‘Liam’s Room’ Brings Comfort to Kids at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital

December 11, 2017

A newly renovated ‘Liam’s Room’ was revealed today at Hackensack Meridian Health K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, located in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of the hospital. The room has a home-like atmosphere and features many amenities that help pediatric palliative care patients and their families feel more comfortable during an extended hospital stay.

Liam’s Room is a non-profit organization focused on providing a “home away from home” at hospitals for children with chronic, potentially life-limiting illnesses. It was created in loving memory of Liam Hayden McNamara, who passed away at 16 months from an incurable neurological condition called Lissencephaly (Miller-Dieker Syndrome). The newly renovated room contains typical amenities that a child’s bedroom at home might offer, including bright colors, a video game and movie system, and bookshelf. A sleeper sofa, comfortable quilts and pillows, a private bathroom and beach-themed artwork supplement the room for the family’s comfort.

“Our organization is so thankful that K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital has embraced the concept of pediatric palliative care,” explains Lisa McNamara, Liam’s mom and co-founder of Liam’s Room. “There are so many families in the Jersey Shore area who have a child facing a chronic, potentially life limiting condition. Caring for that child and maintaining a functioning family unit can be a real challenge.  Pediatric palliative care, as well as the special resource of “Liam’s Room,” can help in providing the comfort, coordination and a family-centered environment to make their lives a little better and feel more supported.”

Since Liam passed away in 2007, his parents, Peter and Lisa McNamara, became determined to promote the importance of pediatric palliative care and make it available to other children and their families, specifically at the onset of diagnosis. In addition to the new room at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, ‘Liam’s Rooms’ are available for families at Goryeb Children’s Hospital and Overlook Medical Center.

“As we continue to expand our Pediatric Palliative Care Program, the addition of Liam’s Room provides a wonderful resource for the many patients and families that unfortunately have to visit the PICU frequently,” explains Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “We are incredibly grateful for this gift from Liam’s Room and feel confident that Liam’s memory will live on through the warmth and comfort this environment will bring to others.”

Through donor support, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital launched a Pediatric Palliative Care Program that includes a clinical team dedicated to providing much needed services to children with serious life-limiting medical conditions, and their families. These services include comprehensive pain relief and symptom management, guidance with difficult and complex treatment options, family support, coordination of care, assistance in decision making and planning for the future, and end of life care/bereavement counseling.

To learn more about how you can support the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, please contact Paul Huegel, senior executive director of Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation at paul.huegel@hmhn.org or 732-751-5117, or visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/GivingHeals. To learn more about Liam’s Room visit liamsroom.org.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 140 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.



Liam’s Room is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2007, whose mission is to advocate for the necessity of including pediatric palliative care at the time of diagnosis for any child facing a chronic, or potentially life limiting condition.  Liam’s Room aims to partner with hospitals to initiate a pediatric palliative care program by funding the education of pediatric clinicians on appropriate implementation of pediatric palliative care.  Liam’s Room also works with hospitals to redesign a designated inpatient pediatric palliative care room (Liam’s Room) for families whose child is diagnosed with a chronic or potentially life limiting diagnosis to stay upon admission.  The rooms intention is to create a home like space where families can feel more at home than in a hospital.