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Hackensack Meridian Health/Southern Ocean Medical Center Received CIANJ’s 2017 Extraordinary Good Works Award

Manahawkin, NJ – The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine recently hosted their Fourth Annual Chairman’s Reception – paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of the business community.

Thirty-nine companies, including leading manufacturers, retailers, hospitals, banks and colleges and universities, were honored as “Champions of Good Works” at the gala reception, attended by more than 260 business executives.

This year’s champions were decided by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, which also named Hackensack Meridian Health and one of its network hospitals, Southern Ocean Medical Center, as the 2017 Extraordinary Good Works recipient.

“For most of the companies that we are honoring tonight, their generosity and kindness is part of their culture,” said Andrew Silverstein, a member of the accounting firm, Dorfman Abrams, Music, who welcomed all the guests as chairman of the CIANJ board of directors. “The public is often unaware of the magnitude and scope of these good works. This reception is our way of shining a spotlight on ‘Companies that Care,'” Silverstein added.

The health care team at Hackensack Meridian Health’s Southern Ocean Medical Center was honored for the extraordinary steps they took for Joseph Aulert, a hospice patient, who had just a few weeks to live when he mentioned to caregivers that his dream was to share his photography with the public. Within a matter of days, Hackensack Meridian Health team members, mobilized quickly to make Joseph’s dream come true.

The exhibit opened at Southern Ocean Medical Center on Nov. 11 – a very fitting day since it was Veteran’s Day and Joseph was a U.S. Army veteran — and it was his birthday. Joseph was too sick to attend even though his room was just a few floors above the exhibit. Team members brought the show to him by taking a video. It enabled Joseph to see people admiring his work and even buying some of it, benefiting cancer research as requested by Joseph. A few hours later he passed away, knowing his wish was realized.

Karen Stanton, senior director of Hackensack Meridian Health Hospice, accepted the top honor on behalf of the Hackensack Meridian Health team who worked to make Joseph’s dream a reality.

“Hackensack Meridian Health Hospice was privileged to take care of Joseph Aulert. In his last few weeks, he shared his life’s dream of having the public see his photography. Upon being diagnosed with cancer, Mr. Aulert set out to review his life, its meaning and significance through his photos,” said Stanton. November 11th is a day that will remain in the hearts of the entire team who did whatever they could to make Joseph’s wish come true.