Honoring Women Making A Difference at University Hospital

Jennifer Erdelyi

As a Senior Vice President and Wealth Strategist at Bank of America, Jennifer Erdelyi discusses philanthropic impact with her clients regularly. She lives the adage of ‘leaving the world a better place than you found it’. As a mom, she wants to model service to community to develop the next generation.

Jennifer got involved with University Hospital Foundation last May after getting inspiration from Dr. Michael Curi, the Foundation’s Chairman. She says, “his excitement for the future was contagious”. He shared with her that “University Hospital has a soul and a heartbeat, so doctors work here because they choose this community.”

Jennifer recalls the first time she visited the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where she observed limited spaces for moms to bond, intimately, with their babies. She sees the devotion of the staff and how simple upgrades could transform the space into a warm, nurturing environment and she is excited to help make that a reality.

Jennifer joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees this past January with a commitment to provide strategic direction, support governance and help raise more money that supports patients and their loved ones.

Tanya Freeman

Every time Tanya Freeman hears the lullaby playing over the speaker system signaling a baby has just been born at University Hospital, she pauses to remember the promise that was made following the 1967 Newark Accords that the Hospital would improve the health of the community for generations to come. Tanya is a mother of six – one of whom was recently cared for at the Hospital by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Benevenia – and Chairwoman of the Hospital’s Board of Directors.

Miracles happen every day at University Hospital,” she says, “and that’s what compels me to lead this incredible team as Chairwoman. 

Tanya talks about how being a female leader comes from a position of strength. “Women bring passion and a nurturing spirit that are innate to them into the workforce.”, she says. What motivates her most is building towards University Hospital’s future and realizing the vision to build a modern, academic medical center in Newark, NJ where the facilities, technologies and environment compliment the exceptional clinical care already provided. To achieve this, Tanya stresses that philanthropy must play an important role. She knows that her strength as a female leader, the power of philanthropy, and the tenacity of this community will make her vision a reality.

Dr. Catherine Mazzola

Dr. Catherine Mazzola is passionate about helping children. She is one of a handful of female neurosurgeons in New Jersey and owns the only woman-owned neurosurgical private practice in the state. Her passion for her work and the impact she makes on children’s lives is unmistakable.

Dr. Mazzola has been involved in the community since she was a medical student at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she joined Newark’s Board of Concerned Citizens, now called Newark Community Coalition. She is excited for the future of University Hospital and emphasizes how the new hospital could change the lives of the children of Newark. “I love children,” she says, “and I think it’s by working with children that we can open up opportunities in Newark.”

Dr. Mazzola insists that University Hospital and its Foundation have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to care for pediatric patients and their families in Newark. Her and her colleagues want UH to be the best hospital in NJ, especially for children with complex medical problems that need a multi-disciplinary approach to their care and for children suffering from traumatic injuries. This desire is attainable: with University Hospital’s blueprint for the future, the power of the Foundation to leverage philanthropy, and women like Dr. Mazzola who will not stop advocating for the children of Newark until they are provided with every resource and opportunity they need to thrive.