PARAMUS, N.J. – Just days after Bergen County officials unveiled a new name for the former Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, a 54-year old non-profit is demanding the county reverse the selection.
On Monday, county officials held a ceremony to rename the hospital New Bridge Medical Center. On Thursday, attorneys representing Pequannock-based NewBridge Services, Inc. sent a cease and desist letter to the Bergen County Improvement Authority and County Executive James Tedesco, III.
“It is abhorrent that the County of Bergen, as a public entity, has participated in victimizing a charitable organization by this obvious attempt to take advantage of the good name they have developed,” attorney Robert H. Oostdyk, Jr. wrote on behalf of NewBridge. “Your use of the name ‘New Bridge’ is nothing short of a direct infringement on its rights.”
NewBridge Services provides counseling, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health care, housing and educational programs to 10,000 people a year in northern New Jersey. The non-profit serves Passaic County and operates affordable housing for Bergen County residents.
NewBridge CEO Robert L. Parker said the new name for the hospital – which also offers behavioral health care and substance abuse treatment – is already creating confusion.
“They are creating confusion, and undoubtedly NewBridge clients will mistakenly contact the hospital and vice versa,” Parker said. The nonprofit has already received emails and phone calls from clients and service partners who mistakenly believe NewBridge has merged or taken over the hospital, he said.
“We seek support from community members and legislators to force Bergen County to reverse the name selection,” Parker said.
Daily Voice reached out to the County of Bergen for comment Friday. On Tuesday, county spokeswoman Alicia D'Alessandro responded with the following comment.
“The County chose the name based on the historical significance of the location in Bergen County. The County is confident with the choice of name but cannot comment further now that the matter is the subject of litigation as evidenced by the cease and desist letter,” D’Alessandro said.
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