Deborah’s 100-Year History Timeline

Providing unparalleled care to residents of all twenty-one New Jersey counties, Deborah in its 100 year history has healed 2.3 million patients from every state in the US and 87 countries throughout the world.

Deborah® 100

Jan 01

Portrait of Founder, Dora Moness Shapiro

Portrait of Founder Shapiro

Founder Dora Moness Shapiro first established the hospital as a tuberculosis sanatorium. Back then, the only relief for tuberculosis was rest and fresh air. Determined to make a difference, Shapiro searched for a location outside of New York City that could accommodate the sick and impoverished. Nestled in the heart of Pine Barrens, Shapiro took ownership of an airy cottage well within traveling distance and soon had her first patients.

May 28

Hundreds Gather At Incorporation Ceremony

Hundreds gathered to incorporate the Deborah Jewish Consumptive Relief Society.

Jan 01

Former Women’s Ward in Main Building

Women's ward

Housed in the newly-built Main Building, the Women’s Ward was the lap of luxury compared to the open-air “sleeping porches” and old cottages.

Jan 02

Albert Einstein with Deborah Founder, Dora Moness Shapiro and Husband Solomon

Einstein with Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro

Deborah has benefited from the support and friendship of many luminaries, including German-born physicist, Albert Einstein.


Jan 03

Dr. Henry Barenblatt, Respected Tuberculosis Specialist

Dr. Henry Barenblatt

Dr. Henry Barenblatt, a respected tuberculosis specialist, gave up his practice in Philadelphia, PA to become Deborah’s first resident physician.

Jan 12

Cornerstone Laid for Main Building

Crowd and cornerstone

In 1931, Deborah founder, Dora Moness Shapiro laid the cornerstone for a new Main Building, which would replace the wooden cottages of the original campus.

Jan 28

President Katz

Israel Katz

Israel Katz was president from 1932 to 1945.

Jan 18

Former Patient, Clara Falk Franks Organizer of Volunteers and Fundraising Chapters

Women in the library

Clara Falk Franks came to Deborah as a patient in 1934, and remained after she was cured to become a legend in the hospital’s history. For nearly 50 years, Franks raised funds and awareness for Deborah by organizing legions of volunteers into becoming fundraising chapters, and winning support from countless others.

Dec 13

Anniversary Dinner Held in New York City

Attendees in ballroom

Fundraising function to aid Deborah’s medical mission inspires a huge dinner in New York City.

Jan 01

Chapter Volunteers Take Photo in Deborah Square

Women in front of Deborah Square

Volunteers continued to answer the call to raise funds as Deborah thrived.

Jan 01

Main Building of Deborah Sanatorium and Hospital Completed

Main building in the snow

The new Main Building construction began in the 1930s and was fully completed and occupied by 1945. Throughout the 1940s, Deborah’s facilities and services continued to grow to meet the ever changing needs of patients.

Jan 05

Volunteer Chapter Hosts Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Newspaper clip of Eleanor Roosevelt

Deborah and its mission continued to receive recognition and support of the famous and influential people of the day, such as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Jan 31

President Schuman

David Schuman

David Schuman was president from 1945 to 1947.

Jan 05

Volunteer Chapter Creedo

Creedo Shield

He who serves humanity serves God, he who serves Deborah serves both. This phrase became the creedo for the volunteer chapters of the day.

Jan 28

President Elichman

Joseph Elichman

Joseph Elichman was president from 1947 to 1956.

Jan 01

Nobel-Prize Winner and Inventor of TB Drug Visits Deborah

Selman Abraham Waksman with Deborah staff

Selman Abraham Waksman, inventor, biochemist and microbiologist whose research into the decomposition of organisms that live in soil enabled the discovery of streptomycin and several other antibiotics, is pictured with Dr. Daniel Rednor, Medical Superintendent, and Clara Franks, Assistant to the President.

