The Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame will induct three new members during a gala April 24.
The three women are Dr. Mary Bacon (1893-1971), of Bridgeton; Diane Fischer-Cristiano, of Vineland; and Elizabeth Sheridan, of Egg Harbor City.
Bacon was the first female physician to join the staff of Bridgeton Hospital, 21 years after starting her career as an obstetrician. She was awarded Woman Physician of the Year in 1967 and Physician of the Year in 1969 by New Jersey’s Academy of Medicine. Years after joining the Cumberland County Medical Society and hospital staff, she assisted Dr. Leonard Scott in becoming the first African American to join the staff. Bacon graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and opened her own practice in Bridgeton shortly after the influenza epidemic during World War I.
Sheridan is the chief operating officer for Inspira Health Network Centers in Vineland and Elmer. She developed a potentially lifesaving nutrition benefit for newly discharged hospital patients. She served as administrator for Bridgeton Hospital and was the chief nurse executive at South Jersey Healthcare. Sheridan developed the first scholarship program at Vineland High School for students completing the Parent Linking Program. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in administration from Rider University. She received the 2014 Humanitarian Award from TCNJ and was honored as the 2010 Garden State Woman of the Year in Healthcare.
Fischer-Cristiano was the first female boxing promoter in New Jersey. She started a boxing program for the Vineland Boys & Girls Club, where she was president from 2009 to 2011. She was the first woman promoter to set up an all-female fight card in Louisiana and has been involved in more than 75 matches around the world. She is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The inductees will join 46 other women honored in the 10 years since the hall was founded.
“With great admiration, we celebrate the lives of highly accomplished women throughout Cumberland County,” said Louise T. Bertacchi, founder and president of the hall. “It is with great pride that all of us on the board honor such accomplished women year after year.”