It was a few days after her husband had suffered a debilitating stroke that would eventually cost him his life.
Anne Evans Estabrook was sitting at his bedside at Monmouth Medical Center when a nurse — without being asked — brought her some toiletries.
Twenty years later, she still remembers the act of kindness.
“It was such a simple gesture, but I felt so seen and so cared for,” she said. “Moments like that inspired me to become more involved with the hospital and support its incredible work.
“I am so happy to be able to support them in such a meaningful endeavor.”
On Friday, Estabrook offered another show of support for the facility, donating $3 million to Monmouth Medical Center to help the hospital in its efforts to establish a new medical campus in nearby Tinton Falls.
The new, state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly Vogel Medical Campus in Tinton Falls will incorporate future-focused and innovative elements that will greatly enhance both the practitioner and patient experience. The campus is being designed alongside MMC’s expert clinicians and will leverage the very latest advances in medical space planning and technology.
Estabrook, the owner and chairman of Elberon Development Group — a third-generation family real estate company in northern New Jersey, which was founded by her father in 1920 — and a longtime leader in the New Jersey business community, said she strongly supports the hospital’s expansion.
“This new campus will be built to best serve patients and families throughout Monmouth County in a safe, convenient and efficient manner,” she said.
The donation is latest gift from Estabrook, a local philanthropist and longstanding supporter and trustee of the hospital, which is located in Long Branch.
Monmouth Medical Center is an RWJBarnabas Health facility.
Estabrook said she was happy to be able to give to a facility that has given so much to her family.
“I grew up in Elberon, and Monmouth Medical Center was always our family hospital,” she said. “No matter where we were, if we needed excellent care, we would travel back to Long Branch.”
That was especially true on two occasions.
Estabrook said her father spent a lot of time there starting in 1983, after suffering from a heart condition and then cancer.
“The warmth and compassionate care I felt and saw within the team at Monmouth was the same in 1983 as it was in 2003,” she said. “The staff not only treats their patients; they treat the whole family.”
For more than two decades, Estabrook has dedicated her time, talent and business expertise to MMC.
In recognition of the outstanding care provided to her husband in the ICU, she named the Kenneth L. Estabrook ICU Family Waiting Area in his memory and helped fund the purchase of new state-of-the-art equipment.
In 2004, Estabrook became a member of the MMC board of trustees and soon afterward joined the RWJBH corporate board of trustees. She played a key role in the successful merger of the Robert Wood Johnson and Barnabas Health systems and served as the inaugural chair of the Unterberg Children’s Hospital Committee, a role she held for 11 years.
RWJBH CEO Barry Ostrowsky said Estabrook’s continual contributions are deeply appreciated.
“As a member of RWJBarnabas Health’s board of trustees, Anne is a longtime supporter of our health system and has been a champion of Monmouth Medical Center,” he said. “With this gift, Anne is continuing her commitment to bettering the health and well-being of Monmouth County residents.”
MMC CEO Eric Carney said Estabrook’s gift is an investment in the community.
“Anne’s contributions are crucial to achieving our ultimate goal of delivering an unparalleled patient experience,” he said.
As for her own legacy, Estabrook said her philanthropy is rooted in her gratitude and her hopes for the future.
“I believe that, when we receive, we need to give back,” she said. “Education, health and family are the values most important to me. Being a part of the Vogel Medical Campus, where the next generation of health care providers and leaders will be educated and trained, is an investment in the health and well-being of my community, including my own family.”