|Gladys Dixon, Chairperson, Community Advisory Boards
Gladys Dixon spent 14 years as a resident of Coler Memorial Hospital, a long-term facility now part of HHC's Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility. She says the experience allows her to lead the New York City public hospital system's network of community advisors with both confidence and first-hand experience.
"I was told I would never leave long-term care," Dixon says. "But, through the rehabilitation services I received, I can walk and I am no longer a resident. I still have my nursing license and am at Coler almost every day. My presence reminds them that it is possible to get better and get back into the community. When I visit patients I tell them the importance of making the most of their stay."
Dixon's experience has made her a strong and active advocate for patients, the rights of the disabled and for hospital quality of care issues. As Chairperson of the Council of Municipal Hospitals Community Advisory Boards (CABs) since 2007, she leads a dedicated group of 20 CAB chairpersons who advise HHC about patient and community needs.
"Few people realize that the CABs are an integral part of HHC," Dixon says. "CAB members meet regularly with HHC staff to discuss system-wide issues, report concerns from the community and recommend policies to HHC’s President and Board of Directors."
In her role as Chairperson, Dixon has also been instrumental in advocating for HHC by visiting with legislators in Albany and Washington to fight against threatened cuts to healthcare funding which could have cost public hospitals millions of dollars. This spring, Dixon received the Marshall England Memorial Public Health Award, for her outstanding community leadership from The Commission on the Public's Health System, a local public health advocacy organization.
Dixon was born in North Carolina and moved to Brooklyn in 1963 to live with relatives. She started working as a Nurses Aide in Brooklyn Hospital and pursued a nursing degree and received an LPN license in 1979.
Dixon lives in Roosevelt Island and spends her days visiting the residents of Coler-Goldwater, listening to their concerns and needs. She also sings in the hospital’s choir every Sunday.