There are so many celebrities who were born in New Jersey, yet so few who not only want to admit it, but even embrace their origins. Danny DeVito is different.

He was born at Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune and grew up in Asbury Park. He’s so proud of his Jersey-ness that he is often seen frequenting New Jersey, restaurants and other venues, and is now the spokesman for Jersey Mike’s Subs.

DeVito has a strong connection with his Jersey roots and has always been very public about it.

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In light of that, Devito recently made a $500,000 donation to Jersey Shore University Hospital, part of the Hackensack Meridian Health system.

According to an article from Asbury Park Press, DeVito’s gift could not come at a more perfect time. As the hospital grows at a breakneck pace, it needs to continue to meet the growing demand to provide affordable state-of-the-art care. Many hospitals in New Jersey are under the same pressure, but Danny DeVito was born at Jersey Shore, then known as Fitkin Hospital, so that’s where his gift went.

When I was a young girl, summering in Bradley Beach, Fitkin was down the road. My doctor had an office at Fitkin Hospital. We visited the hospital emergency room there whenever we had summer accidents. Any doctor we knew worked there, and I even got my ears pierced there when I was 12 years old. (In those days only doctors pierced your ears unless you did it at home with an ice cube and a needle.)

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DeVito expressed his appreciation to the hospital and still maintains close ties to the community where he still has family. According to an article on, DeVito’s donation will fund the medical center, specifically in cancer treatments, bone marrow transplants, the children's center, and cardiac unit.

DeVito's gift was sorely needed and perhaps he has set a precedent. We can only hope that many more of the big shots were born here will remember their roots and help out what has become a growing healthcare crisis in this state.

Jersey Shore is a Premier medical institution in New Jersey, and, especially because I live in the area and many of the doctors that I have used throughout my life have privileges there, I feel grateful to Danny DeVito for his generous contribution.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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