Newswise — Neptune, NJ – December 9, 2020 – Hackensack Meridian Meridian Health Foundation received a grant for $25,000 from the TD Charitable Foundation to support the Reducing Barriers to Mammograms at the Shore program, which provides free mammograms, diagnostic screenings and procedures to women in Monmouth and Ocean County who are low-income, have no available financial resources, are experiencing financial hardship, or are uninsured or underinsured. 

“We are grateful to TD Charitable Foundation for again selecting Hackensack Meridian Health as a recipient of this life-saving grant,” says Joseph Stampe, president and chief development officer, Meridian Health Foundation. “This program is specifically designed for women who are ‘falling through the cracks,’ and who are not eligible for New Jersey’s charity care payment assistance program, or its Cancer Education and Early Detection (CEED) program. Never have grants like this been more important as people across the state are impacted by COVID-19 and are finding themselves uninsured, underinsured, or experiencing financial hardship.”

To be eligible for charity care or CEED, patients must be at or below 200 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level respectively and be uninsured or underinsured. Many women in the community do not meet these strict financial restrictions but still cannot afford the cost of a mammogram and diagnostic procedures such as biopsies, breast ultrasounds and diagnostic mammograms. Reducing Barriers to Mammograms at the Shore enables these women to receive care at one of Hackensack Meridian Health’s clinics, located at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and Hackensack Meridian Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. 

“This program will provide approximately 200 at-risk women with a free screening mammogram as well as diagnostic procedures if signs or symptoms of breast cancer are identified,” says Denise Johnson Miller, M.D., FACS, medical director, Breast Surgical Oncology at Hackensack Meridian Health. “If they receive a breast cancer diagnosis, they will be connected to a breast health navigator who provides them with one-on-one support, an invaluable service to help them through this stressful time. We are so grateful to community partners like TD Charitable Foundation for helping us care for our community and provide lifesaving mammograms and comprehensive support to women who are truly in need. Early detection is key, and their generous grant will literally help us save lives.” 

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in New Jersey (after lung cancer) and the state’s breast cancer mortality rate is the third highest in the country. Locally, Monmouth and Ocean County have some of the highest incidences of breast cancer in New Jersey and Monmouth County continues to have lower breast cancer screening rates than the rest of the state and disproportionate breast cancer statistics for Hispanic/Latino and Black women. In Monmouth County, the breast cancer death rate for Hispanic women is substantially higher than the state’s average and their five-year relative survival rate is lower than the state’s. Additionally, about 32 percent of Black women in the county present with late-stage breast cancer. 

Not only will this gift from TD Charitable Foundation help to prevent and treat breast cancer to women in need in our communities, it also brings Meridian Health Foundation closer to reaching its fundraising goal of $150 million as part of the organization’s Giving Heals campaign. The campaign supports four important initiatives: strengthening oncology services, improving clinical outcomes, enhancing the patient experience and broadening clinical research and academic programs. The campaign, which ends in December 2020, supports eight Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals, including Bayshore Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Ocean Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Riverview Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center.

For more information about Meridian Health Foundation and the Giving Heals campaign, visit



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 are 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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