Nadine Leslie, the CEO of SUEZ, presented Robert C. Garrett, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian, with a $100,000 gift and PPE to enhance the research team at the system’s Center for Discovery and Innovation, and another $20,000 to support the Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
The gift was made in honor of Joseph Simunovich, the former co-chair of HMH’s board of trustees and founding chair of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. He was also a member of the board at SUEZ.
“We are delighted to make this substantial donation to Hackensack Meridian Health in honor of our former colleague and great friend, Joe Simunovich,” Leslie said. “We are excited to apply much of our donation today to the Center for Discovery and Innovation, which is so important in the fight against COVID-19 and in keeping our employees, customers and community healthy and safe.”
The CDI, which launched last year, developed the first rapid response COVID-19 test in New Jersey and is expected to conduct a clinical trial for convalescent plasma therapy, which identifies coronavirus antibodies.
“We are grateful to our partners at SUEZ North America for their generosity, which helps us continue to serve our communities in the most challenging health crisis our nation has faced in a century,’’ Garrett said. “The fact that this generous donation was made in memory of Joe Simunovich, my dear friend and mentor, makes this even more meaningful. Joe’s wisdom and vision helped shape our entire network and he is deeply missed.’’