Several fires in the past few weeks forced the relocation of dozens of families in Essex, Passaic, and Hudson counties. A rare February tornado in Mercer County left some 60 families without a roof over their heads. It’s disasters like these when the local chapters of the Red Cross come to the rescue.
March is Red Cross Month, first proclaimed 80 years ago in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. Every U.S. President has since followed in making the proclamation each year.
Raising of the Red Cross Flag
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus marked Red Cross Month on Monday, March 20 with a flag raising ceremony attended by hospital personnel and local dignitaries.
“As New Jersey’s largest hospital and a safety net facility providing access to quality healthcare for all and especially to those traditionally underserved, the Red Cross and the Medical Center’s missions align which is why it is a true privilege to host this event,” said Deborah Visconi, President & CEO, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.
“Red Cross volunteers are dedicated to ensuring humanitarian aid is available free of charge to those in need,” Visconi added.
Volunteers Make it Happen
Rosie Taravella, CEO of Red Cross New Jersey, said they respond to every county in the state with a workforce that is 90% volunteers.
“This month is about honoring our volunteers and we are proud that this tradition continues 80 years later,” Taravella said, adding that “we are grateful for our partnerships with organizations like Bergen New Bridge.”
Bergen County Executive James Tedesco said the Red Cross is there to lend a hand when people “need help the most and in some cases, where they may have lost everything.”
The Red Cross New Jersey region kicked off Red Cross Month with a day of activities onboard the nation’s most decorated battleship, the Battleship New Jersey in Camden. The Red Cross is rooted in serving military members and veterans and the Red Cross flag was raised on board and is flying throughout the month of March. The Battleship is also lit red in celebration.
“The Red Cross is there for people in their darkest hour so it is a honor to be celebrating our partnerships and the powerful work we do together,” said Jackie Lue Raia, Board of Directors, American Red Cross Northern New Jersey. “No one organization could do this by themselves but together, we are unstoppable.”
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC), a clinical affiliate of Rutgers, is a 1,070-bed hospital located at 230 East Ridgewood Ave., Paramus. The Medical Center is both the largest hospital and licensed nursing home in NJ and the fourth largest, publicly owned hospital in the nation.
A not-for-profit safety net facility, the hospital provides high-quality comprehensive services, including acute and ambulatory care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, long-term care, 24/7 emergency department, surgical suites, physical rehabilitation, pharmacy, laboratory, radiologic services (including digital mammography).
It is a leading provider of COVID 19 testing, vaccinations, and therapeutics. The Medical Center also has satellite offices in Bergenfield, Englewood, and Paterson. Primary care and other health and wellness services are available at the hospital’s CareRite Now centers located in select Inserra Supermarkets in Bergen County.