HACKENSACK, NJ -- Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative of Hackensack will host its sixth annual gala this Sunday, Sept. 27, honoring those who provide select free health services to low-income Bergen County residents.
"Bergen's Best: BVMI Gala" at The Riverside Square Mall will recognize a physician from each regional hospital -- among them, a gynecologist, a physician who manages patients with diabetes and a cancer surgeon.
BVMI, which depends on the annual fundraiser for a quarter of its annual budget, supports free basic health services to employed county residents who earn 100-300% of federal poverty guidelines but cannot afford health insurance.
Patients are referred through the organization and make appointments to see specific doctors for blood tests, pelvic examinations and select basic services.
"What happens with this segment of society is that they don't see their doctor and they wait until they get very sick and go to the emergency room and their health is seriously affected," said Jeanne Patrican, director of donor relations, "where if they come to see us, and we help them take care of themselves, they don't get critically ill."
More than 300 volunteers, supporters and patients are expected to attend Sunday's $225-a-plate event, which includes an online auction on more than 80 items.
Kenneth Herman , Ed. D. who will receive a special award tribute for advocacy; Michael G. Faust, MD of The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood;
Scott D. Lippe , MD of Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus;
V. Merle McIntosh , MD of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center;
Philip Micale , MD of Holy Name Medical Center;
Richard Watson , MD, of Hackensack University Medical Center.
All will receive Community Leadership Awards for their pro bono work in patient care.
BVMI's office building at 241 Moore Street is currently slated for redevelopment as part of a larger Hackensack project. Officials hope to find a larger office that is easily accessible to patrons and volunteers with nearby public transportation stations and ample parking.
MORE INFO: Kathleen DiGiulio at (201) 518-8487 or BVMI 6th Annual Gala
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