Newswise — Riverview Medical Center Foundation is proud to announce two substantial gifts, totaling $10 million, which will significantly impact the way health care is delivered in our community. First, Joan and Robert Rechnitz, founders of the Two River Theater Company, donated $5 million to Riverview Medical Center Foundation to support the launch of an integrative medicine program. Inspired by the couple’s gift, and with the program underway, an anonymous donor provided an additional $5 million donation toward the initiative. “We know how important it is to reach out and care for one another when given the opportunity,” shares Robert Rechnitz. “We were eager to support Meridian’s plans for an integrative medicine program. We felt connected to the mission and truly driven to support a healthier community.”

Integrative medicine, also sometimes referred to as holistic medicine, is an approach that uses various therapeutic options to achieve optimal health and healing. It generally involves a combination of conventional medicine and complementary and alternative treatments.

“Meridian Health has been conducting research, investigating modalities, and planning for the right opportunity to roll out this innovative and more personalized approach to consumer health and wellness concerns,” explains Timothy J. Hogan, Meridian’s regional hospital president for Monmouth County. “We’re excited that the model we are developing has the potential to transform health care in this community just as our generous donors have sparked momentum around this important mission with their transformational gifts.”

Meridian’s program will offer a variety of approaches, including nutrition counseling, biofeedback, homeopathy/herbal medicine and medical acupuncture. Affiliated practitioners will focus on education and prevention and will highlight the four pillars of wellness; nutrition, physical fitness, stress reduction and sleep. One of the unique aspects of Meridian’s program will be the focus on educating physicians, as well as members of the community, on the importance of a holistic approach to staying healthy.

“Integrative medicine has been growing in popularity because of its emphasis on treating the whole person, its promotion of good health and well-being, and its focus on prevention,” says Joseph Miller, Ph.D., director of Neurosciences and Behavioral Health at Meridian Health. “Most people find it appealing because they tend to combine it with conventional medicine and perceive the overall combination to be most supportive of their holistic health.”

Initial stages of Meridian’s integrative medicine program include the development of a dedicated center to be housed at Meridian Health Village at Jackson, as well as community-based group sessions focused on health assessments, screenings and education.

“We are so grateful to Joan and Bob Rechnitz for choosing to support Riverview Medical Center and Meridian Health,” says Joseph Stampe, president of Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations. “They have recognized the importance of a program like integrated medicine and have had the forethought to provide needed resources to help in our efforts. We believe our program will be a model for the state, and we thank our donors for their faith in us to deliver on that promise."

About Meridian Health Affiliated FoundationsMeridian Health Affiliated Foundations is a charitable organization dedicated supporting Meridian Health’s mission to provide the best health care experience close to home. Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey with more than 100 convenient locations, over 1,800 beds, nearly 13,000 team members and affiliations with more than 2,000 of the area’s finest physicians. The Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations family is comprised of Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation, Ocean Medical Center Foundation, Riverview Medical Center Foundation, Southern Ocean Medical Center Foundation, Bayshore Community Hospital Foundation and Meridian Health Foundation. Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, received Top Performer recognition from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy for five years, and consistently contributes about 20% to the Health System’s bottom-line. For more information about Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations, please visit For more information about Meridian Health, please visit