Gathering at a reception welcoming representatives of Easton Medical Center are, from left, Jean McKinney, director of development, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation; Linda Holene, quality improvement coordinator, Easton Medical Center; Mark Knoblouch, assistant chief nurse officer, Easton Medical Center; Sharon Janson, director of critical care, Easton Medical Center; Rick Kiernan, vice president of Human Resources, Monmouth Medical Center; Juliet Gossett, senior human resources generalist; Monmouth Medical Center; Mike Perdoni, administrative director for support services; Monmouth Medical Center; and Diann Johnston, vice president of patient care services; Monmouth Medical Center.
LONG BRANCH, NJ - Monmouth Medical Center recently joined with a Pennsylvania Hospital to help bring the holiday season to Monmouth staff who suffered devastating losses due to Hurricane Sandy.
As the cleanup and rebuilding progresses, Monmouth Medical Center continues to reach out to its employees who lost their homes to the hurricane. On December 19, the MMC management team was joined by senior administrators from Easton Hospital, a 254-bed, acute care teaching hospital in Easton, Pa., who traveled to Long Branch to spread holiday cheer and carloads of gifts to storm-affected staff.
"In a generous show of support, Easton Medical Center staff donated toys and gifts to MMC employees with children who were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy," said Diann Johnston, vice president of patient care services at Monmouth. "In partnership, Monmouth Medical Center raised funds to purchase gifts cards so that these families can also spend as they wish to create a joyful holiday that is as normal as possible for their family."
Through an employee funding drive that was bolstered by a $2,000 donation from board member Judith Dawkins and her husband, Pete, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation purchased 28 $275 gift cards, which were distributed to affected employees along with the gifts from Easton at a holiday reception held in the hospital cafeteria on December 19. Additionally, each employee received a gift bag from Barnabas Health that contained a host of holiday presents along with a $50 Target gift card, and age-appropriate toys that were delivered by Bradley Beach resident Julianne Spires. The Spires family conducted a toy drive to benefit the children of affected Monmouth Medical Center employees.
"Our guests of honor this afternoon are our employees who were impacted so harshly by Hurricane Sandy," said Diann Johnston, vice president of Patient Care at Monmouth. "So many of our employees lost so much, and yet, throughout the storm and its aftermath, they put their personal losses aside and found a way to be here for their hospital and their community."
Johnston recounted the days before the storm, when the hospital was preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
"We soon realized we were going to face the worst - and were left with the realization that Sandy had devastated our beautiful Jersey shore," she said. "Despite the severity of the storm, our employees left behind damaged homes and made arrangements for their families and pets so they could be here.
"And then on the Friday following the storm, a beacon of light came from Easton, Pennsylvania," she added. "Those kind people wanted to know what they could do to help our staff. It is because of their holiday spirit and generosity that this event could take place."
Mark Knoblouch, the assistant chief nursing officer for Easton, told those gathered for the reception that he became a nurse because he cares about people, and that it was that spirit that enabled them to pull together as a facility to support a fellow hospital community in need.
"It was our pleasure to help - as hospital families, we take care of our own," he said.
About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with the Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest academic medical centers and has been a teaching affiliate of Philadelphia’s Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation’s largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org.
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