Categories
Feature Stories News

Bob Platzer Honored as Trailblazer, Philanthropist by Virtua Foundation

Marlton, NJ—Virtua Foundation has announced that Bob Platzer, founder and executive chairman of PJW Restaurant Group, has been named as its 2019 Humanitarian Award recipient for his dedication and unwavering support of the South Jersey community.

Bob Platzer
Photo of Bob Platzer provided

Platzer will formally receive the award at the 2019 Virtua Gala on March 2, 2019, at the Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa in Atlantic City.

Virtua President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, will present the award along with John J. Parker, chairman of the Virtua Foundation Board of Trustees.

“Virtua Foundation is honored to recognize Bob Platzer, whose leadership and generosity speak to his remarkable character and commitment to the community,” Pullin said. “Bob knows what it means to make a difference in the lives of others and is deeply deserving of this award.” 

Since opening their first restaurant more than 35 years ago, Platzer and his wife, Donna, have supported a range of not-for-profit groups, including the Ronald McDonald House Charities, JDRF, Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, and the Catholic Partnership Schools. In addition to providing philanthropic support, Platzer also donates his time to service projects and working with area youth.

Recently, he helped to create a new playground for St. Cecilia’s School in Pennsauken — the same school he and his siblings attended. “Bob is one of the most sincere, stand-up people I’ve ever known,” said Christopher Webb, director of operations for PJW Restaurant Group. “Success could be defined as profit, but for Bob, being successful is more about achieving the ability to give back to the communities we serve.” 

As the lead supporter of the 2019 Virtua Gala, Platzer and the PJW Restaurant Group will help to provide critical funding for the ongoing transformation of Virtua’s Camden campus, creating greater access to health care and health education for families. 

The Virtua Gala has raised more than $10 million since 2009. All proceeds from the 2019 Gala will support Camden-based services and programs—including the recently opened Virtua Health & Wellness center—through Virtua Foundation’s Power to Heal campaign. 

For more information about the 2019 Virtua Gala, please call 856-355-0830 or visit foundation.virtua.org.

About the Virtua Foundation Humanitarian Award:

The Virtua Foundation Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to improve the health and well-being of families in the South Jersey region.

Honorees are trailblazers who transform health care or other community resources through extraordinary leadership, innovation, and philanthropic support. Their compassion and generosity inspire others to participate, establishing a legacy that impacts families today and far into the future. 

About the Virtua Foundation:

Virtua Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization committed to enhancing Virtua’s mission through philanthropy. As a not-for-profit health system, Virtua relies on the generosity of donors to support vital programs in patient care, health education, technology and innovation.

Virtua Foundation works closely with community partners and generous supporters to align their philanthropic interests with Virtua’s mission to continue to transform health care for everyone in South Jersey.

The Foundation works diligently to champion the importance of philanthropy and ensure that donors understand the impact of their gifts and the lives they’ve touched. For more information about the Foundation, visit foundation.virtua.org.

About the PJW Restaurant Group:

Headquartered in Westmont, New Jersey, the PJW Restaurant Group was founded in 1983 by Bob and Donna Platzer and includes their notable P.J. Whelihan’s pub and restaurant famous for wings,

The ChopHouse a modern and upscale steak and seafood restaurant, Treno Pizza Bar a casual Italian eatery serving delicious authentic fare in a relaxed atmosphere, The Pour House, a concept paying tribute to the popularity of the craft beer movement through innumerable draft offerings and equally interesting fare and Central Taco and Tequila, a modern Mexican restaurant with traditional flavors and more than 90 varieties of tequila.

For more information about the restaurant group or its dining concepts visit pjwrestaurantgroup.com. 

Categories
Feature Stories News Recent News

Joseph Lacroce Foundation Delivers 1,200 Holiday Gifts in 8th Annual Toy Run

Nearly 200 volunteers form a “bucket brigade” to pass gifts from the Joseph Lacroce Foundation delivery truck into Virtua Voorhees. (All photos provided)

Young patients at Virtua hospitals are enjoying some holiday magic thanks to volunteers who delivered about 1,200 presents to the South Jersey health system.

For its eighth consecutive year, the Cherry Hill-based Joseph Lacroce Foundation donated the gifts—from bicycles to games to car seats.

Nearly 200 volunteers helped deliver the items to Virtua Voorhees, led by a colorful caravan of classic and collector cars.

The health system then shared the bounty with children at its two other hospitals—Virtua Memorial in Mount Holly and Virtua Marlton—and other programs including Virtua CASTLE (pediatric behavioral health) in Camden and Berlin, the Virtua Center for Women in Voorhees, and the Virtua Pediatric Early Intervention Program based in Mount Laurel.

“Our supporters love the Toy Run because it recalls the true spirit of the season,” said Saverio “Sam” Lacroce, president of the Joseph Lacroce Foundation. “The toys and games do a lot to help make the hospital experience less stressful for the kids. We thank everyone for their generosity.”

In addition, Sam Lacroce presented a $143,000 check to Virtua Foundation as part of its $1 million commitment to fund Virtua’s Mobile Pediatric Unit.

The new program-on-wheels visits and treats children in under-served communities in South Jersey.


Joseph Lacroce Foundation President Sam Lacroce (right) stands before a truckload of donated toys as he displays his organization’s most recent gift to Virtua. At left is Ray Giannantonio, a Lacroce Foundation board member.

The Mobile Pediatric Unit launched six months ago, and the outcomes thus far are tremendous,” said Virtua President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE.

“The Mobile Unit has been to schools, churches, clinics, and community centers—bringing much-needed health services to over 300 children across three counties,” he added. “These services include dental exams, developmental screenings, flu shots, and more. Thanks to the Lacroce Foundation, all of this is completely free for families.”

