Hannah Banana Foundation Brings Smiles to Ocean Medical Center

Contact:Donna Sellmann, Public Relations Manager

Hannah Banana Foundation Brings Smiles to Ocean Medical Center

Gifts brighten the day for chronically and terminally ill patients.

Representatives from the Hannah Banana Foundation brought a yellow barrage of supplies to Ocean Medical Center, which will be used to brighten the lives of chronically ill and terminally ill patients. An assembly line of hospital volunteers made quick work of the supplies and now more than 200 gift bags are ready to be delivered to patients.

Toms River dentist Gary Prisand, M.D., delivered the gift items to Ocean Medical Center, which is one of 18 hospitals in New Jersey and New York to benefit from the organization's benevolence. He and his daughter, Arin Prisand, established the foundation three years ago.

The Hannah Banana Foundation is named after Hannah "Banana" Prisand, who battled cancer for over 30 years, spending many days and nights in hospitals. According to her daughter's comments on the organization's website, "Hannah Banana truly believed that Laughter is the Best Medicine. She always used positive thinking and optimism to give her strength. To make our hospital stays easier, my parents and I played scrabble, completed mad-libs, and told jokes."

The organization donated two types of gift bags for patients. One contains therapeutic gifts such as art supplies, toys, journals and activity-oriented books. The other contains a white board, dry erase marker, and eraser for patients who have difficulty communicating.

The nurses at Ocean Medical Center have been particularly excited to learn about the gift bags. "Small acts of kindness like this can have such a meaningful impact on our patients," says Diane Doherty, assistant nurse manager of Ocean's inpatient oncology unit. "I know that the patients will be grateful for the materials that help pass the time, and the communication kits are a wonderful resource. We're so appreciative of the donation."

For more information about the Hannah Banana Foundation, go to www.hannahbananafoundation.org.

About Ocean Medical Center
Ocean Medical Center, a member of the Meridian Health family, is a 281-bed non-profit community hospital located in Ocean County, New Jersey, providing health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines, including maternity; oncology; orthopedics and rehabilitation; general, neurological, thoracic, and vascular surgery; cardiology; dialysis; and emergency and critical care services. The Medical Center features Magnet award winning nurses and is a System Partner, along with the other Meridian Health facilities, with the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Ocean Medical Center also operates the state's first Satellite Emergency Department in Point Pleasant, called the Ocean Care Center. For more information, call the Meridian Health Line at 1-800-DOCTORS or log on to our web site at www.OceanMedicalCenter.com.