Danny DeVito is best known for being a famous actor and comedian from New Jersey — one who is known for his roles in “Taxi,” “Batman Returns,” “Twins,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or even the modern-day Jersey Mike’s ads.
On Monday, he earned a new distinction: philanthropist.
DeVito donated $500,000 to advance health care at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. The gift, which will support the hospital through the Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation, will provide a core source of funding for the medical center’s most urgent needs for patients today and in the future.
It also proves you can go home again: DeVito was born at the hospital (then called Raleigh Fitkin-Paul Morgan Memorial Hospital) 78 years ago.
Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Bob Garrett said the organization was thrilled to receive such a generous gift — one Garrett said will have huge impact.
“We are so grateful to Danny DeVito for his confidence and support in the high-quality innovative care we provide at Jersey Shore University Medical Center,” he said. “Danny truly understands the powerful impact that philanthropy has on health care, and for him to give back to the community where he grew up — and to the hospital he was born at — means so much. With his support, we can continue our mission to transform health care and be a leader of positive change in New Jersey.”
DeVito, who grew up in Asbury Park but went to high school in Summit, may be best known for his portrayal of the taxi dispatcher Louie De Palma in the 1980s television series “Taxi,” which won him a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center knows all about honors.
For the third consecutive year, it was named to Healthgrades’ America’s 250 Best Hospitals. This recognition places Jersey Shore in the Top 5% of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance across the most common conditions and procedures.
Vito Buccellato, president and chief hospital executive at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, said the gift will be as impactful as DeVito’s comedic roles.
“We take such pride in the care we provide to our patients and surrounding communities,” he said. “Gifts made to Jersey Shore University Medical Center are instrumental in allowing us to continue providing the high-quality care that our patients have come to expect. On behalf of our team members and patients at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, we thank Danny DeVito from the bottom of our hearts.”
Dr. Kenneth Sable, regional president of the southern market at Hackensack Meridian Health, agreed.
“What an honor it is to receive this gift from the one-and-only Danny DeVito to advance care for our patients in central New Jersey at Jersey Shore University Medical Center,” he said “We are committed to providing the most cutting-edge and quality care to our patients, and philanthropic support, like Danny’s, allows us to reach new heights. We are so appreciative of his support.”
To learn more about how you can support the Greatest Need Fund at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, click here.