The nonprofit Lacroce Foundation is dedicated to improving the hospital experience for children throughout South Jersey. The organization is named for Sam Lacroce’s son Saverio Joseph Lacroce, who died of leukemia in 1975 at age 12.

Photo Gallery:

Categories
Feature Stories News Recent News

Virtua & 76ers Get a “Jump” on Thanksgiving

On November 12, Virtua brought 22 students from the U.S. Wiggins Family School to the Philadelphia 76ers practice facility in Camden.

There, the students—boys and girls from the school basketball teams—toured the building, participated in a nutrition class, and each received a free turkey and fresh produce from the Virtua Mobile Farmers Market.

This event is part of the larger community health partnership between Virtua and the 76ers. The aim is to improve nutrition education and physical fitness among young people in Camden City.

Photo Gallery:

About Virtua:

As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with 500 physicians and other clinicians, and at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program.

A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,000 physicians and other clinicians.

Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics. It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley many times since 2007.

It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care. U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital.

Virtua is a Magnet-recognized organization and the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation.

For more information, visit www.virtua.org.

(Photos provided)

Categories
Feature Stories News Recent News

Virtua Named a ‘Most Wired’ Health System

For the fifth straight year, a national group has recognized Virtua for its leadership in the use of information technology (IT) to improve healthcare. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has named Marlton, N.J.-based Virtua a ‘Most Wired’ health system for 2018.

“Having the right information at the right time is increasingly essential in healthcare,” said Tom Gordon, Virtua’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “Virtua’s continuing designation as a Most Wired health organization shows another important way we’re committed to enhancing patient care, and to supporting our clinicians in the vital work they do each day.”

Tom Gordon
Tom Gordon, Virtua’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. (Image provided)

For instance, Virtua recently launched an enhanced electronic medical record (EMR) system — called ONEVirtua – that is furthering the organization’s goals for quality and patient satisfaction. And Virtua’s new Innovation Center is developing technology-based products and services to improve patients’ well-being.

The goal of the CHIME Most Wired program is to identify best practices and promote the strategic use of healthcare IT to elevate the health and care of communities worldwide, according to CHIME.

“Healthcare IT has the potential to revolutionize care around the world, but to meet that potential it must be used strategically,” said Russell Branzell, President and CEO of CHIME. “The technology is important, but leadership and a strategic vision are equally important.  “The diversity of the organizations that earned Most Wired status this year shows quality care can be achieved almost anywhere under the right leadership,” he continued. “By sharing the best practices in Most Wired, we hope quality care will one day be available everywhere.”

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 2,700 members in 51 countries and over 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please click here.

About Virtua
As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with 500 physicians and other clinicians, and at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program.

A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,000 physicians and other clinicians. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics. It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley many times since 2007.

It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care. U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital. Virtua is also a Magnet-recognized health system and the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, click here.

Categories
Feature Stories News Recent News

Virtua Leaders Volunteer to Provide Meals to Local Children as Part of Food Bank of South Jersey’s Summer Meals Program

A Virtua volunteer helps children with their lunch.

Members of Virtua’s leadership team recently announced that they participated in the Food Bank of South Jersey’s Summer Meals program by providing a fresh and nutritious lunch to local children at the Martin Luther Christian School in Pennsauken.

The volunteers from Virtua prepared and served fresh lunches, consisting of chicken salad, apples and milk to nearly 50 children at the Martin Luther Christian School. The volunteers spent lunchtime interacting with the children and made sure they had enough to eat.

“Virtua is strongly committed to healthy food access and food-as-medicine programs in our community. We are proud to partner with great organizations like the Food Bank of South Jersey. Virtua’s support of the Summer Meals program is another component of our strategic partnerships,” said Al Campanella, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Virtua.

Food Bank of South Jersey Virtua
Volunteers from Virtua assemble Summer Meals lunches (All photos provided)

It is estimated that more than 57,000 children in South Jersey face food insecurity. When school ends for the year, parents who relied on school meals to provide nourishment for their children during the day are left with few options. The Food Bank’s Summer Meals program provides children with fresh and nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 10 weeks in the summer. Last year’s program provided 395,000 meals to 8,100 children in Burlington, Camden, Salem and Gloucester counties.

“We are so grateful to our sponsors and volunteers who have helped this program make a difference in the lives of more and more children each year,” says Joe Njoroge, Interim President & CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey. “Summer Meals is important not only to the children who enjoy the food, but to their parents. We are proud to be able to take some of the burden of replacing school-provided meals once summer hits.”

Food Bank of New Jersey Virtua
From left: Sandy Forbeck, Deanna Santo, April Schetler, Suzanne Ghee, Lavinia Awosanya, Al Campanella and Lisa Ferrante.

This year’s goal is to provide half a million meals to the children in Burlington, Camden, Salem and Gloucester counties who need it most.

If you are interested in becoming a Summer Meals sponsor, please visit https://foodbanksj.org/summermeals or email partner@foodbanksj.org.

About the Food Bank of South Jersey

The Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need throughout South Jersey. FBSJ distributes food, provides nutrition education and cooking courses, and helps food-insecure families and seniors find sustainable ways to improve their lives. In 2017, FBSJ provided over 13 million pounds of food to approximately 200,000 South Jersey residents. Providing community impact through local support, FBSJ ensures that local donations stay local. FBSJ is a member of Feeding America, our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. To learn more, click here.

About Virtua
As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with 500 physicians and other clinicians, and at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program.

A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,000 physicians and other clinicians. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics.

It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley many times since 2007.

It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care, and its hospitals earned straight A’s in patient safety by The Leapfrog Group. U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital. Virtua is also the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit Virtua.org or the Virtua Broadcast Network.