PATERSON, NJ [October 24, 2011] – St. Joseph's Healthcare System in Paterson, New Jersey, proudly recognized Dr. John H. Hajjar and Mrs. Sharon Hajjar, two steadfast and longstanding members of the St. Joseph's family, as recipients of the 2011 William F. Johnson Award, presented at the St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center Foundation's 35th Annual Charity Ball for their exceptional commitment to the Hospital and the community. Additionally, William A. McDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Healthcare System announced at the affair, that in recognition of an extraordinary pledge by the Hajjar Family to the 'St. Joseph's is the Future Campaign', the Children's Hospital building will be named the Sharon and John Hajjar Women's and Children's Pavilion at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.
Dr. Hajjar, an immigrant from Aleppo, Syria, was raised in a modest one-bedroom apartment in Paterson. His involvement with St. Joseph's began in his teens, when he volunteered at the hospital. Dr. Hajjar received his undergraduate degree from St. John's University, where he met his bride-to-be, Sharon. He continued his studies at The Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1981. He completed his surgical and urological training at the New York University Medical Center in New York City. After spending some time researching the genetic aspects of kidney cancer, Dr. Hajjar decided to focus his energies on clinical oncologic urology and patient care. Since 1987, he has been practicing urology in northern New Jersey where he has developed a reputation as a skilled urologic surgeon. Currently he has the largest urological group practice in New Jersey. He has also continued his relationship with St. Joseph's throughout his career, serving as the Hospital's Chief of Urology until 2008. He currently holds appointments and actively practices urology at St. Joseph's, as well as Valley Hospital and Hackensack University Medical Center.
In 1992, Dr. Hajjar founded the first ambulatory surgery center in Bergen County. Recognizing the need to further develop his business acumen, he furthered his studies and received an Executive MBA from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1999, with specialization in office-based ambulatory surgical centers. In 2005 he founded SURGEM, a management and development company that has equity in and currently manages twenty surgical centers. SURGEM combines physician leadership, business acumen and a proven track record to deliver results.
Sharon Hajjar was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Palisades Park. She graduated from St. John's University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications as well as a Bachelor of Science from the School of Pharmacy. She too, has connections to St. Joseph's, participating in an externship in the Hospital's Pharmacy Department. She spent 17 years as a Registered Pharmacist, and then worked full time as the mother to the couple's three boys, Michael, Brian and Marc.
Dr. and Mrs. Hajjar are dedicated philanthropists who feel very strongly about education and the health of the poor and underserved. They are ardent supporters of the Dwight-Englewood School, where Dr. Hajjar currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees and for the past two years Sharon has served as the Vice President of the Parents Association. In addition, the Hajjars have been donors to St. Joseph's for nearly 20 years, and Dr. Hajjar served as a Trustee of the Regional Medical Center Foundation until 1997.
Dr. and Mrs. Hajjar live in New Jersey with their three sons and two dogs.