WALL, N.J., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meridian Health and Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations today announced the combined commitment of $1.4 million dollars to those Meridian team members as well as members of the community who were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
"Meridian Health, with more than 12,000 team members, is the largest employer and health care provider in Monmouth and Ocean counties, and Meridian's team members represent the faces of those devastated by this storm," said John K. Lloyd, president, Meridian Health. "Our hearts go out to those who have lost so much and the families of this area who are courageously coping with the aftermath of this tremendous natural disaster."
The Board of Trustees of Meridian Health committed funding of $1.0 million for the Meridian Disaster Relief Fund which was established to provide financial assistance to those Meridian team members who were severely impacted. Initial distribution of funds began as early as November 3rd, less than a week after the super storm hit, and with today's announcement, continues in the form of tax-free financial assistance grants to eligible team members who have suffered catastrophic loss.
On Saturday, November 17th, Meridian Health transformed its annual gala — traditionally held to raise important funds for medical equipment and services throughout the health system — into a local hurricane relief fund raiser. With over 800 attendees, the fund raiser, chaired by Barbara and Kevin Buckelew of Brielle, paid tribute to those families at the Jersey Shore who suffered tremendous damage or unimaginable loss of their homes. The event also recognized Meridian's physicians, nurses and team members as well as local EMS personnel who worked tirelessly during the storm to serve the residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Lloyd announced today that, through the generosity of so many organizations and individuals, Saturday's event raised $400,000. Lloyd said $250,000 of those proceeds will be distributed to the community through the following organizations which will each receive $50,000: United Way of Monmouth County, United Way of Ocean County, American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter, The Salvation Army, and Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. These funds are earmarked for Monmouth and Ocean counties to provide direct relief to community members who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The remaining $150,000 of the proceeds will be donated to the Meridian Disaster Relief Fund, which is currently providing relief and financial assistance for Meridian's affected team members.
"The Board of Meridian Health was driven by a spirit of humanity to quickly mobilize funds and resources to offer assistance and help the Shore area rebuild for the future," said Lloyd.
Lloyd committed that one hundred percent of all donations will be distributed quickly to help the community recover, rebuild, and heal. "This is about stepping up to take care of our own community, being an example for others, and hopefully inspiring more organizations and individuals to get involved."
Meridian initiated a number of critical relief efforts in the days immediately following the storm including: running a successful food and clothing drive; offering employee counseling and assistance services; establishing a housing assistance hotline; and distributing $350 gift cards to severely impacted team members to assist with the purchase of food, clothing, gas and other basic necessities. Several hundred team members were able to use these cards to help them through the initial aftermath of the storm. Meridian also made sure team members who were scheduled to work received a full pay check following the storm, even though they may have been unable to work due to wide-spread power outages that caused offices and services to be shut down.
Organizations and community members interested in making a charitable donation to the Meridian Disaster Relief Fund, can mail checks to:
Meridian Disaster Relief Fund
c/o Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations
1345 Campus Parkway, Suite A2
Neptune, NJ 07753
About Meridian Health
Meridian Health (www.meridianhealth.com) is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For", and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence, including the distinction of being the first health system in the country to receive Magnet designation for nursing.
CONTACT: Robert Cavanaugh of Meridian Health, +1-732-751-3451
SOURCE Meridian Health