Bergen New Bridge Medical Center hosted the second annual Pride Celebration and Flag Raising Ceremony in partnership with Bergen County, the Bergen County LGBTQ Advisory Committee and Buddies of New Jersey.
“This Pride Celebration is an example of what we, as a medical center, have been dedicated to doing by building relationships, providing services and creating an inclusive and equitable health care environment,” Deborah Visconi, CEO and president, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, said. “I am committed to ensuring our medical center provides compassionate and inclusive care to everyone who enters our doors and beyond.”
“Bergen County’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and the thousands of people who identify as LGBTQ help make all our communities stronger, so it is important that we stand in solidarity against bigotry, violence and discrimination while affirming our commitment to equal rights for everyone, including the LGBTQ community,” James Tedesco, Bergen County executive, said. “Raising the flag is a symbol of our commitment to making sure the LGBTQ community has the support they need so that they feel safe and welcome here in Bergen County.”
Tedesco recognized municipalities who have hosted Pride events or engaged in other inclusive activities on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Glen Rock was the first municipality in the county to raise a Pride flag, and Tedesco presented a proclamation to Glen Rock Mayor Kristine Morieko to honor their leadership. The event also included a resource fair with community organizations and agencies, music and refreshments.
“LGBTQ people are too often told to shrink themselves to fit into spaces that were not designed with them in mind, and we simply cannot do that when it comes to our health, which is why we are on a mission to deliver competent care to the LGBTQ community,” Dr. Christopher Awwad, medical director, LGBTQ+ Health & Wellness Center, said. “As we raise the flag today, I want to encourage each of you to raise your expectations of what your health care experience should look like.”
“Events like these are necessary, meaningful, important and must continue,” Ric Miles, executive director, Buddies of New Jersey, said. “When we talk about municipalities not having the Pride flag up or haven’t made the strides that need to be made, we hope that the work we are doing in these communities we hope to see more flags raised and more efforts within these communities who have LGBTQ members who need the support.”