Naming Monmouth Medical Center’s multidisciplinary cancer
center in honor of the late philanthropist Leon Hess has special
significance for his “extended” prominent New Jersey
family, as well as for Monmouth Medical Center.
Before the founder of energy giant Amerada Hess Corp. died in
1999, he established the New York-based Hess Foundation, which
today is led by Mrs. Leon (Norma) Hess, the sister-in-law of the
late Jacqueline M. Wilentz — after whom Monmouth’s
breast center is named. Jacqueline, who died of breast cancer,
was the wife of Mrs. Hess’ brother — Robert Wilentz,
former chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, who also
lost his life to cancer.
In addition, the late Lester A. Barnett, M.D., former chief of
surgery at Monmouth, was a childhood friend of Leon Hess — a
relationship they retained through adulthood as the Hesses maintained
a summer residence in Long Branch.
Throughout his life, Dr. Barnett played an instrumental role in
supporting fund-raising efforts for Monmouth, particularly for
the expansion of cancer services He died in April 2002, shortly
after he helped make possible the extraordinary $3 million gift
from the Hess Foundation.
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Leon Hess Cancer Center
Monmouth Medical Center