Jan 02

Elichman Pavilion Houses Chronic TB Cases

Old campus photo

In 1949, the Elichman Pavilion was erected to house the most serious, chronic TB cases. Elichman Pavilion would later be used to house Deborah’s first recovering heart patients.

Dec 02

Deborah Campus at the Beginning of the 1950s

Black and White Historical Photo of Deborah Campus

By 1952, Deborah starts to transition from a tuberculosis sanatorium and begins to determine the future direction of the hospital.

Jan 11

President Lesser

Jack Lesser

Jack Lesser was president from 1956 to 1973.

Jan 01

Open Heart Surgery Pioneer

Dr. Bailey Time Cover

Charles Bailey, M.D., directed cardiovascular surgery at Deborah and his methods were the focus of a 1957 Time magazine article. The first U.S. physician to repair a hole in the wall between the two sides of the heart, Dr. Bailey was born in Wanamassa, N.J., and educated at Rutgers University, Hahnemann Medical College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jan 01

Deborah Hospital Transforms with New Mission

Deborah Hospital Exterior Photo

In 1957, the name Deborah Hospital emerges to convey the expanded medical mission.

Jan 01

First Heart Surgery Patients

Pediatric patient with woman

On July 28, 1958, Dr. Charles Bailey performed Deborah’s first heart surgeries on three-year old Bill DiMartino and Dora Hansen.

Jan 01

1950s Charitable Brochure

Early Foundation Brochure

$100 donation endows a Kaddish memorial, $1,000 dedicates a bed and $5,000 dedicates a room in perpetuity. These suggested donations were quite generous in the 1950s when the average yearly cost of living was $3,700.

Jan 01

Cardiac Catheterization Begins at Deborah in 1959

Vintage photo of cath lab

Deborah’s first cardiac catheterization was performed by Vladir Maranhao, M.D., in July 1959.

Feb 01

Philadelphia Jewish Times Features 7-year-old Heart Patient

Jewish Times Newspaper Article

7-year-old thanks Deborah and replies, “I am a strong healthy boy again.”

Jan 02

Poster Child of the 60s Raises Awareness

Poster child for Deborah

Canister drives by the area chapters gained support for the hospital by featuring children whose lives were saved by Deborah.

Jan 03

Physician and Patient – 1960s Era

Doctor and patient at bedside

Physician and patient at the bedside with the latest in technology available in the 1960 era.

Jan 06

Lakewood Chapter Assembles to Name New Officers

Lakewood Volunteer Chapter Dinner

Members gather for the installation of officers of Deborah’s Lakewood (NJ) Chapter. Deborah’s many chapters and supporters unite people from all backgrounds and interests. Deborah Chapters and affiliates continue to work diligently to make Deborah Heart and Lung Center a better place.

Jan 01

Pioneer Dryden Morse, MD, Showcases Advances in Pacemakers

Dr. Morse holding pace maker

Dryden Morse, MD, pioneering cardiologist who helped found the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology (NASPE) later renamed the Heart Rhythm Society, is seen implanting the first pacemaker at Deborah in 1961.

Jan 04

Building Expansion Named After Former President Jack Lesser

Jack Lesser Building

In 1965, the Lesser Building, named for former Deborah President Jack Lesser, was added to the Main Building, significantly expanding patient care areas. Lesser was named president of the hospital in 1956 after serving as a member of the hospital board for nearly 30 years. During Lesser’s administration the hospital grew from a sanatorium to a treatment and research center for heart and lung diseases.

Jan 02

Cardiac Catheterization Labs Added

1960s Cath Lab

In 1968 and 1969 new operating suites, cardiac catheterization laboratories and other diagnostic units were added. Cardiac catheterization allows doctors to see how well  blood vessels supply blood to the heart. Doctors use contrast dye that they inject into blood vessel through a catheter to create X-ray videos of valves, coronary arteries, and heart chambers.

