October 6, 2020 – Paramus, NJ – The first ‘Greetingman’ to be installed in the United States was unveiled recently on the campus of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center overlooking its Korean long term care building. Donated by Korean Philanthropist HK Choi, the ‘Greetingman’ was unveiled in a dedication ceremony that honored the meaning and intent of the donation.
“Worldwide, there are 1,000 ‘Greetingman’ statues symbolizing peace, reconciliation, respect, homage, diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Robert Pacicco, Care Plus Bergen Board of Trustees Chairman. “Bergen New Bridge is honored to be the first site in the United States to proudly display the ‘Greetingman’. We thank HK Choi for his generosity and acknowledgement of the Medical Center’s commitment to the Korean community and all of the diverse communities we serve.” Pacicco was instrumental in facilitating the donation.
“The ‘Greetingman’ symbolizes everything we stand for, everything we are committed to and all that we pledge to do for our communities--embracing peace, reconciliation, and communication, while embodying the significance of health,” said Deborah Visconi, Bergen New Bridge President and CEO. “We recommit ourselves to you, greeting you, we hold our doors open for you, as the county asset, as your healthcare provider of choice, providing high quality care in a welcoming, inclusive and diverse environment.” She added, “We hope The ‘Greetingman’ will be the visual embodiment of our efforts to assist our Foundation as it seeks public support and funding for our Medical Center. We are thankful for this generous and meaningful gift from HK Choi.”
“As the most diverse county in New Jersey, I can think of no better home for the ‘Greetingman,’ than right here in Bergen County. I would like to thank HK Choi for donating this beautiful statue to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, an exceptional facility known for providing culturally sensitive healthcare services to everyone in need. May this statue inspire us to find beauty in the traditions of our neighbors and help us remain steadfast in ensuring that Bergen County continues to be an inclusive place for everyone to live, work, and raise a family,” said Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Executive.
“We thank HK Choi for bringing the ‘Greetingman’ to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center and know that this symbol of respect, peace, welcoming, and equity, needed more now than ever, will have a lasting impact,” said Mary Amoroso, Bergen County Board of Commissioners Chair.
“One gift and one person can have a significant impact on a safety net hospital like Bergen New Bridge, which is dedicated to providing access to healthcare for all and especially those who have been traditionally underserved. COVID-19 put many challenges upon the hospital, but nothing the generosity of our community coupled with the strategic vision of the Medical Center’s leadership cannot overcome,” said John Cosgrove, Bergen New Bridge Foundation Chairman. “I hope the ‘Greetingman’ inspires other giving people like HK Choi to come forward and pledge their support because the power of one gift fuels the mission of many.”
Photo caption: Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen New Bridge President and CEO Deb Visconi, CarePlus Bergen Trustee Chair Robert Pacicco and Greetingman donor, HK Choi