Fallen Military Heroes Honored at Ceremony at Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center

May 24, 2017

A special ceremony was held at Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center today, honoring team members who have lost a loved one serving in the military.

John K. Lloyd, Co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, opened the program with an Oorah! “Memorial Day was first observed in May 1868 to honor Civil War casualties,” said Lloyd. “Since then, roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in our nation’s wars. Today we recognize our country’s fallen heroes, especially the loved ones of our team members who proudly served.”

The event was planned by the Veterans at Hackensack Meridian Health team member resource group. As part of the ceremony, team member Patricia Wesch – who serves as Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force – placed a wreath on the chair of the Unknown Soldier. The chair and place setting hold great symbolism, and represent fallen men and women of the armed forces who cannot be present for this special occasion.

“This is a day to be with members of our hospital family and remember all who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of this great country,” says committee chairman, David Robinson.

The event also included a flag folding ceremony and presentation of the flag to team member Donna Nerges of Matawan, NJ. Of the many team members present, the Nerges family most recently lost a loved one, Sgt. Anthony D. Matteoni of the U.S. Marine Corps. Sgt. Matteoni was Ms. Nerges’ nephew. He was deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010 and was killed in action on October 1, 2010 in the Helmand Province at the age of 22. His wife of two years was pregnant with their daughter when he was killed.

“Sgt. Matteoni and all the individuals we remember today have earned our undying gratitude,” says Timothy Hogan, president of Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center. “America will never forget them and neither will those of us at Hackensack Meridian Health.”

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 120 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, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, 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.