Holiday gift from Imperatore Palisades Medical Center receives $2M from NY Waterway founder

Arthur Imperatore Sr., the president of the NY Waterway ferry system, recently presented Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen a $2 million bequest to the Medical Center’s Foundation.

The donation was put as a codicil in the 81-year-old Imperatore’s will.

There has been a long-lasting relationship between Imperatore and Palisades Medical Center. When Imperatore, a native of West New York and a long-time resident of Weehawken, first envisioned developing his real estate holdings along River Road, he was influential in bringing the hospital to its current location in 1978.

“Palisades Medical Center was a key part of my vision to create a thriving waterfront community,” Imperatore said last week.

Since the creation of the hospital, the area’s population has skyrocketed, especially along the Hudson River waterfront.

Over the last few years, Palisades Medical Center has gained recognition throughout New Jersey for consistently improving its hospital facilities, expanding its programs and services, and adding modern technology to meet the changing needs of its patients.

The hospital recently received outstanding grades from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services in the 2006 New Jersey Hospital Performance Report.

Will help a lot

Palisades Medical Center President and CEO Bruce Markowitz believes a substantial gift like Imperatore’s will go a long way in continuing the hospital’s excellence.

“Mr. Imperatore’s generosity has established a true legacy of caring that will touch the lives of our neighbors for generations to come,” Markowitz said. “His tireless commitment and caring spirit has enabled Palisades Medical Center to meet the ever-changing health care needs of local residents.”

Imperatore hopes that his donation will inspire others to support the hospital, which annually serves more than 350,000 residents in Hudson and Bergen counties.

“You teach philanthropy by espousing it and carrying it out,” Imperatore said in a statement. “I want people to remember me as someone who always gave back to my community, and I encourage others to show the same commitment to keep our neighbors healthy and safe.”

Honoring him back

Last weekend, more than 300 business leaders, public officials, and local residents went to the Glenpointe Marriott in Teaneck to honor Imperatore, as well as banking and investment firm TD Banknorth, at the Palisades Medical Center’s Autumn Ball.

Imperatore, the co-chairman of the event, was honored for his philanthropic support to the hospital.

Markowitz surprised Imperatore and the rest of the event attendees when he announced that the Palisades Medical Center Foundation had established the Arthur E. Imperatore Legacy Society to recognize donors who generously support the foundation well beyond their lifetime through bequests, charitable trusts, and gift annuities.

Imperatore was humbled by the presentation and actually requested hospital officials not to promote the event, but it was hard for Palisades Medical Center officials not to give Imperatore his proper due for his generosity.

The event featured a New York theme and included street performers, foods from assorted New York neighborhoods, and a Coney Island-style photo booth for attendees to have a memento of the evening.

The Portland, Maine-based TD Banknorth took over the 160 local branches that were once known as Hudson United Bankcorp, earlier this year. The organization was honored with Palisades Medical Center’s 2006 Star Stream Award for its loyal support and commitment to meeting the needs of local residents.

“TD Banknorth has carried on Hudson United Bancorp’s strong tradition of making a positive contribution to local residents, families, businesses, and communities,” Imperatore said in a statement. “Its dedicated employees are always identifying new ways to strengthen our local communities through financial support, sponsorships, community development, and service programs.”

Imperatore also received special honors from the hospital for his efforts.

“Most would agree that Mr. Imperatore has made more of an impact on Hudson County and this region’s well being than any other individual,” said Markowitz. “Not only has he given our area an outstanding ferry service, but he is also a founding member of today’s Palisades Medical Center.”

“Palisades Medical Center was a key part of my vision to create a thriving waterfront community.” – Arthur Imperatore