Jan 01

Sylvia Martin Children’s World

Nurse in child in children's ward

In 1970, Deborah’s Pediatric Unit was named the Sylvia Martin Children’s World to provide excellent care specifically for the youngest patients.  Deborah later became known for treating children around the world with cardiac issues.

Jan 21

1970s Deborah Logo

The hospital’s 1970s logo was created by taking elements of sketches from a number of local artists. The type-face at the time was thought to be modern and in line with the new name and forward advances being made at the hospital in that decade.

Jan 25

Children of the World Program®

Little Girl with pencil

The Children of the World® program began treating pediatric patients with congenital heart defects and other severe medical problems that could not receive advanced heart and lung care in their home countries. Children from more than 80 countries came to Browns Mills for treatment and received care at no cost.

Jan 30

President Cohen

Reuben Cohen

Reuben Cohen was president from 1973 to 1980.

Jan 01

Deborah Hospital Foundation

Incorporated in 1974, Deborah Hospital Foundation is the fundraising entity for Deborah Heart and Lung Center. The Foundation relies annually on the generous support of individuals, corporations, foundations and membership organizations to support the life-saving care provided by the Deborah Heart and Lung Center.

Jun 12
Dec 19

Renowned Cardiac Surgeon Dr. James Malm Speaks

Lesser Lecture Hall and Physicians

Guest Lecturer and renowned cardiac surgeon, James Malm speaks at the Jack Lesser Memorial Lecture. Deborah Heart and Lung Center frequently hosted world-class continuing education symposia, guest lectures and grand rounds for its medical staff.

Jan 01

$14 Million Expansion Breaks Ground

Groundbreaking and hard hats

Deborah officials broke ground in 1977 on a $14 million expansion project which would double the size of what by then was known as Deborah Heart and Lung Center.

Jan 05

Major Expansion Creates North and South Wing

At the end of the 70s, Deborah would undergo major expansion, building the North and South Wing of the hospital leading into the new decade.

Jul 13

First Nuclear Stress Test Performed at Deborah

Stress Test Machine

On July 13, 1977, Deborah performed its first nuclear stress test. A nuclear stress test uses a small amount of radioactive material (tracer) and an imaging machine to create pictures showing the blood flow to the heart. The test measures blood flow while at rest and during activity, showing areas with poor blood flow or damage in the heart. Today, it is one of the most commonly used tests to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions.

Jan 01

Mother’s Cottage Provides Respite to Community

Pediatric heart care has always been a part of the Deborah mission from very early on. In 1979 the Augusta Gollin Mother’s Cottage was completed to provide on-campus housing for the mothers of pediatric patients. Today, the building still stands and provides respite for first responders.

Apr 18

Nursing Class Completes EKG Training

EKG Nursing Class Photo

Nurses celebrate the completion of EKG training with a class photo with hospital administration and certificate. White nursing uniforms were the standard for nurses until the 80s, soon to be replaced by colorful scrubs.


Jan 01

Deborah’s First Balloon Angioplasty

Dr. Mara looking at x-ray

Vladir Maranhao, MD, affectionately known as “Dr. Mara” performed Deborah’s first percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or balloon angioplasty. Dr. Mara also performed Deborah’s first cardiac catheterization in 1959 and spent 28 years at Deborah Heart and Lung Center as a cardiologist, chairman of the department of cardiovascular diseases and later vice president of medical affairs.

Jan 16

1980s Logo

Historical Deborah Logo

The blue and red logo is introduced with the signature heart and lungs represented in the capital letter D.

Jan 31

President Fryczynski

Stanly H. Fryczynski, Jr.

Stanly H. Fryczynski, Jr. served as president from 1980 to 1983 and then again from 1986 to 1994.

Dec 02

Former President Gerald R. Ford Dedicates Deborah Facility Expansion

Former US President Ford

On December 2, 1981, former United States President Gerald R. Ford, dedicated the new and expanded facilities of Deborah Heart and Lung Center, marking the formal completion of Deborah’s $14 million capital expansion project.

