JDRF Announces Ruthi Byrne and Robert C. Garrett as JDRF One Dream Gala Co-Chairs

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Woodbridge, NJ – JDRF New Jersey Metro & Rockland County Chapter, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is excited to announce Ruthi Byrne and Robert C. Garrett as the 2021 JDRF One Dream Gala Co-Chairs.

Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, is the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health network with 17 hospitals, 500 patient care locations, 34,000 team members and 6,500 physicians. Garrett’s leadership and strategic vision have garnered much professional praise. He was featured in The CEO Forum’s 10 CEOs Transforming Healthcare in America this year, on ROI Influencers: Power List 2019 and 2018 and was ranked #1 in the NJBIZ 2017 “Power 50 Health Care” list. He was also ranked on the 2017 “NJBIZPower 100: The most powerful people in New Jersey business” list for six consecutive years.

In 2019, Garrett received the Chapter’s Governor Brendan Byrne Humanitarian Award in recognition for his tireless commitment to the diabetes community. Now, as the co-chair, Garrett will partner with JDRF and Byrne to engage NJ’s business and philanthropic community to support JDRF’s mission to cure, treat and prevent T1D.

“It is imperative that we work together to support research and advocacy that will create a new narrative for our patients,” said Garrett.

“I am extremely happy to partner with the JDRF to improve treatment and save lives.”

Garrett joins Byrne, founder and president of Zinn Graves & Field Inc. and long-time supporter of JDRF. Byrne is committed to helping JDRF improve the lives of all those with T1D because, for her, it’s personal. Ten years ago, Byrne’s grandson, Danny Zinn, was diagnosed with T1D at seven years old.

“Through him, I have seen up close, how unbelievably burdensome living with this disease is,” Byrne said.

And, if there is anything I can do to relieve him of that burden, you can bet I’m on board.”

T1D can strike both children and adults at any age and is not related to diet or lifestyle. About 40,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications such as kidney, nerve or eye disease.

“T1D is a 24/7 disease, for which there is no known cause or cure – yet,” said JDRF Executive Director Jess Backofen.

“I truly want to thank Ruthi and Bob for their dedication to champion our One Dream Gala and help make 2020 our most successful year yet!”

Aiming to raise more than $1.7 million for critically needed T1D research, the One Dream Gala will be held on May 16, 2020 at Moorland Farm, home of the Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, NJ. More than 600 guests, including community, philanthropic and business leaders, are expected to attend to help advance JDRF’s goal of improving the lives of families and individuals living with T1D.

The black-tie event will include a cocktail reception, a multi-course dinner, silent and live auctions, JDRF’s signature Fund A Cure program, during which contributions may be made directly to research, and entertainment.

Individual tickets are $500 each and table packages as well as sponsorships are available. For more information on event details, including sponsorship, donation, ticket options and auction, please visit https://njmetrorockland.ejoinme.org/OneDreamGala2020 or contact Emily A. Miller at 732-219-6654 or eamiller@jdrf.org.