Overlook Supporters Receive 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards
Saturday, July 7, 2012 • 6:00am
SUMMIT, NJ - In recognition of their noteworthy contributions to Overlook Medical Center in the areas of community,
medical, philanthropic and volunteer service, the Overlook Foundation presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dave and Kitty Hartman of New Providence; John Vigorita, MD, of Summit; J. Edwin Reeves Jr. of Summit; and Elsa Russell of Mountainside. The honorees were recognized at the Foundation’s Tenth Annual Chairman’s Dinner at Baltusrol Golf Club.
“The nationally respected healing culture that characterizes Overlook is the direct result of the collaboration of our many communities – civic, medical, philanthropic and volunteer,” observed Foundation Chair Steve Stone. “We are proud to honor outstanding representatives of each of these communities with Lifetime Achievement Awards.”
Dave and Kitty Hartman – the Community Service Award honorees – have been an integral part of the foundation family for nearly 20 years. Dave has served on the hospital’s board of trustees, its advisory board and several Atlantic Health System committees. Currently serving a fourth term on the foundation’s board, he has participated in numerous capital campaigns and chaired the Next Century of Healing Centennial Campaign for Overlook, which raised an unprecedented $110 million.
Like her husband of 42 years, Kitty has volunteered her time and talents at countless foundation fund-raising events. Every week, she delivers food to Meals on Wheels clients on behalf of SAGE Eldercare, for which she serves as board secretary and development chair. Kitty also takes to the road on behalf of the Colonial Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross, transporting clients to doctor appointments and physical therapy sessions. In addition, she offers fund-raising support to the New Providence Library, where she serves as secretary of the Friends board.
Dave, who retired in 2005 as managing director, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, remains involved in professional actuarial association activities and supports his alma maters, Ripon College (Wisconsin) and the University of Michigan. He and Kitty are active members of their church – Liberty Corner Presbyterian – where they have participated in capital campaigns, small discussion and fellowship groups, and mission programs.
Dr. Vigorita – the Medical Service Award honoree – founded Summit Pediatric Associates, PA in 1979, shortly after completing his residency at Overlook, where he later became president of the medical staff. He served on the Atlantic Health System (AHS) board of trustees, was medical director of mission development for AHS, and is currently chairman of bioethics oversight for AHS and a member of the Overlook Foundation’s board of trustees.
Dr. Vigorita also serves as executive chairman of Optimus Healthcare Partners, LLC, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in New Jersey with over 500 member physicians from both primary care and specialist practices, committed to improving healthcare quality, patient experiences and reducing healthcare costs. He is a member and trustee of the American College of Medical Quality from which he earned a certification in medical quality and by which he was recognized as a distinguished fellow.
As a member of Overlook’s pediatrics residency program faculty and two-time Outstanding Teacher Award recipient, Dr. Vigorita spearheaded an educational program for pediatric residents focused on ambulatory pediatrics. He was a catalyst in the development of Overlook’s wholly dedicated pediatric emergency department. He has also played a role in educating school nurses and the community at large about pediatric medical issues through a pediatric mini-med school, which he conceived nine years ago and continues today.
J. Edwin Reeves Jr. – the Philanthropic Service Award honoree – has spent years making a difference by helping institutions fulfill their missions, quietly supporting numerous major capital campaigns. Funding typically takes the form of a challenge grant, which provides an organization with a sum of money that is tied to the amount it is able to raise from donors by a specified date.
It’s a formula for philanthropy that has served Overlook and its foundation well for decades. When the Reeves family moved to Summit in 1947, Ed’s parents quickly became involved in supporting their local hospital. Jeneil B. Reeves was a dedicated volunteer and passionate friend of Overlook, while John E. Reeves served on Overlook’s board of trustees. Ed has served on the foundation’s board of trustees and is currently on the grants committee.
Over the years, Overlook has been the beneficiary of several challenge grants issued by Ed, beginning with one for the John E. Reeves Same Day Surgery Center, which opened in 1997 and remains a hub of activity where nearly 10,000 same day surgical procedures are performed annually. Other grant-funded facility enhancements include the Jeneil B. Reeves Neuro Critical Care Unit and the Michael Gordon Reeves Pediatric Emergency Unit, as well as the J. E. Reeves Chair of Medicine endowment.
Elsa Russell – the Volunteer Service Award honoree – has donated countless hours to a multitude of community organizations since childhood. When she and her husband moved to the area in 1967, she immediately put her volunteering skills to work with the Junior League of Summit. Her long association with the Overlook Auxiliary grew out of her involvement with the League, her admiration for those she knew at Overlook, and her desire to maintain first-rate medical care in her community.
Elsa chairs Short Hills Twig #27 and has been involved with numerous fund-raisers benefiting Overlook, including the Twin Maples Centennial Show House. For years, she volunteered with the Teddy Bear Clinic and edited the auxiliary’s Pulse newsletter. After serving on the auxiliary board as recording secretary, she has spent the past two years as co-president, recently helping to resurrect the organization’s Kitchen Tour which raised more than $32,000 for ovarian cancer research.
Other community groups that have benefited from Elsa’s volunteer spirit include the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, Mountainside’s PTA and Gifted Child Program, and her church’s Sunday School and Summer Camp. She has also dedicated long hours to voter registration and to raising funds for local families impacted by the events of 9/11.