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Hackensack University Medical Center Receives $25M Gift

Longtime supporter donates lifetime gift of $35 million to advance cancer research and transform patient care at John Theurer Cancer Center

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation announced that Helena Theurer, longtime benefactor and friend, has given $25 million to advance cancer research and transform clinical care at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center.

Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation honored Mrs. Theurer in a celebration last night at John Theurer Cancer Center for her lifetime giving of $35 million. Her 2010 leadership gift of $10 million established John Theurer Cancer Center, named in tribute of her late husband.  In honor of her generous philanthropy, the medical center has dedicated and named its newest building, the Helena Theurer Pavilion.

“I am truly amazed at how far John Theurer Cancer Center has come,” said Helena Theurer. “As a young woman, a cancer diagnosis was considered a death sentence. Today, many cancers are not only treatable, but curable. My gift reflects my commitment to the cancer program at Hackensack Meridian Health.  I am so proud to have John’s name, and now mine, forever associated with excellence, innovation, and this visionary mission.”

The addition of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, one of the largest and most comprehensive health care construction projects in the country, is the centerpiece in the transformation of the Hackensack University Medical Center campus. Hackensack University Medical Center broke ground on the Helena Theurer Pavilion in September 2019. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.

“Helena Theurer’s incredible generosity to Hackensack Meridian Health will forever benefit our patients and the communities we proudly serve,’’ said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Her meaningful giving has empowered us to deliver the most innovative and compassionate care at John Theurer Cancer Center over the years. Her inspiring contribution helps us fulfill our mission, which is to transform health care and be a leader of positive change.”

The 9-story state-of-the-art facility under construction on Second Street is the largest hospital expansion ever undertaken in New Jersey. It includes 24 new operating rooms with advanced diagnostics including MRIs and CT scans; 150 medical/surgical private patient rooms and a 50-bed Orthopedic Institute.

The project, one of the largest in the nation, will span over a public roadway, providing connections to an existing parking garage, the Heart and Vascular Institute and the existing main hospital. As part of the new design, new lobby and valet drop-off will create a dedicated entrance for the critical care and surgical pavilion.

“I am honored to celebrate Helena Theurer, an extraordinary woman and friend, whose generosity and commitment to the transformation of the cancer center and patient care at Hackensack University Medical Center has been remarkable,” said Helen A. Cunning, north regional president and chief development officer, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “The Theurer legacy lives on in Helena’s name and John’s, and I am so very grateful for her friendship and confidence in all that we can achieve together.”

“Through Helena Theurer’s continued generosity, we have been able to provide the highest quality of care to one of our most vulnerable patient populations, their families, and the community at John Theurer Cancer Center, which serves as a beacon of hope for so many in their fight against cancer,” said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center, executive vice president, Population Health, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Helena has helped to transform the Hackensack University Medical Center campus and the way in which we deliver care for our patients in the future. We have saved countless lives and continue to touch so many others because of her dedication and partnership.”

Mrs. Theurer, a successful businesswoman of distinguished achievement, has enriched the lives of many through her commitment to service and philanthropy. Helena, with her late husband John, were industry leaders in the truck trailer business. Their business entrepreneurship also included an extensive real estate portfolio and the construction of floating hotel suites in the Florida Keys.

Following Mr. Theurer’s passing in 1994, Mrs. Theurer continued to build a booming enterprise using the skills learned through her years of experience in various industries. A former member of the Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, she provided valuable guidance and shared her knowledge by serving in key leadership positions on various committees including Human Resources, Strategic Events, and the Cancer Advisory Board.

Mrs. Theurer’s generosity has made an extraordinary impact on cancer research, treatment, and care in New Jersey and around the world. John Theurer Cancer Center has been approved by the National Cancer Institute as 1 of 16 research consortium members of the NCI-approved Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium.  John Theurer Cancer Center has also been internationally recognized as one of the leading cancer centers in the country. Today, more than 1,200 team members, including physicians, clinical support and researchers, collaborate under one roof to deliver the best possible cancer care for patients in the Theurer name.

“John Theurer Cancer Center is a place of hope and scientific promise for those in need, and it was made possible because of Helena Theurer’s compassion and generosity,” said Andre Goy, M.D., physician in chief, Hackensack Meridian Health Oncology Care Transformation Service, chairman and chief physician officer, John Theurer Cancer Center. “It is truly a privilege to be the recipient of this generosity, and be able to treat our patients in our magnificent center, and advance cancer research with determination under the Theurer name. I consider it an honor to know Helena, and on behalf of the doctors, nurses, and support staff, as well as our patients who look to us every day for lifesaving therapies, I am and will always remain most appreciative of her confidence and unwavering support.”

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