The tribute to frontline heroes benefited the new Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center and COVID-19 Relief

Holmdel, NJ – November 4, 2020 – The annual Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Oktoberfest Community Celebration, held virtually on Oct. 29, raised $100,000 for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and construction of the future Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center at Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel. In lieu of the in-person celebration due to COVID-19, the foundation live-streamed a program featuring updates from Hackensack Meridian Health leadership on the Emergency Care Center project and tributes to our health care heroes who continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines.

The event was recorded and therefore, community members who missed it can still view the program at There is no cost to view the program, however donations in support of the medical center and Oktoberfest Community Celebration can still be made

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“Thank you to everyone who tuned into our virtual event,” says Frank Citara, MBA, chief hospital executive at Bayshore Medical Center. “We hope it offered valuable information, a little levity from your daily stresses, a peak into the world of our health care heroes and most importantly, moved you to support the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center, or contribute to our COVID-19 Relief Fund. We are privileged to care for our community and honored to be the recipients of gifts that help us provide the best care possible.”

The event, chaired by Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin, also featured a culinary demonstration featuring Chef Richie Gomes from Bell Market in Holmdel, as well as a pumpkin decorating contest, the winners of which will be announced at on Nov. 13 in two categories: adults and children under 12.

“COVID-19 has forced us to isolate from friends and family, but events like the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration have the unique ability to bring us together in support of a common goal,” says Carol Stillwell, Bayshore Medical Center trustee and event co-chair. “It was an honor to again co-chair this special event with my sister and to rally behind our local medical center at a time when support has never been more crucial. Thank you for sharing this moment with us and for your contributions to this event and wonderful hospital.”

Among those who answered the call for support via event sponsorships were the medical staff at Bayshore Medical Center; Stillwell-Hansen, Inc.; Carol Stillwell and Mary Ann Larkin; Torcon, Inc.; the Bayshore Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees; and donations from community members.

“Bayshore Medical Center is my local hospital, and I was honored to be able to co-chair this fantastic event once again,” said Mary Ann Larkin. “It’s incumbent upon all of us who may need the medical center’s services at some point in time, to help it be the best it can be. For everyone who sponsored the event, made a gift, participated in the pumpkin decorating contest or just tuned in to learn about the medical center’s growth, thank you.”

Gifts to the Bayshore Oktoberfest Community Celebration will help to provide enhancements to the Dr. Robert H. Harris Emergency Care Center. This can include the purchase of the latest technology, the addition of negative pressure rooms, which haven proven vital to stop the spread of COVID-19 within the hospital; additional accommodations in family waiting rooms; or other elements that help to make a patient more comfortable during their stay. Additionally, funds raised from the event will contribute to COVID-19 relief, helping the medical center to financially recover from the significant and unanticipated expenses associated with fighting the virus.

“As a community leader and first responder, I saw firsthand just how severely COVID-19 impacted our community and Bayshore Medical Center,” says Serena DiMaso, Esq. chair, Bayshore Medical Center Board of Trustees. “This virus has shown us just how important it is to be prepared for anything and contributions to this event help make that possible. With the new Emergency Care Center slated to open in late 2021, and COVID-19 still impacting our friends and family, there has never been a more important time to support your community hospital. To everyone who has already made a gift, I want to thank you. To everyone considering one, but aren’t sure how or what to give, I implore you to reach out to the Bayshore Medical Center Foundation who will work with you to make a contribution that works best for your personal financial situation.”

“We understand that the pandemic has financially impacted many people within the community and our hearts are with all of those families,” says Joseph Stampe, president and chief development officer, Hackensack Meridian – Meridian Health Foundation, to which Bayshore Medical Center Foundation belongs. “But if you are one of the fortunate to not have been personally or financially affected, I ask you to please consider support of Bayshore Medical Center. You and your family may need the hospital someday.  If you are considering a gift and we can help to answer any questions, please reach out and start the conversation.”

For additional information about Bayshore Medical Center Foundation, or to discuss a potential donation, please contact Marisa Medina, director of development for Bayshore Medical Center Foundation, at 848-303-5803 or by email at


Bayshore Medical Center is a 211-bed not-for-profit community hospital located in Holmdel, New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including: emergency medicine, cardiac catheterization, surgical services, wound care, sleep services, diagnostic imaging, women's services with digital mammography, as well as a designated primary stroke center. Its Center for Bariatrics is one of the most comprehensive in the region offering free informational sessions, pre-surgical education and evaluation, personal guidance through the surgical process, nutritional support, exercise components and support groups. For more information,

About Hackensack Meridian Health

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 35,000 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 hospitals among the top in New Jersey by U.S. News and World 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 at Seton Hall University opened in 2018, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its second class of 96 students in 2019 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. 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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