Hackensack Meridian Health Honors Veterans in Ceremonies in Hackensack and Neptune

November 22, 2017

From event at Hackensack University Medical Center earlier this month: Congressman Josh Gottheimer (center)stands with Hackensack University Medical Center President Ihor S. Sawczuk and staff, including many veterans.

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s most integrated health care network, honored our nation’s veterans – including team members who have served their country – in ceremonies in Neptune and Hackensack, where Congressman Josh Gottheimer praised the network’s efforts for continued support of service men and women.

“Hackensack University Medical Center is proud to be home to so many veterans,” Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president of Hackensack University Medical Center said at a ceremony at the medical center. “These men and women go beyond, not only for our medical center, but also for our great country.”

Hackensack Meridian Health also sponsored the Veterans Day Recognition ceremony at Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is proud to support our veteran community, both inside and outside of work,” said David Works, chief human resources officer and a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. “It is a goal and priority for our organization to attract, identify and retain veteran team members, while also supporting them through recruitment initiatives, as well as tools and resources to help them thrive at our organization.”

“At Hackensack Meridian Health, it’s important that we provide support, resources, professional development and communications for our veterans,” said Wayne Boatwright, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Hackensack Meridian Health. “I have the utmost respect for these honorable men and women who have so selflessly served our country.”

At the event earlier this month in Hackensack, Rep. Gottheimer awarded medals to veterans and praised them for their service to our nation.

“Hackensack University Medical Center is not only a veteran-friendly employer, but they understand the importance of taking care of veterans when they return home,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, New Jersey 5th Congressional District. “Congratulations to the veterans honored today. I’m grateful for their commitment to service in our community.”

Hackensack University Medical Center is also home to Operation S.M.A.R.T.(Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training) an innovative and unique partnership with the United States Army Reserve. The effort focuses on high quality, individualized medical training for service members to improve their knowledge and skills. Soldiers partner with civilian experts at the medical center for 15 days of intensive training at no cost to the government.

In addition to veterans honored for their service, William John Percy received a medal for outstanding work with disabled veterans. Mr. Percy, who is the son of Stephen Percy, M.D., interim chair of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, received a medal for his volunteer work with Healing Waters. The organization helps rehabilitate disabled active personnel as well as veterans through fly fishing and other outdoor activities. Mr. Percy established a chapter of Healing Waters in Bergen County and has spent countless hours teaching the art of fly fishing to veterans.

Additionally, Donald Fleischer, a retired Hackensack University Medical Center team member and volunteer who also served in the United States Army represented Hackensack Meridian Health at a Veterans Day ceremony in the city of Hackensack.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the 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 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 140 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, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 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 one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals ranked among the top 10 in New Jersey, including the No. 1 ranked Hackensack University Medical Center, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” 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.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.

For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.