Newswise — HACKENSACK, N.J. – On April 26, 2021, Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center dedicated an Hourglass Memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony, which took place in the Max McGuire Memorial Garden, provided a time of reflection for patients, visitors and team members.
When passing by the memorial, located in a special display case located outside the Hekemian Conference Center, individuals will not only remember those who have lost their lives, but will also remember that, even during times of sorrow, time is a precious gift that is not to be wasted.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us in different ways, creating new and unprecedented challenges, and sadly, many of us have been faced with perhaps the most difficult and unimaginable challenge of all — coping with the loss of a colleague, friend, or family member,” said Mark Sparta, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center, during his remarks at the ceremony. “However, even during these dark times, there were glimmers of hope. Both inside the hospital and in the community, people joined together to fight a common and unseen enemy. Together, we mourned our losses, but we also celebrated our victories, no matter how big or small.”
Hourglass dedication speakers, from left: Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center; Rev. David Armstrong, director, Pastoral Care; Elizabeth Paskas, MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CPXP, SVP, chief patient experience officer; and Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health.
The highlight of the ceremony was the dedication of the Hourglass Memorial, which is a powerful symbol of the passage of time and has a different meaning for every individual.
“For those that lost loved ones, the hourglass may be a symbol of a life cut too short by COVID-19. However, it also symbolizes that this challenging time will eventually pass,” remarked Ihor Sawczuk, MD, regional president, Northern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “It also reminds us of the time we spent with those we loved and lost. And finally, it reminds us to appreciate and enjoy the time we still have with those we love.”
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive, and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research, and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 35,000 team members and more than 7,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center is ranked #2 in New Jersey and #59 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 Best Hospital rankings and is ranked high-performing in the U.S. in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, heart bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, knee replacement and hip replacement. Out of 4,500 hospitals evaluated, Hackensack is one of only 57 that received a top rating in all nine procedures and conditions. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018.
The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 26 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its sixth consecutive designation in 2019. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: John Theurer Cancer Center, a consortium member of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive, and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research, and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having four of its hospitals are among the top hospitals in New Jersey for 2020-21, according to U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the health system has more top-ranked hospitals than any system in New Jersey. Children’s Health is again ranked a top provider of pediatric health care in the United States and earned top 50 rankings in the annual U.S. News’ 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and being named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2019” list.
The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.
Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
To learn more, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.