Gift from grateful patient supports respite room for RWJUH nursing team

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital recently dedicated a special respite and rejuvenation room to support its nursing team members. The room was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Kaplan family, as a tribute to the care they received in 2020 during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dedicated space is much more than a break room for nurses. It features soothing colors, custom furniture designed specifically for relaxation and a quiet environment that allows nursing staff to step away from the hospital and take a much-needed moment for themselves. Plans for the respite room resulted from the work of RWJUH’s Resilient Together multidisciplinary committee, which was charged with the task of assessing and addressing staff fatigue following the first wave of the pandemic.

“Our nursing team has shown remarkable perseverance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Courtney Vose, senior vice president and chief nursing officer for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, said. “We are grateful to offer our nursing staff this dedicated space that allows them to decompress when they need to in order to continue providing exceptional care to our patients.”

The Kaplan family’s business, Kaplan Cos., including family members Michael and Helen Kaplan, Jason Kaplan, Amy Kaplan-Schafer and Lisa Kaplan, is one of the largest regional builders in New Jersey. The Kaplans became committed to supporting RWJUH’s nursing team after family patriarch and company owner Michael Kaplan became ill in 2020. Michael Kaplan and his family were impressed with the outstanding nursing care he received at RWJUH. Not only did RWJUH nurses play a central role in his recovery, but they also offered comfort and support to his wife during a difficult time.

“We’re thrilled that Kaplan Cos. can do our part to help these wonderful nurses who heal and care for others every day,” Jason Kaplan, president of Kaplan Cos., said. “Our recognition of nurses shouldn’t end after the COVID-19 pandemic. We should support our nurses and doctors every day.”