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Grateful Patient Janet Shapiro Makes a Difference at Valley Through Philanthropy


Janet Shapiro was discouraged by health challenges in 2021 and wanted to get better. She set about researching new doctors and found her way to Valley Medical Group (VMG) internist and geriatrician Bennett Leifer, M.D.

As she began to work with Dr. Leifer in the new year, Janet immediately felt she was in excellent hands. “He was so compassionate and caring! Dr. Leifer would make me feel seen and heard, and better able to deal with what I was going through.” As treatment continued, Janet was also connected to other Valley specialists as part of her care plan. “I was lucky to have a great team of Valley doctors behind me throughout this journey,” she says. In a note to Dr. Leifer she exclaimed, “You not only helped to fix me up, but you actually created a better, healthier version of me than I was before.”

Now a grateful patient, Janet feels strongly about giving back to Valley.
She has joined the Franklin Lakes branch of the Auxiliary and has become
a member of Women For Health. Passionate about making a difference through philanthropy, Janet has also included a bequest to The Valley Hospital Foundation in her will, established a charitable gift annuity, and committed to two campaign gifts in support of The Valley Hospital in Paramus. The first gift is to name an outdoor garden bench, and the second is to name a patient room on the hospital’s Oncology floor, both in memory of her parents, Eleanor and Joseph Shapiro. “My parents were my guiding light and inspired me by the way they lived. They always did things for other people and addressed problems they saw in the world. It was meaningful for me to honor them this way.”

Janet says she has also been shaped by the idea of Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew term meaning “repair the world.” She explains that to set the next generation up for success, we need to lay the groundwork now for a better future. “There is a line from a Debbie Friedman song that goes, ‘We must live for today, we must build for tomorrow,’ which really is perfect when you think about the new hospital,” she says with a smile. As she reflects on the past year, she considers herself lucky to have received care from VMG doctors and is excited for Valley’s excellence to continue at The Valley Hospital in Paramus. “My philanthropy not only helps to express my gratitude, but it also helps to ensure that others in the community have the benefit of the excellent healthcare that I received,” Janet says. ”Just as Dr. Leifer and my other VMG doctors made a commitment to me, my health, and my future, it was so important to me to make a commitment to Valley Health System.”

David J. Bohan, Vice President & Chief Development Officer, and Janet Shapiro