A Spirit of Support and Giving

Giving to Jersey City Medical Center helps a major donor achieve his life's purpose. 

Just off the main lobby at Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) sits a high-ceilinged, sunlit space for reflection or prayer known as the Harwood Spiritual Center.

“It has a sense of serenity, warmth, and welcome,” says Brett Harwood, whose generous gift funded the renovation of what had been a chapel. “When planning the design, we met with religious leaders and others to be sure we were incorporating the needs of the people of our diverse Jersey City community.”

Harwood, the founder, and principal of Park Equity, LLC, has made a lifelong practice of helping people meet their spiritual and other needs. He donated JCMC’s original family chapel as part of the medical center’s major reopening in 2004. He has also endowed a synagogue at his alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

“I’m a big believer in spiritual help, in therapy, and also in medical help,” Harwood says. “That’s why I support Jersey City Medical Center, a great healthcare institution with great doctors.”

Giving provides its own reward.

“Nothing pleases me more than to give something that is meaningful to somebody else,” he says. “I always want to leave things better than I found them.”

Past and Present

Harwood has a long family and professional history in Jersey City. “My grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins lived there, and my grandparents’ home was often the site of family celebrations,” he says. Among other business ventures, he is the longtime Chairman of Welcome Parking, LLC, based in Jersey City since 1935, and is the third generation of his family to work in the business.

“Jersey City is a remarkable community. I’ve watched it rise over the decades and become a model for the great American small city,” he says. “There’s a certain grit and persistence in Jersey City people. They don’t give up easily, and you see that in the medical center.”

In the early 1990s, Harwood was invited to join the JCMC Board of Trustees. He eventually became Chairman for the Campaign for the New Jersey City Medical Center, which resulted in a brand-new seven-story facility that opened in 2004.

“Jersey City Medical Center is an anchor institution, not just for the city but for all of Hudson County, and continues to build on its long history of providing excellent healthcare,” he says. “They have a world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, they have one of the most successful Emergency Medical Services in the country and so much more.”

Harwood continues to be a vigorous supporter of JCMC as it engages in its ambitious expansion, which includes the recently opened Lord Abbett Maternity Wing, ongoing construction of an expanded Emergency Department, new cancer treatment facilities, and more.

“The growth of Jersey City Medical Center is an amazing story of service to the community,” he says. “However, institutions, even successful ones, need the support of the philanthropic community in order to grow and prosper. I would encourage people who’ve had success in their lives to consider giving back, in the form of a donation to Jersey City Medical Center. We all benefit from a healthier community.”

To learn about giving opportunities at Jersey City Medical Center, visit our Giving page or call (201) 377-6057.