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Montefiore's Finest Honored with the President's Award

New York City, NY (May 24, 2007) -- Five associates from Montefiore Medical Center received the 25th annual President’s Award at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees. As Montefiore’s most prestigious distinction, the President’s Award honors Montefiore associates who continuously exemplify Montefiore Excellence.

The honorees are nominated by colleagues, patients, and/or visitors, wishing to recognize their exemplary performance. Selected candidates meet the following criteria:
· Perform and exceed within their position, "above and beyond" job responsibilities in an exemplary, professional, and positive manner.
· Demonstrate excellent customer service skills with patients, visitors, and families, which contributes to positive team performance.
· Demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation in his/her role at Montefiore.
· Be involved in a Montefiore program, activity or initiative.
· Bring recognition and prestige to Montefiore via publications, community service, volunteer activities.

The honorees include Vanessa Weldon, RN and Jose Galeas of the Bronx, Jorge Rodriguez of Englewood, NJ, Gloria Nelson of Darien, Ct. and Rachael Scibior of New York City.

Vanessa Weldon, RN joined the Home Health Agency as a weekend admission nurse in 2000. She visits acutely ill homebound patients in the Bronx to admit them the program. Weldon works with patients upon their discharge from the hospital or other facility in order to help them make the difficult transition to home. She is one of the first supports that many patients receive when they return home from a hospitalization.

“Vanessa receives many compliments from her patients because of her superb nursing skills, cheerful demeanor and can do attitude. Vanessa is also a wonderful resource for her colleagues and new associates. She assists many new nurses as they transition into home care and demonstrates the critical role that home care nurses play everyday in allowing acutely ill patients to receive their care in the comforts of home,” said Terry Goodwin, vice president of clinical operations.

“From the beginning, Vanessa has demonstrated Montefiore Excellence. She has braved many snowstorms, heat waves and power outages in order to make sure that all of her patients and any other vulnerable patients in the Agency are provided care.”
Jose Galeas has been a security officer at Montefiore since 1984 and at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore since it opened in 2001. “Whether it’s working with the children or their parents, he always makes a positive impression,” said Elaine Brennan, senior vice president of operations. “He defuses situations by being able to listen when necessary and speaking always in a calm and sensitive tone. Jose lives Montefiore Excellence/Service Excellence in everything he does.”

Along with his dedication to the medical center, Galeas is involved in multiple volunteer projects. He has been actively involved in Marriage Encounter, a Bronx organization that opens the lines of communication and strengthens married couples’ relationships. He counsels couples in both English and Spanish. He also volunteers his services and runs parenting classes at St. Philip Neri Church & School in the Bronx.

“In her role as the social worker for ambulatory Oncology at Montefiore Medical Park, Gloria Nelson, LCSW, consistently demonstrates exceptional and compassionate care and support to patients and their families. A diagnosis of cancer impacts all areas of a person’s life- health, family dynamics, financial stability, body image and a loss of control over one’s future. Nelson addresses all of these issues fearlessly and tirelessly as demonstrated by the many letters of thanks and gratitude applauding her hard work. She is a pillar of support for patients and their families throughout their illness,” said Elaine Brennan.

Nelson’s efforts are not limited to her work hours. Her monthly laughter group ensures that patients are treated to an evening of humor, companionship and good food. Gloria also works with the “Look Good Feel Good” organization, helping patients deal with their changing body image. Nelson plans to donate her monetary reward to the Montefiore-Einstein Cancer Center.

Jorge Rodriguez joined Montefiore in 2001 as the administrative director for HIV/AIDS Services. In 2004, he was promoted to his current role as the associate director for the Montefiore Medical Group’s Family Care Center and the AIDS Center.

Rodriguez has continually worked to provide services to special needs populations. Since he joined the medical center, the AIDS Center has significantly increased its involvement with community-sponsored activities including Montefiore’s Annual PRIDE Health Fair and the annual world AIDS Day. Under his leadership, Montefiore is currently responsible for Project HEAL, a community program for preventing HIV infection in women.

“From his first day at Montefiore, Jorge has demonstrated the Montefiore Excellence Standards of Behavior through his words and actions. Jorge is always willing to be involved in projects and initiatives that will contribute to the satisfaction and well being of the medical center’s patients and associates. He is a mentor to associates at all levels and continuously strives to ensure quality care is provided to patients in his programs,” said Terry Goodwin.
Rachael Scibior joined the organizational communications team as a graphic artist in 2000 and, in 2001, joined the Marketing Department. Currently, she is manager of communications and design. Her influence has been felt across the institution in many ways.

“Rachael continues to exemplify the excellence that is Montefiore. She is a model associate, treats others with great respect and good humor and is always available for advice or support. She is a “can-do” professional, always willing to be involved in yet another project and always bringing a strong sense of design and discipline to any project she undertakes,” said Tom Tebbens, vice president of marketing.

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