The Honorable Thomas Ridge To Receive Hance Award At St. Barnabas

Award presented during St. Barnabas' annual Founder's Day May 2

GIBSONIA, Pa., April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hance Award, St. Barnabas Health System's highest honor, named after its selfless and visionary founder Gouverneur P. Hance, is presented to a person of national acclaim who exemplifies Hance's ideals of benevolence, patriotism and service to others. Recognized for these traits, the Honorable Thomas J. Ridge will be the Hance Award recipient and featured speaker during St. Barnabas Charities' 113th Founder's Day celebration on Thursday, May 2, 2013.  As the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, 43rd Pennsylvania Governor and a Vietnam veteran, Ridge will share his firsthand accounts of the heroism surrounding the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and his perspective of America's undeniable resilience.

Born in Pittsburgh's Steel Valley, Ridge was raised in a working-class family. He earned a scholarship to Harvard University and after his first year of law school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. Known for his commitment to high standards and results, he was two-time governor of Pennsylvania and became the first Assistant to the President for Homeland Security following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. He went on to become the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. President George W. Bush stated "he had the strength, experience, and personal commitment and authority to accomplish this critical mission." This engaging and dynamic leader with an extraordinary record of public service understands that teamwork is essential to overcoming obstacles and challenges. Ridge is also the founder and CEO of Ridge Global, a security consulting firm.

Festivities for St. Barnabas Charities' Founder's Day will begin Thursday, May 2 with a 10 a.m. Welcoming Ceremony at St. Barnabas Nursing Home, 5827 Meridian Road, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Ridge will be greeted by William V. Day, president of St. Barnabas Health System, who will present him with a key to the St. Barnabas campus followed by a tour. During the ceremony a local high school student chosen through the St. Barnabas Charities' Founder's Day Essay Contest will read his or her winning essay on the topic of Homeland Security and Veterans to Ridge and an audience of United States Veterans living at St. Barnabas' retirement communities, living assistance and nursing facilities.

That evening, Ridge will be the featured speaker at a fundraising dinner at the Marriott Pittsburgh North in Cranberry Twp., Pennsylvania. The evening begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 724-443-0700 ext. 5258 or by visiting www.StBarnabasHealthSystem.com.  Proceeds benefit the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund, which in 2012 alone provided more than $4.5 million in free care to poor and low-income patients at St. Barnabas Nursing Home, Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas and The Arbors at St. Barnabas. For media interviews please contact Megan Hoffman, Marketing Communications Coordinator, at 724-444-5530 or mhoffman@stbarnabashealthsystem.com.

Concluding the evening, Day will present Ridge with the Hance Award, named for St. Barnabas founder Gouverneur P. Hance (1871-1954), the lay Episcopalian brother who founded St. Barnabas in 1900 as a refuge for incurably ill men and boys who could not afford their care.  Among the past Hance Award recipients are entertainer Debbie Reynolds, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, first lady Barbara Bush, astronaut "Buzz" Aldrin and President Gerald Ford.

About St. Barnabas
St. Barnabas Health System is Pennsylvania's largest health care concern of its kind.  In its 113th year, St. Barnabas is like no other - diverse and expansive - meeting the needs of young retirees through those who require hospice. St. Barnabas' spectrum of care includes four retirement communities, three living assistance facilities, two skilled nursing homes, and a community outpatient medical center. Providing $4.5 million in free care annually, St. Barnabas engages in innovative methods to raise money for its Free Care Fund such as The Jackie Evancho award in its Kean Quest Talent Search, The Kean Theatre, The Crystal Conservatories, Rudolph Auto Repair and Beautiful Buys.  For more information on St. Barnabas visit www.stbarnabashealthsystem.com.

Contacts: Marybeth Jeffries, Marketing Director, 724-444-5570; mjeffries@stbarnabashealthsystem.com  

Megan Hoffman, Marketing Communications Coordinator, 724-444-5530; mhoffman@stbarnabashealthsystem.com

SOURCE St. Barnabas Health System



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