Jan 11

President Shein

Hartley Shein

Hartley Shein served as president from 1983 to 1986.

Jan 01

First Computerized Cath Lab Opens

Clinician in cath lab

The first advanced, fully-computerized cardiac catheterization laboratory opened in 1986. Today, cardiac catheterization is the most widely performed procedure at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, used both as a diagnostic and interventional tool.

Jan 02

Deborah Launches First Human Heart Valve Bank in Northeast

Cold storage equipment at blood bank

Deborah Heart and Lung Center established the first human heart valve bank in the Northeastern United States in 1986. Led by the clinical research institute, Deborah was the first in the region to perform human valve transplants used in replacement and reconstructive cardiac surgery.

Jan 01

Children of the World Recipient Maya Shrago Meets First Lady Nancy Reagan

Maya Shrago was the first of six children from the Soviet Union to receive treatment at Deborah through its Children of the World Program. At the height of the 80s more than 1,200 children from 40 nations travelled to Deborah for medical treatment.

Jan 01

Hospital Foundation Gets A New Headquarters

Picture of Cymrot Building

Eva Cymrot from Fort Lauderdale Florida donated $1 million in the name of her deceased husband, Alexander E. Cymrot, for the two-story, 15,000-square-foot office building now the headquarters of the Deborah Hospital Foundation.

Jan 03

Deborah Travels to Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic to Perform Open Heart Surgery

A 40-member medical, surgical and support team traveled to Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic to perform open heart surgery at a children’s hospital there. The Deborah team performed 19 procedures during their week-long mission, providing aftercare for patients, sharing methods and techniques with their Georgian counterparts.

Jan 03

Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery for Lung Biopsy and Tumor Removal Introduced

VATS Procedure

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) using fiber optic technology to diagnose and treat problems in the chest become available at Deborah. A tiny camera called a thoracoscope is inserted into the chest through a small incision. This procedure offered patients a less invasive surgical option for lung biopsy and tumor removal and greatly reduced recovery time.

Jan 04

New Jersey Governor Visits Pediatric Patients

Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman visits Deborah’s pediatric unit “bearing” gifts – teddy bears, donated by Toys “R” Us. Whitman served as New Jersey’s 50th and first female governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

Jan 04

Medical Intensive Care Unit Dedicated by the Weinberg Foundation

MICU dedication with Executive Team

An integral role in Deborah’s capital expansion that year, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation awarded a $1.2 million grant to build a new medical intensive care unit. Today the MICU continues to care for critically ill patients because of the Weinbergs’ generous gift.

Jan 05

Deborah Has Lowest Mortality Rates in the Country for Medicare Patients


Consumer’s Guide to Hospitals published a three-year study of 5,500 acute care hospitals which evaluated 18 million Medicare cases and ranked Deborah Heart and Lung Center #1 and lowest in mortality rates for Medicare patients.

Jan 25

President Margeotes

Spero Margeotes

Spero Margeotes served as hospital president from 1994 to 2004.

May 04

William G. Rohrer Neonatal and Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Unit

Neonatal patient with mother

In May 1997, Deborah opened the William G. Rohrer Neonatal and Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Unit, which was made possible by a gift from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation. The eight-bed unit, which provides critical pre- and post-operative care to newborns, infants and children, was formally opened and dedicated by Linda Rohrer, Rohrer Foundation trustee, and daughter of the late businessman and philanthropist, who was also a former Deborah Executive Board Member.

Jan 26

National Recognition as a Top Hospital

Photo of award

December 1999, National Research Corporation (NRC) names Deborah Heart and Lung Center one of the nation’s top hospitals for heart care.

Jan 02

Healing Hearts License Plates Debut

Photo of license plate

Deborah Heart and Lung Center raises funds for the Deborah Hospital Foundation with their very own license plate issued by New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The license plate bears the Deborah logo along with the phrase, “Healing Hearts.”

