Apr 2, 2021 Investing in the Community

Investing in the Community

How a generous gift will transform the quality of health care services.

The Grunin Foundation, which is based in Toms River and Red Bank, wants to improve the lives of residents of the Central Jersey Shore—and drive economic excellence in the community. To accomplish this, it has partnered with Community Medical Center (CMC) for many years. In 2013, the Foundation established the Jay and Linda Grunin Neuroscience Institute at CMC with a $3.5 million gift. The Institute was named for Jay Grunin, co-founder and chairman of the Foundation, and his wife, law partner and Foundation co-founder Linda, who passed away in 2018, eight years after experiencing a significant head injury due to a fall. The Institute provides high-quality care aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system. Physicians at the Institute, which is a Primary Stroke Center designated by The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health, treat conditions such as stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

In 2014, the Grunin Foundation provided the American Cancer Society with funding to establish a spa-like room called the Inspiration Boutique for breast cancer survivors. The room is located at the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at CMC. Patients can receive free wigs, hats and caps; an appearance consultation; cosmetic solutions for eyebrow and eyelash loss; post-breast reconstruction support; and more. The Foundation also funded a patient navigator, who helps patients access transportation and social services.

Now, CMC has begun its journey to become an academic medical center. This summer, the hospital will welcome its first residents—12 in Internal Medicine, 12 in Emergency Medicine and three in Podiatry. Next summer, CMC will introduce the Ob/Gyn and Surgery residency programs, bringing more trainees to the hospital. The goal is to provide medical education to 117 residents by 2026.

To accommodate the trainees, CMC is turning a patient care unit into resident accommodations. The space will include resident lounges, study rooms, conference and learning spaces and program director offices. Another project involves creating a medical clinic, which will play an important role in training residents in primary care. Under the supervision of a faculty member, residents will develop professional relationships with patients and learn how to improve the quality of care they provide.

To support the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program at CMC, the Grunin Foundation has committed $2 million over five years. “We want to help ensure that the residency program is successful,” says Jeremy Grunin, president of the Foundation and Jay and Linda’s son.


Studies have shown that patient outcomes are better in teaching hospitals than in non-teaching facilities. One study published in 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that patients have lower mortality rates in teaching hospitals. In addition, the quality of care is usually better in academic medical centers because when physicians teach, they are reviewed by peers, students and themselves.

“We feel a vibrant community is only as strong as its health care system,” says Jay, who started his law practice in Toms River in the 1970s. “CMC is a hub in the community, and we want to help ensure that residents have access to quality health care.”


Another reason the Foundation wants to support CMC’s residency program is that young doctors will be an economic driver for Toms River and the region. CMC is the largest private employer in Ocean County. “We want to bring residents to the area and retain them after their training is complete,” says Jeremy, who has also served on the Foundation board and hospital Board of Trustees at CMC. This is important because physicians are aging, and a shortage is anticipated in the coming years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. “The GME program will impact the hospital, area residents, patients and the local economy,” says Jay. The Grunin Foundation hopes its gift will inspire others to contribute to CMC’s efforts to train new physicians and improve health care in the community. “We’re happy to provide the lead gift, but our hope is that this gift is the tip of the iceberg,” says Jeremy. “We want to show that we believe in CMC.”

CMC’s residency program will likely have an impact on the community for many years to come. “Becoming a teaching hospital takes CMC to a new level,” says Jay. “It makes Ocean County a more desirable place to call home.”

To learn more about supporting the transformation of Community Medical Center, call 732.557.8131 or visit www.cmcgiving.org

To learn more about the Grunin Foundation, visit www.gruninfoundation.org