PARAMUS, NJ – Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III is being recognized for his dedication to the mental health community and his commitment to transforming New Bridge Medical Center into a national model for integrated healthcare. The honor will be presented at the CarePlus Foundation’s 20th Annual Courage Awards Gala on Wednesday, June 6 at the Venetian in Garfield.
As the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Gala celebrates those who tirelessly advocate on behalf of the mental health community.
“CarePlus NJ has set the bar for integrated care, and County Executive Tedesco shared that vision for New Bridge Medical Center. Under his leadership, NJ’s largest hospital is being transformed,” explained Mary Ann Uzzi, co-chair of the 2018 Courage Awards Gala. “This experience could evolve into a national model of care… another opportunity for Bergen County to Lead the Change.”
Tedesco is also a major advocate for the Stigma-Free Initiative, which works to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage mental health treatment without judgment. As a county Freeholder, he was instrumental in having Bergen County designated as the country’s first Stigma-Free County and continues to advocate with all Bergen County municipalities to implement this initiative.
“As the Stigma-Free initiative started to blossom, his support helped to fuel the momentum. Without his involvement, it’s hard to believe that we would have spread the message so far and wide in our communities,” continued Uzzi.
Under Tedesco’s leadership, Bergen County has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the first county in New Jersey to end homelessness among veterans. HUD has also recognized Bergen County as the first community in the nation to eliminate chronic homelessness.
Proceeds from the Courage Awards Gala fund: educational scholarships for those enrolled in CarePlus services, housing and medication assistance, substance abuse services, outpatient treatment and therapy for children and adults, as well as advocacy and community education.