Frank Kapusinski

Patient at HackensackUMC Palisades

Frank Kapusinski

Patient at HackensackUMC Palisades

He Gave Me My Life Back

All summer and into the fall, Frank Kapusinski kept going to his office, even as worsening ulcerative colitis made completing routine tasks an ordeal. By the end of October, the litigator for the Bergen County Counsel lost 55 pounds and was bleeding from the GI tract multiple times a day. He was wracked by sharp abdominal pains.

“I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis five years earlier, but it had never given me much trouble,” Frank says. “But as the fall progressed, I started getting worried. I realized it wasn’t going to resolve on its own with the treatment I was receiving.”

Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum. Someone with a severe attack cannot absorb nutrients and can easily become dehydrated. Frank became so weak that he could barely pick up a hairbrush. “I dreaded getting on a scale,” he recalls.

As the fall progressed, Frank’s alarm grew. He was scared he would require surgery that would leave him dependent on a colostomy bag. And in his darkest moments, he feared that his 12-year old daughter would experience the pain he felt when he lost his mother as a child.

A recommendation from his wife led him to Dr. Jeffrey Raskin, a gastroenterologist at HackensackUMC Palisades. “When Frank came to see me in November, we both realized he was in trouble,” Raskin says.

Frank’s immediate impression was that he was in good hands. “When I met with Dr. Raskin, he spent an enormous amount of time with me answering questions.” Frank recalls. “He clearly understood ulcerative colitis and the latest approaches for treating it.”

Dr. Raskin immediately took steps to rule out other possible causes and keep Frank’s condition from deteriorating. “Because treatment involves suppressing the immune system, we had to make sure the cause of Frank’s condition was ulcerative colitis and not an infection,” Dr. Raskin says.

Dr. Raskin also realized Frank’s health was so precarious that turning it around required hospitalization. “Time was critical,” Dr. Raskin says. “Inpatient care enabled us to provide the intensive medical treatment he needed.” During the nine days at HackensackUMC Palisades, Frank was rehydrated, fed intravenously, and put on a temporary course of steroids that would give the long-term medications Raskin prescribed time to take effect.

“No one wants to be in the hospital, but I couldn’t have had a better experience in a lot of ways,” Frank says. “Everyone seemed personally invested in getting me better. Dr. Raskin even took a day off from his practice to attend a seminar in Manhattan and confer with other specialists on my case.”

By mid-December, Frank began feeling hopeful about his recovery, and, having regained 20 pounds, he returned to work on February 1. He now sounds buoyant, enthusiastic, and ready for anything life throws his way. “I owe it all to Dr. Raskin,” he says simply. “He gave me life back.”

Everyone seemed personally invested in getting me better.

Frank Kapusinski

Executive Staff

Bruce J. Markowitz

President & CEO

David J. Berkowitz


Joseph Burt


Donna Cahill


John Calandriello


G. Edward Davis


Ruben D. Fernandez, RN


Anthony Passannante, M.D.


Eurice E. Rojas


Board of Governors

Theresa de León, Esq.


Andrew Horowitz


Leonard Lauricella


Bruce J. Markowitz


Kevin O’Connor


Aida Capo, M.D.

Alexander Duran

Thomas M. Eastwick

Mario Marghella

John C. Meditz

Suri Ponamgi, M.D.

Constantine Potamianos, Esq.

Jeffrey M. Raskin, M.D.

Dennis Robinson

Lillian Sonnenschein

Richard Turner

Thomas M. Venino Jr., Esq.

Howard M. Shiffman


Awards & Recognition

HackensackUMC Palisades was ranked among the top hospitals in the state by Inside Jersey magazine and Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. for the second year in a row.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association have recognized HackensackUMC Palisades with their 2015 Get With The Guidelines® Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Awards for the Medical Center’s treatment of heart failure and stroke patients.

HackensackUMC Palisades was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Top Hospital for Cardiac Care.

HackensackUMC Palisades was recognized by CMS as a Top Performer for Heart Failure and Stroke care.

New Jersey’s Department of Health and Senior Services awarded HackensackUMC Palisades a perfect 100 score for treatment of heart attack patients.

The American Association of Respiratory Care has recognized both HackensackUMC Palisades and The Harborage with Quality Respiratory Care Recognition awards (only about 15 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have received this award).

HackensackUMC Palisades’ Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program earned National Certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

HackensackUMC Palisades is the first hospital in Hudson and Bergen counties to receive the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Care Award for excellence in lactation care.

HackensackUMC Palisades received several awards from the March of Dimes for its leadership support during the past year. HackensackUMC Palisades received “Top Corporate Team” awards for Hudson County and North Jersey after raising more than $31,000 to support the March of Dimes.

Fitch Ratings, Inc. affirmed the Health System’s BBB Stable Outlook Rating and Standard & Poor’s affirmed its BBB-Rating and upgraded the System’s outlook to Positive from Stable. Both rating agencies sight demonstrated financial performance, stable market share in a competitive service area, strong outpatient growth, strategic initiatives including the opening of the new on-campus Medical Office Building, and the System’s relationship with Hackensack University Health Network.

HackensackUMC Palisades was recognized by Press Ganey in its New Jersey Top Performers List - Q3 2015 in the following categories: Cleanliness, Communication with Physicians, Pain Management and Quietness of Environment.

The Harborage was named on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Nursing Homes” List.

The Harborage received a 5-star rating from both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Harborage earned AHA National Quality Award.

HackensackUMC Palisades’ Graduate Medical Education Program now includes more than 110 residents that specialize in Dermatology, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gastroenterology, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Podiatry and Orthopedics.

In 2015, HackensackUMC Palisades opened its new Medical Office Building, a 57,000-square-foot facility that provides state-of-the-art ambulatory and specialty care services, including Hackensack University Medical Center’s John Theurer Cancer Center and other multi-disciplinary specialties.

HackensackUMC Palisades opened its new state-of-the-art Sleep-Wake Center in the newly-constructed Medical Office Building on the Palisades campus at 7650 River Road in North Bergen, NJ. The Sleep-Wake Center at Palisades is a nationally-accredited center and its new location offers modern and luxurious rooms and amenities designed to make patients feel relaxed and right at home.

HackensackUMC Palisades renovated all of its Patient Care Units to optimize comfort, safety, privacy and care of patients. The new units feature all-new furnishings, and nursing stations have also been redesigned and updated to strengthen patient monitoring.