Hackensack University Medical Center Hourglass Memorial Dedication Pays Tribute to Lives Lost Due to COVID-19

May 4, 2021

Hackensack University Medical Center Hourglass Memorial Dedication Pays Tribute to Lives Lost Due to COVID-19
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.

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.”

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.”

To watch a video of the entire dedication, please click here.