Newswise — HACKENSACK, NJ – April 26, 2021 Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, a part of Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation, held a ribbon-cutting for the newly established Inserra Family Diabetes Institute at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center on Friday, April 23, 2021. The institute, which formally integrates the hospital’s recognized diabetes care and education programs and promotes research, education and training and community outreach, will improve the lives of people of all ages living with diabetes, both now and in the future.

Hospital leaders gathered to cut the ribbon at 385 Prospect Avenue in Hackensack, where patient treatment, support and education initiatives for patients and their families are offered.  

Hackensack University Medical Center is renowned for its programs of distinction in diabetes care and education. The medical center achieved Joint Commission Certification in Advanced Inpatient (hospital-based) Diabetes Management, and the MOLLY Diabetes Education/Management Center for Adults and Children, received prestigious American Diabetes Association Recognition for excellence in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES). The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute builds on these programs while creating new ones.

“We have a history of launching and supporting excellent diabetes programs,” said Colette Knight, M.D., chair of The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute and director of the endocrinology division. “The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute unifies them and enhances our efforts so that more people can benefit from advances in diabetes care and research. Our team is available to care for patients with any manifestation of diabetes, including type 1 and type 2, gestational and transplant-related diabetes.”

The multidisciplinary team includes endocrinologists, diabetologists, certified medical assistants, nurse practitioners and certified diabetes care and education specialists (CDCES) who all aim to improve the quality of life and transform the approach to care for people with diabetes and related disorders through innovative programs. The programs will focus on:

  • Exceptional patient care, including comprehensive care for hospital inpatients, a seamless transition to outpatient care at the Institute's new location and regular outpatient visits that include education about blood glucose monitoring, medication use, diet and other healthy lifestyle habits. Special attention is focused on pediatric patients making the transition to adult-level care. Patients may also receive referrals to other physicians.
  • Patient engagement and population health, including screening and prevention programs, monthly virtual educational lectures, outreach to community-based organizations to inform them of programs for their constituents, telehealth follow-up visits and support groups.
  • Advanced education and training programs, such as diabetes-focused rotations and research opportunities for medical students and residents, training for nurse practitioners and physician assistants and eventually fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.
  • Basic and applied research, featuring scientific investigations by scientists at Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation while developing improved diagnostic tools and prevention strategies.

The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute is named for longtime supporter and friend Lawrence J. Inserra, Jr., and his family. The Inserra family recently made a significant and generous commitment to benefit the diabetes program at Hackensack University Medical Center where Inserra currently serves as the chairman of Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation.

“Access to coordinated diabetes care and integration of that care into a person’s life are two of the biggest obstacles for members of the communities we serve,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center, executive vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute provides comprehensive, seamless diabetes care and education for a person’s lifetime. We are incredibly grateful for Larry and his family’s continued commitment to vital programs like this at Hackensack University Medical Center.”

Diabetes is a rapidly growing health problem in the United States, estimated to affect more than 30 million Americans. Most people have type 2 diabetes. In New Jersey, 12%of the population has diabetes, but one in four of them does not know they have it. Diabetes raises the risk of heart disease, circulation problems that affect the legs (leading to amputation in the most severe cases), eye problems and kidney disease, among other possible complications. The disease is more common in black, Asian and Hispanic individuals.

“Not only has Larry and his family given this incredible gift to benefit diabetes care and programs at The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute, but he and his family have an inspiring legacy of giving to Hackensack University Medical Center that is impactful,” said Joyce P. Hendricks, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation. “We are so thankful for the Inserra family’s extraordinary support and congratulate Dr. Knight and her team on such a momentous event.”

To support The Inserra Family Diabetes Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center, please click here or contact Clare Ward, interim executive director, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation, at [email protected].


Hackensack University Medical Center, a 771-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey.  Founded in 1888, it was the county’s first hospital. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center provides award-winning care on a campus that is home to facilities such as John Theurer Cancer Center, part of NCI designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and recognized as the #1 hospital for cancer care in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, designed in collaboration with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Recognized as being in the top 1% of hospitals in the nation and #2 in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll, Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as high-performing in nine specialties: cancer care, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology. Hackensack University Medical Center’s comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 150 private patient rooms, including a dedicated 50-bed Orthopedic Institute.

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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 36,000 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 of its hospitals among the top hospitals in New Jersey for 2020-21, according to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the health system has more top-ranked hospitals than any system in New Jersey. Children’s Health is again ranked a top provider of pediatric health care in the United States and earned top 50 rankings in the annual U.S. News’ 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals 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, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

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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