Holmdel, New Jersey, Family Comes Full Circle in its Generosity
August 04, 2022
The Hager family moved to Holmdel, New Jersey, in 1969—around the same time that local business leaders, physicians and auxiliaries were working hard to fundraise to build Bayshore Community Hospital (now Bayshore Medical Center) just minutes from the Hagers’ new home.
A few years later in May 1972, Bayshore opened its doors to patients for the first time. That summer, then-9-year-old Ken Hager was exploring his home’s basement, came upon tools and slipped a brass nut onto his small finger. Unfortunately, it did not slip off as easily. His finger swelled quickly, and Ken’s mother took him to Bayshore after his finger began turning blue.
The Bayshore team tried using lubricants and cutters to remove the nut—both to no avail. They had one last-resort to avoid amputation: The interior of the nut was threaded to fit a screw, so they had the idea to try unscrewing the nut from Ken’s finger. Much to everyone’s relief, the team was successful and Ken’s finger was saved. Over time, he regained full function thanks to a care plan that prevented infection, repaired tissue damage and monitored functionality to make sure it was healing.
Today, Ken still lives in the Bayshore area and took over the family business—JGS Insurance—in partnership with his brother Vinnie Hager.
Following an incredible life-saving experience of a JGS employee a few years ago at Bayshore, Vinnie and his family made a generous gift to help construct the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, which opened in 2021, the most significant construction project at the hospital since Bayshore was built. Vinnie also joined the Board of Trustees of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation, continuing the Hagers’ involvement in philanthropy in support of the medical center.
“These things come full circle,” Ken says. “I laugh when I tell this story, but I am grateful that my mother was able to take me a few minutes from my home to Bayshore. I am really glad the hospital is going strong 50 years later, so families can get help when they need it most.”
Vinnie adds: “I think about the families and doctors who put the plans together, who raised money and made donations to build this hospital. I’m proud that we can continue to help Bayshore grow and expand.”
Vinnie and his wife, retired pediatrician Maria Micale, D.O., made another gift in 2022 toward continuing education and professional development programs for the Bayshore nursing team.
“Bayshore was built by philanthropy 50 years ago, and today, it continues to provide lifesaving care for the community thanks to generations of grateful patients who are compelled to give back,” says Marisa Medina, executive director of Bayshore Medical Center Foundation. “We are so thankful for the Hager family. Their most recent gift will allow our nurses to continue advancing in their knowledge to meet the ever-evolving demands of health care.”
Next Steps & Resources:
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