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Hackensack Couple Continues Family Tradition of Giving Back to Hospital

September 28, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this story:

Charitable giving comes in all shapes and sizes, from gifts of time to financial donations large and small. Over the years, the Muscarelle family’s generosity has run the gamut when it comes to Hackensack University Medical Center.

Sharon and Joseph (Joe) Muscarelle Jr. recently made a generous commitment of $2.5 million to benefit the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack. But this gift is only the latest. The family’s commitment to Hackensack dates back to when Joe’s father served on the board of then Hackensack Hospital and his mother was a staple as a volunteer in the hospital’s gift shop.

“My mother and father influenced me very much,” says Joe, who is chairman of Jos. L. Muscarelle Inc., a full-service real estate developer and builder. “They taught me that giving isn’t just about dollars but rather being physically and actively involved and making a personal commitment.”

Over the past 15 years, Joe has devoted hundreds of hours volunteering at Hackensack—assisting team members with surgery admissions and helping outside operating rooms. He has also served as a member of the advisory board to the Heart and Vascular Hospital. “Volunteering at the hospital has always just felt good,” Joe says. “When I’m there, I can focus on helping others. It’s almost therapeutic.”

Joe and Sharon’s latest significant gift to benefit the Heart and Vascular Hospital is personal, too. Joe became a cardiac patient of William Salerno, M.D., director of the Heart Care Center and the Advanced Cardiovascular Assessment Program at Hackensack, about 20 years ago when he first experienced sharp chest pain. More recently, a heart monitor was implanted in his chest to continuously record his heart rhythm and give doctors the ability to monitor his heart remotely.

The gift will establish a research database of patient information from Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory procedures, cardiac intensive care units, vascular procedures, neuro-interventional procedures, structural heart disease procedures and electrophysiology procedures to research the best methods to treat cardiovascular patients.

“This database will allow us to analyze the best methods to treat cardiovascular patients based on real-time and real-world clinical data collected by research nurses,” says Joseph E. Parrillo, M.D., chairman of the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack. “Such data has immense importance, because clinical research databases can be used to decide which treatments are best for our patients. We will present these important findings at the highly prestigious scientific meetings of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention, thus sharing our discoveries with health professionals around the world."

In recognition of the family’s generous commitment, Hackensack has named the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at the Heart and Vascular Hospital as the Muscarelle Family Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories.

“Joe’s extraordinary philanthropic investment in the Heart and Vascular Hospital is all the more meaningful because he has not only invested his material resources but also one of the most precious gifts of all: the gift of his very self through his volunteer service,” says Willliam Evans, executive director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “His gift represents the most powerful kind of endorsement a hospital can receive and provides the means to ensure we maintain our position as one of the nation’s and region’s leading cardiovascular hospitals.”

Next Steps & Resources:

Learn more about giving to the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation

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The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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