Eatontown Couple and Business Owners Recognized for Philanthropy

Posted on June 4, 2013 By

Joel Markel, the founder and president of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), Eatontown, and his wife Stephanie recently received a recognition award for their long-term commitment to the Homeless Health Initiative (HHI), a volunteer outreach program run by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  PHHC provides home care for individuals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

More than 20 years ago, the Markels sought medical care at CHOP for their son Ryan who later died of liver cancer and other complications. Out of their despair, the Markels decided to help others.  At the suggestion of Ryan’s doctors Mark Magnusson and Ken Ginsburg, the Markels created the Ryan Markel Memorial Fund, making a commitment to support a then fledgling program that brought volunteer CHOP medical personnel to a West Philadelphia homeless shelter to give children checkups.

Today, hundreds of HHI volunteers in many disciplines, including doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, and specialists of all kinds, provide monthly free health and health-related services to children and their families in three emergency housing shelters. PHHC volunteers have formed a partnership with a homeless shelter and have become tutors and mentors. They also donated 30 air conditioners and a new basketball hoop and backboard during the 2012 summer heat wave.

The Markels were recognized at the Palomar Hotel, Philadelphia, during an evening devoted to Advances in Pediatric Medicine, a monthly series that raises awareness of CHOP programs, such as HHI.

Peter Grollman, vice president, Government Affairs and Community Relations at CHOP, praised the Markels’ long dedication to the program, the growth of their financial involvement, and their encouragement of PHHC employees to volunteer at the shelters.

“I feel like each time I contribute a dollar, I know it’s for the good of HHI,” Markel said, “and it continues to be a thank you to Mark Magnusson and Ken Ginsburg and CHOP for the help they provided my family when we really needed it.”