Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation said Thursday that Helena Theurer, longtime benefactor and friend, generously donated $25 million to advance cancer research and transform clinical care at the hospital’s cancer center.
Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation honored Theurer in a celebration on Thursday at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center for her lifetime giving of $35 million.
Her 2010 leadership gift of $10 million established the John Theurer Cancer Center, named in tribute of her late husband. In honor of her generous philanthropy, the medical center has dedicated and named its newest building, the Helena Theurer Pavilion.
“I am truly amazed at how far John Theurer Cancer Center has come,” said Theurer. “As a young woman, a cancer diagnosis was considered a death sentence. Today, many cancers are not only treatable, but curable. My gift reflects my commitment to the cancer program at Hackensack Meridian Health. I am so proud to have John’s name, and now mine, forever associated with excellence, innovation, and this visionary mission.”
The addition of the Helena Theurer Pavilion – one of the largest and most comprehensive health care construction projects in the country – is the centerpiece in the transformation of the Hackensack UMC campus.
Hackensack University Medical Center broke ground on the project in September 2019, and it is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022.
“Helena Theurer’s incredible generosity to Hackensack Meridian Health will forever benefit our patients and the communities we proudly serve,” said Hackensack Meridian Health Chief Executive Officer Robert Garrett. “Her meaningful giving has empowered us to deliver the most innovative and compassionate care at John Theurer Cancer Center over the years. Her inspiring contribution helps us fulfill our mission, which is to transform health care and be a leader of positive change.”
The nine-story state-of-the-art facility under construction on Second Street is the largest hospital expansion ever undertaken in New Jersey.
It features 24 new operating rooms with advanced diagnostics including MRIs and CT scans, 150 medical/surgical private patient rooms and a 50-bed Orthopedic Institute.
The project, also one of the largest in the nation, will span a public roadway, providing connections to an existing parking garage, the Heart and Vascular Institute and the existing main hospital.
As part of the new design, a lobby and valet drop-off will create a dedicated entrance for the critical care and surgical pavilion.
Theurer, a successful businesswoman of distinguished achievement, has enriched the lives of many through her commitment to service and philanthropy. She, along with her late husband John, were industry leaders in the truck trailer business. Their business entrepreneurship also included an extensive real estate portfolio and the construction of floating hotel suites in the Florida Keys.
Following John Theurer’s passing in 1994, Helena continued to build a booming enterprise using the skills learned through her years of experience in various industries.
A former member of the Hackensack University Medical Center board of trustees and board of governors, she provided valuable guidance and shared her knowledge by serving in key leadership positions on various committees including Human Resources, Strategic Events, and the Cancer Advisory Board.
Helena’s generosity has made an extraordinary impact on cancer research, treatment, and care in New Jersey and around the world.
John Theurer Cancer Center has been approved by the National Cancer Institute as 1 of 16 research consortium members of the NCI-approved Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Consortium. John Theurer Cancer Center has also been internationally recognized as one of the leading cancer centers in the country. Today, more than 1,200 team members, including physicians, clinical support and researchers, collaborate under one roof to deliver the best possible cancer care for patients in the Theurer name.