Sep 12

Deborah Holds Prayer Service to Honor 911 Victims

People praying in chapel

The Deborah team attends a prayer service held in the hospital chapel to honor the victims of the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Jan 04

Deborah Radiology Department Goes Digital

x-ray technician in front of digital x-rays

Radiology converts completely to a digital imaging system allowing clinicians to view x-ray, ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT) images on computers throughout the hospital. Gone are the days of cumbersome X-ray folders.

Sep 06

Smallest Pacemakers Implanted by Cardiac Electrophysiologist Raffaele Corbisiero, MD

Doctor with smallest pacemaker

Patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, a form of abnormal heart rhythm obtain groundbreaking care thanks to advances in cardiac electrophysiology. In 2002, Raffaele Corbisiero, MD implanted two of the smallest implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and pacemakers in the world at Deborah Heart and Lung Center.

Jan 05

President Ernst

John R. Ernst

John R. Ernst served as president from 2005 through 2010.

Oct 04

Foundation Inaugural Gala

The Annual Red Tie Gala is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year and supports heart, lung and vascular care at Deborah Heart and Lung Center.


Dec 01

Deborah Helps Lung Patient Prepare for Space Travel

Gregory Olsen in Space Suit

Entrepreneur, engineer and scientist Gregory Olsen sought care at Deborah to obtain medical clearance for his planned trip to the International Space Station. One of three private citizens able to travel to space that year, Olsen required several procedures to protect his lungs during his trip.

Jun 28

Elite Surgeon Surpasses 10,000 Open-Heart Surgeries

Dr. McGrath Surgery Photo

Lynn B. McGrath, MD surpassed his 10,000th open-heart surgery procedure – achieving a professional milestone joining an elite group of cardiothoracic surgeons worldwide.

Jan 16

Dr. Warsaw Performs Biplane Angiography

Bi-plane Angioplasty Machine

Cameras rotate around a patient to provide real-time, high-definition, 3-D images of blood vessels and soft tissue.

Mar 18

Administrative Building Named for Klinghoffer Family

In 2010 when his mother, Edith, passed away Jim Klinghoffer made a generous donation to the Deborah Hospital Foundation in honor of his parents. Deborah acknowledged this gift by naming The Harry and Edith Klinghoffer Administration Services Building as a tribute to the Klinghoffer family.



Jan 01

President and CEO Joseph Chirichella

Joseph Chirichella

Joseph Chirichella, President and Chief Executive Officer was appointed in 2011.

Jan 11

Tibetan Monks Perform Hospital Blessing and Good Luck Dance

Tibetan Monks Photo

Eight of the Dalai Lama’s emissary Tibetan monks performed as part of Drepung Gomang Institute Sacred Arts Tour at Deborah in 2011. The monks performed a traditional Tibetan hospital blessing and Good Luck Dance. Deborah was selected as a tour stop because of its history fighting tuberculosis, a prevalent health problem in Southern India where the Monks have a monastery in exile from Tibet.

Jan 12

Manahawkin Office Opens

Deborah Manahawkin Office Building

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Manahawkin, NJ to provide care to patients in Ocean County.

Jan 08

Named Among Hospitals With Great Heart Programs

Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

Deborah named among Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Hospitals With Great Heart Programs.”

Jan 22

Evolution of the Deborah Logo

Deborah Logo Horizontal

The logo continues to evolve while incorporating elements from prior versions like the signature heart and lungs and red and blue colors.

Jan 28

Toms River Office Opens

Exterior Door at Toms River Office

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Toms River, NJ to provide care to patients.

Jan 04

FDA-approved WATCHMAN™ Device Becomes Available at Deborah

Deborah Heart and Lung Center was among the first in the region to implant the FDA-approved WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Implant. This device is a breakthrough for patients with atrial fibrillation as an alternative to long-term warfarin medication therapy. The WATCHMAN™ Implant closes off the left atrial appendage to keep harmful blood clots within the left atrial appendage (LAA) from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke.

