Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jan 13, 2015
Contact : Maureen Gillespie, Public Relations Manager  
(732) 751-4166

Meridian Health Foundation’s 18th Annual Sweetheart Ball to be held on February 21, 2015

Event will benefit Meridian Cancer Care’s commitment to clinical research  

Neptune, NJ - Meridian Health Foundation’s 18th Annual Sweetheart Ball will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ. Proceeds from the event will support cancer research at Meridian Cancer Care, and provide residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties with access to the most advanced cancer treatment options.

Meridian Health is the only system partner of the prestigious Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation is only awarded to 41 centers in the nation that investigate and share the newest treatments and most promising clinical trials. Working together, Meridian Cancer Care, Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the National Cancer Institute are conducting over 80 state-of-the-art clinical research trials dedicated to advancing tomorrow’s medical breakthroughs.

According to Mark Krasna, M.D., corporate medical director, Meridian Cancer Care, “Meridian Heath is preparing for an exciting, system-wide expansion of our Cancer Care program, including new facilities and services such as new radiation oncology linear accelerators. By supporting clinical research, this year’s Sweetheart Ball enables Meridian Cancer Care to continue to grow and provide the newest, most innovative cancer therapies for our community.”

Last year’s event generated over $250,000 with more than 440 guests in attendance. This year’s Ball is being chaired by Mary Ann Larkin, Ann Nahum and Ken Nahum, M.D., Marilyn and Phil Perricone, Dawn and John Reinhardt and Carol Stillwell. Additionally, Robert S. DiPaola, M.D., Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey will receive the William C. Black Award of Hope. The award, named after the late Mr. William Black, is presented annually to individuals or organizations that support Meridian commitment to providing the best health care experience. Mr. Black previously served on the Meridian Board of Trustees, as well as Jersey Shore’s Board of Governors.

Steven G. Littleson, FACHE, executive vice president, Meridian Health and president, Meridian Hospitals Corporation, adds, “Meridian Cancer Care is committed to providing the community with access to leading physicians, compassionate care, and the latest technology and therapies. This year’s Sweetheart Ball sets the stage for an exciting time, with plans to expand each hospital’s cancer center, and a renewed focus on cancer research trials leading to the next medical discoveries.”

Tickets for the Sweetheart Ball are $225 per person, with many sponsorship and journal advertising opportunities available. 50/50 raffle tickets are also on sale for $50 per chance or three tickets for $100. This exciting evening will feature a silent auction as well as musical entertainment by Kenny I Orchestra. .
Secure online registration is available at For more information or to make a reservation, please call Michelle Casserly at 732.751.5112 or e-mail

About Meridian Health

Meridian Health 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, fitness and wellness centers, and outpatient centers. In September 2014, Meridian Health and Raritan Bay Medical Center signed a Letter of Intent to merge.  In October 2014, Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding to merge.  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” for five consecutive years, and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium alongside six of the nation’s leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.  With more than 100 convenient locations, over 1,800 beds, nearly 13,000 team members, and affiliations with more than 2,000 of the area’s finest physicians, Meridian Health is a leading health care provider in New Jersey, providing quality health services, facilities, and programs. For more information, please visit