Newswise — Edison, NJ – November 24, 2020 – In lieu of its annual gala, Hackensack Meridian - Meridian Health Foundation hosted a virtual event, raising more than $600,000 for the Hackensack Meridian Health Circle of Compassion program, which provides compassionate, timely and equitable financial assistance to team members affected by a disaster or personal monetary hardship. Called the Circle of Compassion Virtual Celebration – Essential Workers, Essential Needs, the virtual event took place on Nov. 19 and featured updates from Hackensack Meridian Health leadership, moments of gratitude for frontline caregivers and special appearances by Jon Stewart and other New Jersey celebrities. 

The event can still be viewed at, and although there is no cost to view the program, 100 percent tax deductible gifts can still be made at Support at certain tiers specific to this program will also result in recognition at the Hackensack Meridian Health Reflection Garden at Roosevelt Park in Edison, NJ, which is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2021. 

“Our team members are true heroes,” says Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “I am grateful for their sacrifices and could not be prouder of the care they provide our community, not just during the pandemic, but every day, even though they may also be facing challenges of their own. Many families these days rely on two incomes, and although Hackensack Meridian Health has been able to preserve our entire workforce, many of our team members’ partners have not been as fortunate. The Circle of Compassion program was born out of a desire to support those colleagues, many of whom are facing dire circumstances, but who still bravely come to work every day to care for others. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this important cause.” 

To date, the Circle of Compassion program has provided financial assistance to more than 1,300 team members, raising more than $2 million and awarding more than $1.5 million to team members who have demonstrated emergent need. Donations from generous community members have been received, however the program was kickstarted by gifts from 100 percent of the senior leadership team at Hackensack Meridian Health

“Our team is by far Hackensack Meridian Health’s most valuable resource, which is why it is imperative that we support them in every way possible: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially, especially now as the battle with COVID-19 rages on,” says Joyce Hendricks, chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health. “That is why we are so proud to have hosted the virtual celebration to benefit the Circle of Compassion program. Every single dollar raised goes directly to helping our team, many of whom never thought they would find themselves in a position to need financial assistance.” 

The virtual event also commemorated the conclusion of the six-year Giving Heals capital campaign, which has raised nearly $200 million in support of oncology initiatives, enhancing the patient experience, broadening access to research and academics and improving clinical outcomes for patients at eight Hackensack Meridian Health medical centers. 

“The Giving Heals campaign, and all the donors who have supported it – whether through major gifts, remembering the organization in their wills, or simply by giving what they could, when they could – have had a tangible impact on the organization,” says Joseph Stampe, president and chief development officer, Meridian Health Foundation. “It is through generosity and giving that we can have a profound impact, not just on the health of our communities, but also on our own wellbeing. It has been a true honor to partner with the community on this important campaign and I am thankful for the support we have received over the years. I hope that everyone who contributed to Giving Heals has felt its true meaning and experienced its benefits, knowing they have helped so many.” 

To make a contribution in support of the Circle of Compassion event and cause, please visit For more information, call 848-444-3275 or email [email protected].



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, 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 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick. 

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include 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, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 35,000 team members, and 7,000 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 four hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list. 

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its second class of 96 students in 2019 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. 

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. 

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