Captain America Visits K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital


Kenneth Noto, a State Trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police, volunteered his time to visit Hackensack Meridian Health K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital January 23 as ‘Captain America,’ bringing happiness and a welcome distraction to children receiving care in the hospital’s pediatric unit, day stay and emergency department. Noto has been visiting almost monthly, during his off time, for a little over four years as different superheroes, after visiting the children’s hospital to see his niece receiving care for a severe head injury.

“I visited my niece several times while she was at K. Hovnanian. I was so impressed with the excellent care she received from the doctors and nurses, and I noticed how they were caring for so many children in the pediatric unit, who could use some joy,” said Noto. “It inspired me to give back. Around that time, the Superman Batman movie was released. I thought how fun it would be to play Batman in a movie, but even better, wouldn’t it be great to get an authentic Batman suit and bring some happiness to the kids I saw at the hospital. This way I could show my gratitude to the nurses and doctors for the care they provided my niece.”

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Noto soon registered as a volunteer at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where the children’s hospital is located, began visiting as Batman and over the years added Green Arrow and Captain America costumes as those heroes grew in popularity. “Our team members look forward to Kenny’s visits and really appreciate the joy and excitement he provides our patients,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “Our teams and I are very grateful he makes the trip from Pennsylvania to visit us.”

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K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital is the most comprehensive provider of pediatric care in the region and part of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Children’s Health services. It includes a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, and intensive and acute care units. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked the combined cancer program at Hackensack Meridian Health’s two children’s hospitals – K. Hovnanian and Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, NJ, #44 in the U.S. and the only cancer program in New Jersey to be ranked among the top 50 in the nation.

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(photo caption)
Captain America gives Domir Simmons, of Lakewood, NJ, a hug during his January 23 visit to the K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital on the campus of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, in Neptune, NJ.