|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2006
Public Hospitals Honor Volunteers
Volunteers serve as translators, tutors and lead Karaoke classes for elderly
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) paid tribute to 17 volunteers who represent the 8,000 men and women who have given nearly one million hours service to public hospitals across the city. HHC volunteers were honored at a ceremony in Gracie Mansion on Monday, April 10, for serving as translators, leading music classes, reading to patients and providing spiritual support to those in need.
HHC recognized one special volunteer from each of the 11 HHC facilities for his or her dedication to the public hospitals. Doris Fogle was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year for fearlessly championing for patient rights and supporting the overall development of patient-centered programs at Elmhurst Hospital Center for the past 23 years.
This year's award recipients from Manhattan were Sister Amalia Gandarillas, Bellevue Hospital Center; Rena Pincus and Shirley Baker, Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility; Elsa Quinones, Gouvernuer Healthcare Services; June Jackson, Harlem Hospital Center/Renaissance Health Care Network Diagnostic & Treatment Center; and Cheri Knowles, Metropolitan Hospital Center.
Brooklyn honorees were Edith Cohen, Coney Island Hospital; Dona Chester George, Kings County Hospital Center; Heidi Stephens, Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center; and Gladys Torres, Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center.
Honorees from the Bronx were Alexander Torres, Jacobi Medical Center; Carmen Sonia Fratacci, Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center; and Frances B. Powell, North Central Bronx Hospital.
Queens honorees were Carlos Stewart from Elmhurst Hospital Center and Mary Ellen Joyner from Queens Hospital Center.
From Staten Island, Catherine Renner from Sea View Rehabilitation Center & Home was recognized.
"This is our special way of expressing our gratitude to a select group of volunteers who truly personify the compassion and giving spirit all our volunteers share," said Alan Aviles, HHC President. "We applaud and honor our remarkable volunteers who generously share their time and expertise to help make New York City's public hospitals a safe, effective, efficient and patient-centered health care system."
Each year more than 8,000 volunteers, ranging in age from teens to senior citizens, contribute over 1 million hours of service to HHC. Some devote their time by assisting with art therapy programs, tutoring pediatric patients, providing entertainment or offering administrative support. Others help occupational and physical therapists, serve as patient advocates, offer counseling and act as interpreters for patients who do not speak English.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. HHC operates a network of 11 hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than 80 community clinics and a home health care agency. HHC provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers annually, including more than 450,000 who have no health insurance. For more information about HHC or its volunteer programs, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.