AtlantiCare raised over $640,000 in support of its clinical and community initiatives at the AtlantiCare Foundation’s 62nd annual Century Club Gala last Saturday at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. More than 700 people attended the event, during which Jill Ojserkis of law firm Cooper Levenson and Dr. Alexander Onopchenko were presented with the Edward R. Knight Award.
“The AtlantiCare Foundation is dedicated to ensuring AtlantiCare has the support needed to achieve our vision of building healthy communities together,” Michael Charlton, CEO and president, AtlantiCare, said. “Their work enables us to continue to provide the exceptional, award-winning care we are known for, and we are grateful to those who attended and sponsored this important event.”
“Both Jill Ojserkis and Dr. Onopchenko have made innumerable contributions to the health and well-being of our community,” David Goddard, chair, AtlantiCare board, said. “We celebrate and acknowledge the significant, meaningful differences they have both made over the last 30 years that exemplify the essence of Dr. Knight’s commitment to community service.”
AtlantiCare established the Edward R. Knight Award in 1998 to honor those who contribute to building a healthier community. The award is named for the late Edward R. Knight, who was chair emeritus of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s board of trustees and who devoted more than 50 years of service to improving health care for those who live and work in southeastern New Jersey.
Ojserkis said the honor was particularly meaningful to her because Knight recruited her to Atlantic City and introduced her to the work AtlantiCare — then Atlantic City Hospital — was doing in the community.
“I have done what I can to support those doing good works in Atlantic County, and I look forward to continuing to do so,” she said. “AtlantiCare has been the cornerstone of health care in our region for generations, providing essential care, support and hope for countless individuals and families. Your tireless commitment to our community’s well-being is inspiring and transformative. Your leadership and vision have shaped our health care landscape and molded our community in profound ways. Your willingness to adapt, innovate and prioritize the health and happiness of our community is a testament to your unwavering dedication. I am honored to have had the privilege of working alongside such a dedicated team.”
“I am happy, humbled and honored to receive Edward R. Knight Award,” Onopchenko said. “I realized from a young age that being a surgeon, having an immediate impact on the lives of my future patients, was going to be my lifetime goal. The main goal of our lives should be to make the world just a little bit better than what we found when we started, and to be sure that the changes we make survive beyond our own time. I am blessed and eternally grateful that I found the opportunity to do just that at AtlantiCare.”
Onopchenko said he was fortunate to have leaders and mentors who taught him the art of surgery and the importance of teaching the next generation of physicians. He also acknowledged the physicians and other team members who have helped him care for patients.