May 3, 2022 RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams Officially Opens in Toms River NJ

Joined by Nearly 500 Invited Guests, Christian & Mary Kane, along with Community Partners, Officially Open a one-of-a-kind Inclusive Recreational Complex for their 11-year-Old Son Gavin and Individuals with Special Needs

Toms River, NJ – May 3, 2022… The RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams,a recreational complex that intentionally addresses physical and social inclusion for people of all ages and abilities and recognizes everyone's right to participate fully in equitable play, officially opened on Saturday, April 30th in Toms River, NJ. Co-founders Christian and Mary Kane were joined by RWJBarnabas Health dignitaries, community partners and nearly 500 guests from the special needs community to cut the ribbon and open the gates to the one-of-a-kind inclusive complex.

The RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams, a first-of-its-kind inclusive complex created for 11-year-old Gavin Kane and individuals with special needs, opened with a celebration and official ribbon cutting on Saturday, April 30th in Toms River, NJ.

(L to R) Maurice B. Hill, Mayor, Toms River; Mitchell A. Little, Police Chief, Toms River; Barry H. Ostrowsky, CEO, RWJBarnabas Health; Christian Kane, Co-Founder; Gavin Kane; Mary Kane, Co-Founder; Michael Ritacco, Board President, Toms River Field of Dreams; Michelle Minnelli, Kane family friend and Todd Frazier, former MLB All-Star.

Former MLB All-Star and Toms River hero, Todd Frazier, who has been involved with the project since inception, participated in a ceremonial first pitch with Gavin and Christian Kane during the grand opening celebration.

RWJBarnabas Health Filed of Dreams

The RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams was inspired by the Kane’s 11-year-old son, Gavin, who suffered a traumatic brain injury on July 12, 2012 when the car Christian was driving was hit by a truck – Gavin was 19 months old. This was the moment that changed their lives forever, as Gavin suffered a right front temporal stroke and complete skull fracture, becoming a patient at Children’s Specialized Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health Facility.

After living through the frustrations and struggles of finding inclusive facilities to accommodate Gavin and other kids with special needs, the Kane’s were inspired to build a recreational complex where Gavin and other children (and adults) with special needs can feel typical while enjoying recreational activities alongside friends and family in a safe and welcoming environment.

“This is about the power of inclusion, as Mary and I built this complex for our son Gavin and other families that must endure the same challenges that we deal with every day,” said Christian Kane, Co-Founder, RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams. “RWJBarnabas Health immediately recognized our vision and the organization has been fully vested in this project since inception. Mary and I can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”

“The Kane’s passion project aligned perfectly with RWJBarnabas Health’s commitment to health equity and supporting community-based initiatives where individuals from all backgrounds have an opportunity to recreate in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “It’s truly a privilege to collaborate with the Kane’s and like-minded partners, and we envision this complex serving as the premier recreation facility in the country for inclusiveness and the special needs community.”

The RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams is equipped with a baseball field, basketball court, 9-hole miniature golf course, bocce and a spectacular playground area specially designed to be more accessible for wheelchairs and adaptive equipment. Other features include a walking path with rehabilitative stations, a “quiet corner,” located in a three-sided enclosed pavilion for those with autism, bathrooms with multiple electric changing stations to fully accommodate the special needs community, a temperature-controlled pavilion, strategically placed outlets that serve as wheel-chair recharging stations, and much more.

RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams

Led by anchor institutions in the local area, RWJBarnabas Health’s Children's Specialized Hospital and Community Medical Center, are committed to providing resources, expertise and staffing to support annual programming at the complex.

“Therapy programs for the special needs community must continue beyond the walls of our hospitals, and the RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams will support the physical, mental and social well-being of children and caretakers alike,” said Matt McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Specialized Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. “We are excited to help build and support much needed programming for these underserved populations for years to come.”

Toms River donated the 3.5-acre parcel of land for the complex, and support from community partners including Ocean Orthopedic Associates, among many others, has been incredible. For more information on the RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams please visit

RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, three acute care children’s hospitals, Children’s Specialized Hospital with a network of outpatient pediatric rehabilitation centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 38,000 employees and 9,000 physicians– and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health launched an affiliation with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers' education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey - the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center - and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Carrie Cristello
RWJBarnabas Health
(973) 322-4642

Ari Edelman
Mastro Communications, Inc.
(908) 313-7861