PARAMUS, NJ – On Monday, June 3rd, the County of Bergen held its Annual Pride Flag Raising Ceremony in celebration of Pride Month at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in partnership with the Bergen County LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee.

Pride Month is a month-long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, their identity, and their contributions to society. It is recognized each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York, which served as a catalyst for the Gay Liberation Movement. The theme for Pride 2024 is “Reflect. Empower. Unite.,” which encourages the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike to reflect on how far we have come in the past 55 years while also acknowledging how far we have to go, empower one another as we stand against injustice, and remain united in our fight for equality and progress.

The County held its first Pride Flag Raising in 2015- only the second county in the State to do so at the time. Earlier this year, the County established a permanent Office of LGBTQ+ Services which provides LGBTQ+ residents with streamlined access to resources and promotes awareness, education, and training to effect systemic change.

As a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and home to the LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center- which provides culturally competent and affirming care to a historically underserved community, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center is a fitting host to the County’s Annual Pride Flag Raising.

“Now more than ever, we must empower ourselves and each other to take action, raise our voices, and continue the fight,” said Bergen County Executive Tedesco. “We will never stop pushing for inclusion, we will never stop advocating for your rights, and we will continue to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community through events like this and by advocating for you not just during Pride Month, but 365 days a year.”

The ceremony included remarks from Dr. Christopher Awwad, Medical Director of the LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Closing remarks were given by Bergen County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Germaine Ortiz.

"As we celebrate Pride Month, Bergen County proudly reaffirms its dedication as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community," said Bergen County Commissioner Chairwoman Germaine Ortiz. "It has been a privilege to witness the exceptional support and care that New Bridge Medical Center has provided, and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts in championing equality and inclusion for all."

Bergen County Academies graduate Nina Osso performed the National Anthem as well as an original song titled, “My Best Friend.”

Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III presented a proclamation recognizing June 2024 as Pride Month. The proclamation was presented to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center President and CEO Deborah Visconi.

Photo Caption: Above: Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center President and CEO Deborah Visconi are joined by Bergen County Commissioner Vice Chairwoman Mary Amoroso, Bergen County Commissioner Tom Sullivan, Bergen County Commissioner Rafael Marte, LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center Medical Director Dr. Christopher Awwad, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, District 38 Assemblywoman Lisa Swain, and Bergen County Commissioner Chairwoman Germaine Ortiz as they hold up the Pride Flag in celebration of Pride Month.

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