Remembering Steve Kalafer

steve kalafer

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset has lost a great friend and champion for the advancement of health care in our region. Steve Kalafer, chairman emeritus of Somerset Health Care Foundation’s Board of Trustees and member of RWJBarnabas Health’s Board of Trustees, passed away on April 21 at the age of 71.

Steve, who was chairman emeritus of the Somerset Patriots and chairman of the Flemington Car & Truck Country Family of Brands, joined the Board of Trustees of the Somerset Medical Center Foundation in 2004 and became its chairman in 2010. Looking around the hospital campus, we see signs everywhere of his legacy. He 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.

Steve, his wife, Suzanne, Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands and the Somerset Patriots recently donated $1 million to support the renovation of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s 1-East Geriatric Unit.

Steve was also a former member of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital parent board. As a member of the board’s Finance Committee and Strategic Planning Committee, he played a key role in guiding the merger between Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Barnabas Health in 2016. Since that time, he has served on the RWJBarnabas Health Board of Trustees, continuing to guide our system’s growth to ensure that we are meeting the health care needs of our diverse community.

RWJBarnabas Health has also enjoyed a long partnership with Steve and the Somerset Patriots with RWJBarnabas Health as the team’s official health care provider.

We will always remember Steve for his generous heart, warm smile and unwavering commitment to our hospital. He will forever be part of our Somerset family.

In lieu of flowers, Steve’s family has requested that donations be made in his memory to the Somerset Health Care Foundation.

breaking new ground

1 east ribbon cutting

hogan center ribbon cutting

steve with joe torre