Recognizing Top-Rated Maternity Services in New Jersey

A new award honored the Labor and Delivery team for achieving the highest standards in care.

For more than 20 years, Judi Dawkins of Rumson served as a trustee on the board of Monmouth Medical Center (MMC). As chair of the Foundation board from 2000 to 2003, Judi helped launch the Redefining Health Care Capital Campaign, which included oversight of $15 million in upgrades for the Leon Hess Cancer Center and the expansion of the Jacqueline W. Wilentz Comprehensive Breast Center.

“She dedicated herself to community service and building a premier hospital in New Jersey,” says Noel Mihalow, Judi’s daughter and a filmmaker in New York City.

“When she found Monmouth Medical Center, it called to her. She felt she could make a difference there.”

Judi and her family had a personal connection to RWJBarnabas Health. Both Noel and her father, Pete, a college football star and Heisman Trophy winner, had open-heart surgeries at one of MMC’s sister hospitals, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

“She felt the care we received was second to none, and she wanted others in the community to benefit,” says Noel.

Judi was involved in the Power of Pink luncheon, which raises funds for medical equipment and services at the Leon Hess Cancer Center. She was honored with several awards, including the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Hospital Trustee of the Year Award and the Community Leadership Award.

After Judi passed away in 2017, her family wanted to honor her commitment to women’s healthcare. They gave a $4 million gift to establish the Judith W. Dawkins Women’s Health Program, which will bring together highly specialized women’s health services under one roof.

“It will provide comprehensive care for women,” says Noel. An experienced team of physicians, surgeons, and healthcare professionals will offer primary care for women; obstetrical and breast health services; cancer prevention; radiology, including bone-density scanning; nutrition and sports medicine; and care for mental health disorders and cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.

Best-in-Class Maternity Care

The Judith W. Dawkins Seal of Excellence Award was also created to recognize an MMC department and clinical team that exemplifies Judi’s legacy as an ambassador, visionary leader, philanthropist, and trustee. The JWD Seal of Excellence, which will be given annually, will honor a clinical team that demonstrates innovative, evidence-based quality care backed by a culture of patient safety.

The first recipient is MMC’s Labor and Delivery Unit, which has surpassed the national benchmarks in all key quality maternity care indicators.

In July, MMC was designated as one of Newsweek’s Best Maternity Care Hospitals 2020. The maternity care program is ranked among the best in the country, as verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. MMC is one of fewer than 250 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor.

“We’ve built one of the safest obstetrical and gynecologic services in New Jersey,” says Robert A. Graebe, MD, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MMC.

Noel knows Judi would be proud of the Labor and Delivery team. “I was thrilled to hear about the Newsweek recognition,” she says. “It’s exciting to see all of the things my mom had worked toward for more than two decades coming to fruition.”

Learn more about maternity care at Monmouth Medical Center. To learn about giving opportunities, visit