Pictured: Darian Eletto, Dr. Moonthungal, Dr. Dandavate, Mary Amoroso, Germaine Ortiz, Kristen Muldowney, Robert Pacicco, Jim Tedesco, Tom Sullivan, Debbie Visconi, Jack Delucca-Gross, Ray Welsh, Donnalee Corrieri, Christian Fuscarino, Lisa Swain
PARAMUS, NJ – Bergen New Bridge Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially launch its new LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center. Several leaders and members from the LGBTQ community were present along with elected officials, hospital administration and other key stakeholders.
“Our goal with the LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center is to connect members of that community with medical and mental health services in one convenient location,” said Deborah Visconi Bergen New Bridge Medical Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Visconi said that people of transgender and gender non-binary (TGNB) experience often face widespread discrimination and misunderstanding from health care providers. Results from the Medical Center’s recent community Needs Assessment (CHNA) showed healthcare disparities for this community who, during focus groups, voiced a need and a desire for a health provider who could deliver diverse services in a compassionate and respectful setting. “This center is a safe place where LGBTQ+ individuals can access care, testing, and education in a welcoming, supportive, equitable, and stigma-free environment.”
Executive Director of Garden State Equality, Christian Fuscarino praised Visconi for being a long time partner ally and thanked the Medical Center for, “providing services to the LGBTQ population and creating the first of its kind center in Bergen County providing a spectrum of critical health care services at a time when they are most needed,” he said.
Longtime LGBTQ advocate and representative from Buddies of NJ, Ray Welsh shared, “It is reassuring to finally have a place to go to for healthcare in a place you feel comfortable and know you are wanted.”
“Today demonstrates once again that the doors to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center are open for everybody and never close. This is everyone’s home and all are welcome and cared for with respect, dignity, and compassion.” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “The LGBTQ Health and Wellness Center is a testament to the Medical Center’s leadership and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and I could not be prouder of this dedication.”
The LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center is located on the second floor of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Appointments for services can be made by calling 201.225.7130. It offers:
- Primary care services
- Mental health services
- Substance abuse services
- Endocrinology services
- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Screenings & Treatment
- HIV/AIDS Testing, and Treatment & Prevention, including PREP and PEP
- Care Coordination
“Bergen New Bridge Medical Center has a proud history of servicing the disparate needs of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Visconi. “This new health and wellness center is the natural evolution of our commitment to this underserved population.”
“We thank the LGBTQ community for trusting us to provide their health and wellness needs and believing in us to do it with compassion, respect, and a true dedication to delivering high quality, personalized care.” said Kristen Muldowney, Bergen New Bridge’s Chief Administrative Officer. “By embracing diversity, we strengthen our understanding of equity and inclusion and help create a world that appreciates the value and importance of every person.”
To learn more about Bergen New Bridge Medical Center or the LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center, please visit www.newbridgehealth.org.
ABOUT BERGEN NEW BRIDGE MEDICAL CENTER
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC), a clinical affiliate of Rutgers, is a 1,070-bed hospital located at 230 East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus, NJ. The Medical Center is both the largest hospital and licensed nursing home in NJ and the fourth-largest publicly-owned hospital in the nation.
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, a not-for-profit safety net facility, provides high-quality comprehensive services, including acute and ambulatory care from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and community physicians, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and long-term care to the greater Bergen County community. The Medical Center, including its Long-Term Care Division, is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and is in network with all major New Jersey commercial insurance plans covering 99.91% of NJ residents.
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center is a full-service hospital with a 24/7 emergency department, surgical suites, physical rehabilitation, pharmacy, laboratory, radiologic services (including digital mammography), and more than 26 medical specialties available through its Ambulatory Care Center. The Medical Center is a Veterans Community Care Provider proudly serving the healthcare needs of veterans and is a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for 2020. Learn more at www.newbridgehealth.org.