Freehold, NJ – December, 2018
In the early 1960s, local residents, businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, and other civic organizations launched the first efforts to build a community hospital in western Monmouth County. Known first as Freehold Area Hospital, it became CentraState Medical Center in 1971. Among this entrepreneurial group was Evelyn Silvert, who with her husband Harry, were the owners of Silvert’s Furniture Store, a highly regarded local business in Freehold.
Prominent local community members started fundraising to build the hospital in 1961 by hosting a series of annual Charity Balls and Mrs. Silvert was an active committee member from the beginning. Soon after, she was a member of the Hospital Steering Committee in 1964 and served as a Trustee from 1965-1983.
In 1971, the Freehold Area Hospital opened its doors with 120 beds, 200 employees and 11 doctors. Since then, CentraState has grown into a comprehensive, community-based health system comprised of a 284 bed acute-care hospital, a vibrant health and wellness campus, three award-winning senior living communities, a charitable foundation, four satellite health pavilions, over 2,600 employees, 538 active staff physicians and a family practice residency program in affiliation with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Mrs. Silvert, one of CentraState’s original founders, has been a steadfast supporter of the hospital’s growth in countless ways for more than five decades. Now age 95, she recently created the Evelyn Silvert Behavioral Health Endowment Fund to honor the memory of her grandson, Brian. As one of many initiatives that will be made possible through this fund, CentraState will now have a licensed clinical social worker on staff to provide outpatient behavioral health services.
On Saturday December 1, Mrs. Silvert and her family were present at a plaque dedication ceremony at the Jack Aaronson Conference Center board room. Members of CentraState, including Board Members were also present for the plaques dedicated in honor of Mrs. Silvert and in memory of her grandson Brian. Dr. Moustafa Shafey, Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Center at CentraState, said “Through her kindness and the endowment she created, we will be able to serve many people who are suffering from mental health issues. We are truly grateful for Mrs. Silvert and are so pleased that she is being honored here today”.
Ken Reilly who is Vice Chair of the CentraState Foundation Board said “The mission of the foundation is to serve as the link between CentraState Healthcare System and the community, offering residents and businesses a way to become stakeholders in their hospital. Mrs. Silvert, you have truly established yourself as a stakeholder in this hospital through your dedication and philanthropic efforts, and we are truly grateful.”
Mrs. Silvert is still very active at CentraState, serving as an Honorary Member of the CentraState System Board and a member of the Senior Services Committee for the CentraState2020 Destination Healthier Communities Campaign.