology department.”

According to John, Ocean is a “jewel” within the Hackensack Meridian Health network, and gives a special shout out to the excellent nursing teams there. “People do a great job, and they consistently go beyond the job to look for ways to make the institution better for all,” he says. “I could have gone anywhere - including Mayo Clinic - and I chose Ocean.”

John called MaryAnn a “hero’” in advocating for patients. A cancer survivor who has worked in oncology for 44 years, MaryAnn said she is gratified to be able to offer patients the best treatment available. She credited John’s heartwarming gift with reaping big rewards for Ocean and its patients.

“This is monumental for patient care,” says MaryAnn. “A $5,000 investment in the hospital is changing patients’ lives.”

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we thank John for his generosity and dedication to improving care for prostate cancer patients at Ocean. We also applaud MaryAnn for her determination in making sure that prostate cancer patients have access to this revolutionary treatment! To make a gift to Ocean, please visit or contact Matthew Lang, executive director at Ocean University Medical Center Foundation, at


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