Jan 11

Galloway Office Opens

Deborah Galloway Office Building

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Galloway, NJ to provide care to patients in Atlantic County.

Feb 01

Named 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital

Dr. Palmer and Female Heart Patient

Because of the exceptional attention to patient care Deborah was named a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company.

Jan 01

Medical Office Building Expands Service to Burlington County

Deborah opens a medical office building on the Browns Mills campus to serve the needs of the community. The new facility brings much needed primary and specialty care services to the area.

Jan 31

Mount Laurel Office Opens

Deborah Mount Laurel Office Building

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Mount Laurel, NJ to provide care to patients.

Mar 06

HeroCare Connect Program Awarded

President Deborah at Hero Care Connect Awards Ceremony

Veterans’ Health Initiative Award presented to Deborah and Cooper University Health Care for the HeroCare Connect Program.

Apr 19

Voted PHL17 Top Spots

PHL Top Spots

Recognized as a PHL 17 Top Spots “Best Hospital” Winner, a customer nominated and viewer voted contest.


Aug 16

Whiting Office Opens

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Whiting, NJ.

Jan 30

Burlington Office Opens

Burlington Deborah Offices

Deborah Specialty Physicians opens in Burlington, NJ to provide care to patients.

Feb 01

Deborah Celebrates National Wear Red Day®

Employees Wearing Red

Each year during National Heart Month Deborah team members take part in National Wear Red Day®. This annual event unites millions of people around the world in the fight to eradicate  heart disease and stroke.

Feb 04

Home Runs for Heroes at Blue Claws Ballpark

Big Check Photo at Blue Claws Stadium

OceanFirst Foundation’s 11th Annual Home Runs for Heroes Program presented the HeroCare Connect™ Program a check to support services for veterans, retirees, and active duty military.

Oct 17

Cleveland Clinic Alliance

Deborah and Cleveland Clinic Executive Team

Deborah becomes the exclusive Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute affiliate in Burlington, Camden, Atlantic, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Cape May counties in New Jersey as well as Bucks and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania. This clinical affiliation is part of the strategic plan to continue Deborah’s mission of maintaining the highest standards of quality cardiac care for patients.

Jul 09

Partnership Formed for Graduate Fellowship Training Programs

Deborah Fellows Photo

Deborah Heart and Lung Center announced a partnership with Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University for its graduate fellowship training programs. Fellows work side-by-side with some of the most talented physicians in the country training in advanced cardiovascular techniques and leading-edge clinical trials.

Feb 15

Deborah Receives Valentine’s from Community During COVID-19 Pandemic

Valentine's Day Cards and Staff

During Valentine’s Day weekend, Congressman Andy Kim teamed up with students from Pemberton School District in Burlington County and Brick School District in Ocean County to deliver Valentine’s Day cards to Deborah’s health care heroes.

Apr 22

National Volunteer Week

Volunteer Thank You Sign

The team at Deborah pay tribute during National Volunteer Week to their devoted volunteers.

Apr 30

100 Bluetooth Enabled Defibrillators

Big Check Photo of Physicians

Deborah becomes the first hospital in the nation to implant 100 Bluetooth enabled defibrillators. The Abbott Gallant™ implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) devices pair with a smartphone app via Bluetooth, providing remote monitoring for patients with abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure.

Jan 03

Deborah 100 Project

Building Expansion Rendering

Deborah has embarked on a $100 million capital investment project. Aimed at improving the quality of care, privacy and comfort, consistent with the offerings of a world-class specialty hospital, the project will begin in 2022. This project will result in the addition of three new floors to the main building of the hospital, the renovation of patient rooms, bedside technology, and decentralized work stations for medical staff. There are also plans for a new cardiac catheterization lab, new electrophysiology lab, and a pharmacy cleanroom. Once completed, Deborah’s investment in new infrastructure, with state-of-the art technology, positions Deborah Heart and Lung Center to be a leader in care for the next 100 years.