Mission Moments

The Somerset Health Care Foundation exists to support the vital services and programs at RWJUH Somerset. We are fortunate to have the support of literally thousands of donors and friends who make philanthropic contributions and selflessly give their time to keep our community healthy.

Support Somerset Health Care Foundation

Below are some Mission Moments made possible through the tremendous support of our very generous community. We could not do it without you.

Click below to read our latest updates.

Celebrating You: A note of gratitude from the Vice President, Foundation and Development

Donna Castronovo reflects on 2023 and shares gratitude for our donors and volunteers. Thanks to your generosity, the Foundation was able to distribute nearly $1 million to help the hospital provide comprehensive health care. Watch her message.

A Gift of Hope: Patients can keep much of their hair during cancer treatment, thanks to a physician's generosity.


Patients who receive the treatment wear a special cap during chemotherapy sessions to help prevent damage to hair follicles. Cooling the scalp causes blood vessels to constrict, helping to prevent chemotherapy drugs from reaching hair follicles and destroying them. The treatment costs $2,200 per course and is often not covered by insurance, so it’s not affordable for many patients. The gift from Dr. Kathleen Toomey, MD, Medical Director of the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset benefits the Patient Assistance Fund, which is used to provide transportation for medical appointments as well as financial support for wigs, prostheses, groceries, medication, home cleaning services and other living expenses. Read more on page 17 of our Healthy Together magazine.

When A Surgeon Needs Surgery: How one physician's tennis game—and quality of life—improved after his shoulder was repaired.

Thomas Nordstrom, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, learned of his rotator cuff tear while he was playing in a tennis tournament in Florida. A rotator cuff tear can be treated conservatively—with cortisone injections, rest and PT for about three months—or repaired through surgery. Dr. Nordstrom decided to go with surgery. Read more on page 18 of our Healthy Together magazine.

Reception Desk Dedicated in Memory of Karen Siplak Hubert

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset dedicated the Karen Siplak Hubert Reception Desk in the hospital’s main lobby during a special ceremony. Hubert began volunteering at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset on May 28, 2008, first as a greeter in the lobby and then helping behind the reception desk every Tuesday afternoon. Over the course of her 11 years as a volunteer, she donated 1,636 hours of service. Read more here.

Suzanne and Steve Kalafer, Flemington Car & Truck Country and Somerset Patriots Donate $1 Million to Support Geriatric Unit

Thank you to our loyal supporters Steve and Suzanne Kalafer, Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands and the Somerset Patriots. Their most recent gift of $1 million to Somerset Health Care Foundation supports the renovation of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s 1-East Geriatric Unit. The unit opened to patients January 27.

Ribbon cutting

Renovations included installing new floors and bathroom fixtures, and updating the nurses’ station to create a more modern, comfortable environment for patients and their families. Nurses on the unit are specially trained in the care of older adults, earning national recognition as a NICHE Facility (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders).

“The Kalafer family’s dedication to improving health care in New Jersey has been simply extraordinary and we are extremely grateful for their long-standing support of our hospital,” said Tony Cava, president and chief executive officer, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.

Steve Kalafer is former chairman of the Somerset Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees. He has also served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees.

He has led fundraising campaigns in support of the building of the hospital’s emergency department, the Paul R. Nardoni Oncology Pavilion, the Mary and John Obzansky Pavilion for orthopedic patients, the Frimmer Healing Gardens and the Edward and Anita Hogan Neuroscience Pavilion. Since 2009, the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands have sponsored free parking in the hospital’s parking garage for patients and their families.

Patient Stories

  • A planned gift highlights one couple's longtime commitment to RWJUH Somerset.

    Betty & Art
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  • “I wasn’t expecting to be able to serve for a year after my surgery, but I beat that schedule by at least four months”

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  • "I can honestly say I haven’t felt this good physically in over 15 years."

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Patient Stories

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