MENDHAM, NJ – Tri-County Scholarship Fund (TCSF) will host its 39th Annual Awards Celebration on Monday, October 26, 2020, as a free, live-streaming event, honoring three New Jersey leaders, including Morristown Medical Center President, Trish O’Keefe. All of the honorees believe in and support the TCSF mission to provide partial scholarships for many of the state’s most financially disadvantaged children, enabling them to attend accredited K-12 values-based, independent schools. The Awards Celebration is the largest fundraiser for the New Jersey non-profit which has provided over $28 million for over 32,000 scholarships since its inception in 1981.

The honorees for the 39th Annual Awards Celebration are: -

  • Trish O’Keefe, President of Morristown Medical Center, Leadership Award -
  • John Howard, Chairman and CEO, Truist Insurance Holdings, Hall of Fame Award -
  • Bob and Sue Sameth, long-time supporters of TCSF, Making a Difference Award

“We are delighted to honor the extraordinary success of these three distinguished individuals and especially to recognize their contributions to the needy children in our state” said Prudence Pigott, President of Tri-County Scholarship Fund. “Our honorees’ accomplishments in their industries and in serving the community exemplify everything we want our scholarship recipients to follow in their own educational journeys, in the workforce, and in giving back to their own communities.”

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Trish O’Keefe is President of Morristown Medical Center (MMC) and Vice President of Atlantic Health System (AHS). Under O’Keefe’s leadership, MMC is ranked the number one hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report for three consecutive years, and is the only hospital in New Jersey named one of America’s ”50 Best Hospitals” for five consecutive years by Healthgrade; one of the World’s Best Hospitals by Newsweek, and Becker’s Healthcare list of “100 greatest hospitals in America.” MMC is dedicated to its community, not only in providing outstanding patient care, but also in supporting the educational and career aspirations of New Jersey’s inner-city and other financially disadvantaged children through their support of Tri-County Scholarship Fund.

Trish O’Keefe is a known leader, instrumental in building the national reputation of MMC in the fields of cardiology, orthopedics, critical care, geriatrics, and gastroenterology, and in earning its prestigious designation as an American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence five consecutive times – one of less than one percent of hospitals nationally to achieve this honor. She is executively responsible for AHS’s Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, and Women’s Health Service Lines, and for coordinating a systemwide approach for AHS nursing and patient care.

O’Keefe is a noted presenter on topics including leading through crisis, COVID -19, redesigning healthcare, and care for the caregiver. She has been recognized at the United Nations as one of 21 Nurses with Global Impact, by Irish America magazine to its Life Sciences 50 list, by the American Cancer Society as a Hero of Hope, by NJ Biz as a 2018 Vanguard Series Leader in Healthcare, by ROI-NJ as a top 50 Power Influencer in 2020, by Seton Hall University, and by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce as a “Woman Who Shines.” O’Keefe received the UMDNJ Dean’s Award for Advancing the Profession of Nursing. She has also been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, and was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award from DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ.

With a long-standing commitment to serving the community, O’Keefe currently serves as Chair of Morris County Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Seton Hall University President’s Advisory Board and has served on the Board of Directors for the NJ Sharing Network, the Organization of Nurse Executives, and on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army of Morris County, and Board Member for the College of Elizabeth in Madison, New Jersey.

O’Keefe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a Master of Science degree in Nursing Administration and PhD from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

The TCSF 39th Annual Awards Celebration will feature honoree awards, inspiring student speeches, and some surprise guests. Those wishing to view the one-hour 39th Annual Awards event, and pay tribute to the honorees from the comfort of their own homes, can tune in for free on Monday October 26 at 6:45 – 8 PM by going to and clicking on JOIN THE FUN.

For further information, contact Tri-County Scholarship Fund at 973-984-9600.


Combining their talents, the late Bishop Frank Joseph Rodimer of Paterson and New Jersey businessman Ed Hennessy, retied CEO of Allied Signal, created Tri-County Scholarship Fund (TCSF) in 1981. Since then, TCSF has provided over $28 million in partial scholarships to financially disadvantaged children in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties, enabling them to attend accredited K-12 private and parochial schools. TCSF provides scholarship assistance to students based on financial need, with students reflecting the diversity of their communities. For the current school year TCSF has awarded scholarships to over 700 students, many of their families hard hit by the economic and health impact of the COVID crisis. To date, TCSF has awarded more than 32,000 scholarships to many of New Jersey’s inner-city children, providing them access to the superior and safer option of values-based private schools.

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