For Immediate Release: April 18, 2016

AtlantiCare gala supports programs and services,
recognizes Edward R. Knight Award winners

More than 700 people attended AtlantiCare's 57th Annual Century Club Gala at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa April 9, during which AtlantiCare recognized Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties; and Joseph DeStefano, MD, with the Edward R. Knight Award for Community and Physician Awards.

Proceeds from the Gala benefit AtlantiCare's clinical and community programs and services, including the Heart Institute and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC), and AtlantiCare's Healing Arts Program.

"We are so grateful for what your joining us here enables us to do each and every day for those whom we are fortunate enough to serve," said AtlantiCare President and CEO David Tilton while addressing Gala guests. "Tonight we celebrate AtlantiCare and our many supporters who help us build healthy communities."

"The Edward R. Knight Award winners are valiant supporters of AtlantiCare's work in the community," said Eugene Arnone, chairman of the AtlantiCare System Board of Trustees. "The significant impacts that Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, and Dr. DeStefano, have on those they serve, closely align with AtlantiCare's vision of building healthy communities," Arnone added.

David-tilton-pres.CEO-AtlantiCare-Beatrix-Ellerbe-Jerkins-CEO-BBBS-Eugene-Arnone-chair-AtlantiCare-System-BoardBeatrix Ellerbe Jerkins, CEO, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, accepts the Edward R. Knight Community Service Award from David Tilton, president and CEO, AtlantiCare (left), and Eugene Arnone, chairman, AtlantiCare System Board, at the 57th Century Club Gala April 9 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties works to ensure that all children in the community are able to realize their full potential. The organization pairs youth with volunteer mentors to serve as positive guiding influences.

Dr. DeStefano's efforts locally, state-wide and nationally have improved the quality of care now offered in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to delivering more than 5,000 babies in our region, he founded a free women's clinic for early cancer detection in partnership with the Atlantic City Health Department, and has spent time in Washington fighting for clinical enhancements in support of his patients.

David-Tilton-Joseph-DeStefano-MD-Eugene-ArnoneDavid Tilton, president and CEO, AtlantiCare (left), and Eugene Arnone, chairman, AtlantiCare System Board, present Joseph DeStefano, MD (center), with the Edward R. Knight Physician Award at the 57th Century Club Gala April 9 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Ben Zeltner, chairman of the AtlantiCare Foundation Board of Trustees, offered thanks to donors and gala attendees for their continued support. "The clinical and community programs such as our Healing Arts Initiative, Healthy Schools, and our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit make such a difference. We appreciate that you've taken a moment to ensure that these programs continue to enable life-changing moments," said Zeltner.

Kelly-Agnellini-Pacifico-Agnellini-Esq.-Mary-Thompson-Peter-Thompson-MD-AtlantiCare-Gala-2016-chairsEvent chairpersons (L-R) Kelly Agnellini; Pacifico Agnellini, Esq.; Mary Thompson, and Peter Thompson, MD, trauma surgeon, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, at the 57th Century Club Gala April 9 at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

AtlantiCare also acknowledged the dedication and contributions of the Gala committee and chairpersons, including Peter Thompson, MD, trauma surgeon, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, and his wife, Mary, of Mays Landing; and Pacifico Agnellini, Esq., and Kelly Agnellini, of Longport.

The Gala's theme, "Salsa Nights in Old Havana," was immediately recognized as guests entered the event through a rustic shuttered archway inspired by Old Havana architecture. Havana-themed decorations filled the reception area and ballroom; and birds of paradise, orchids, palm fronds, coffee beans were featured in the centerpieces. Guests posed in selfie-cut outs against a backdrop of the town of Old Havana.

The Century Club Gala is one of AtlantiCare's major fundraising efforts each year. Proceeds of the gala will advance the clinical and community programs the AtlantiCare Foundation supports in its efforts to provide our region the Next Generation of Care.

For more information about AtlantiCare, visit www.atlanticare.org or www.atlanticarewell4life.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000, or find AtlantiCare on Facebook.

For more information about the AtlantiCare Foundation, visit http://www.atlanticare.org/index.php/atlanticare-foundation.

About the Edward R. Knight Award
AtlantiCare established the Edward R. Knight Award in 1998 to honor those who contribute to building a healthier community. It is named for the late Edward R. Knight, PhD, who was chairman emeritus of ARMC and who devoted more than 50 years of service to improving healthcare for those who live and work in southeastern New Jersey.

About Joseph DeStefano, MD
Joseph DeStefano, MD, has been an advocate for patients for more than 40 years. He held several leadership roles while on the medical staff at ARMC, including chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ARMC; president, ARMC Medical Staff, and a trustee, of the ARMC Board of Governors and AtlantiCare System Board.
DeStefano earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1969. As a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist, clinical leader and a champion for women's and families' issues, DeStefano founded the free Pap Smear Cancer Detection Program for the Atlantic City Health Department. He has been active at the state and national level of the American College of Obstetrics/Gynecology and in the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Atlantic City Tomorrow regional leadership training program. He delivered more than 5,000 babies during his career.

About Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties
Expanded in 1988 to include Cape May County, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic County became Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. The organization works to ensure that all youth from the area see and enjoy the many possibilities in life, operating on the basic premise that great relationships can make all the difference. The organization connects children with mentors who encourage them to realize their full potential. Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlantic and Cape May Counties has made a significant difference in the community...one child at a time.

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org
Betsy Woerner, (O) 609-748-7539, (C) 609-385-6361, betsy.woerner@atlanticare.org

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AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,400 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare's Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.