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Press Releases

November 10, 2009

Sherri Holman, MPH
Associate Director of Public Affairs
P (212) 939-1372 F (212) 939-1367

Four Harlem Hospital Center Employees
Honored by the Women Builders Council, Inc.

On Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 6:00 PM at the Third Annual Champion Awards Celebration, the Women Builders Council, Inc. (WBC) honored Dr. John M. Palmer, Executive Director of Harlem Hospital Center and three outstanding ladies of Harlem Hospital Center; Ms. Anita M. O'Brien, Associate Executive Director, Modernization Project; Ms. Deborah Thornhill, Associate Director of Strategic Planning; and Ms. Jo-Ann Young, Assistant Director of Facilities. The Gala and Reception was held at the Bank of New York Mellon located at 101 Barclay Street in New York City. Distinguished guests, colleagues and friends celebrated with the honorees for their significant contributions towards the construction and building of Harlem Hospital Center and the Harlem community.

The Women Builders Council, Inc. is an organization that gives minorities and women in the building industry a voice and presence through advocacy, mentoring, policy and research. The mission of the WBC is to continue to break through barriers, and seek change and solutions to the challenges women face in the industry.

Dr. John M. Palmer was a recipient of the 2009 Champion Award. The Women Builders Council honored Dr. Palmer for his leadership and vision to diversify the workforce at Harlem Hospital Center. Dr. Palmer has been a strong advocate for equal employment opportunities for minorities and women. In his position, he has established a leadership team that demonstrates his support. “It is a great honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Dr. John M. Palmer. “I am more excited for the three Harlem Hospital Center's honorees; they are most deserving of the Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.”

Ms. Anita M. O'Brien, Associate Executive Director of the Modernization Project, is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the work of the various staff, partners and contractors for the Modernization of the New Patient Pavilion. Ms. O'Brien communicates with all stakeholders to ensure construction activities can proceed as scheduled and within budget. Her strong leadership in the Department of Modernization exemplifies an Outstanding Woman in the construction and building industry.

Ms. Deborah Thornhill, Associate Executive Director of Strategic Planning is a major team player in the Harlem Hospital Center's Leadership Team. She demonstrates strong influence and much success because of her will to seek opportunities and to obtain the goal. Under Ms. Thornhill's watch, the Department of Strategic Planning has raised over $4 million for special initiatives including the Martin Luther King Jr. Pavilion Capital Elevator Project, Medina Clinic, Heal 6, Harlem Healthy Walking Initiative, Mammography and West African Outreach. Ms. Thornhill's accomplishments and efforts in business development, planning and program development and marketing warrant the Outstanding Woman Award.

Ms. Jo-Ann Young, Assistant Director of Facilities Management has proven to be an asset to Harlem Hospital Center. In her position, she lends support to the various divisions within Facilities Management; ensuring the hospital fulfills the life safety requirements, as well as, regulatory and accreditation compliance. Ms. Young is known for her commitment to excellence, dedication to the Harlem community and providing the highest level of customer service. She received this honor because of her sincere desire and passion to give selflessly to her colleagues, customers and the Hospital.

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