to Establish the Williams Family Heart Research Fund
February 9, 2018 ― Hackensack, NJ ― The Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Williams Family Heart Research Fund. The fund was established by a donation from Robert “Bobby” J. Williams and his wife, Mrs. Carol A. Williams in the amount of $550,000 to support research projects at the Heart & Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.
“I am grateful for the world-class health care I received from Dr. William Salerno and the entire team at the Heart & Vascular Hospital,” said Robert Williams. “My wife and I want to make a difference and this was the area in which we have a strong connection. The fund we have established will help doctors learn which cardiovascular procedures are more effective in certain patients, in order to establish better outcomes overall.”
The first project to be supported will be the development of the Hackensack University Medical Center Heart Rhythm Database led by Grant R. Simons, M.D., chief of Heart Rhythm Services and overseen by Joseph E. Parrillo, M.D., chair, Heart & Vascular Hospital.
“A sophisticated heart rhythm database will provide multiple benefits and opportunities to the medical center and its patients,” said Dr. Joseph Parrillo. “Hackensack University Medical Center will benefit greatly from the ability to examine its real-world experience and determine which techniques are associated with the best outcomes, and with the most efficient use of money and personnel. Such information will be transformative to our physicians and team members to guide a constant process of quality improvement.”
“The Heart Rhythm database is the first-of-its-kind study and will provide many research opportunities,” said Dr. Simons. “The Heart Rhythm Database will be an important source for prospective registry trials, as well as meaningful retrospective studies, which will form the basis for future prospective clinical trials.”
“The fund we’ve established to benefit the Heart & Vascular Hospital really goes toward the greater good,” said Mrs. Williams. “You hear about so many people who have arrhythmias and similar conditions and who have to live with them. With this research, outcomes will be tracked on a long-term basis showing the effectiveness of certain treatments and providing doctors with the most up-to-date information for the best options for their patients.”
A second component to be supported by the fund is the AVID Study led by Dr. Salerno, which will research the cardiovascular impact of amphetamines, mixed salt amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs after the long-term administration typically prescribed in young adult patients treated for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“The dispensing of prescriptions drugs to treat ADHD has increased dramatically in the United States, especially in young women,” said Dr. Salerno. “The study will determine if these drugs are causing subtle, yet unknown changes in the size and shape of the top portion of the heart, which is not studied traditionally as intently as the lower portion of the heart. The atrial area of the heart can be the source of heart rhythm abnormalities.”
In 2013, Mr. and Mrs. Williams donated $50,000 towards the creation of the Wilcha Family Conference Room in the Heart & Vascular Hospital, which has proved to be of enormous benefit for physicians and team members. The Williams Family Heart Research Fund continues the support they have pledged to provide.
“We’ve been very blessed in our lives,” said Robert Williams. “True happiness and contentment comes from doing for others. Carol and I feel very hopeful the information that will be developed from this research initiative with not only save lives, but also improve the quality of life for many people.”
PHOTO: The Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation recently received a generous donation from Robert “Bobby” J. Williams and his wife, Carol A. Williams, to establish the Williams Family Heart Research Fund to support research projects at the Heart & Vascular Hospital.
From left to right: Robert B. Budelman III, executive director, Individual Giving, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation; Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president, Hackensack University Medical Center; William Salerno, M.D., director, Cardiac Care Unit and director, Advanced Cardiovascular Assessment Program/ACAP, Heart & Vascular Hospital; Carol A. Williams; Robert “Bobby” J. Williams; Grant R. Simons, M.D., chief, Heart Rhythm Services, Heart & Vascular Hospital; and Joseph E. Parrillo, chair, Heart & Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 33,000 team members and more than 6,500 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 23 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.