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Nursing Awards and Recognition
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For Professionals

Nursing Awards and Recognition

Setting New Standards for Superior Patient Care

Montefiore nurses never lose sight of our mission to ensure that all of our patients receive compassionate, diligent and proactive care, as reflected in the widespread recognition our nurses receive for their pursuit of excellence.

2016 Awards & Honors

Montefiore is proud to share a selection of recent staff accolades, awards and appointments reflecting leadership and excellence in patient care, research and commitment to the community.

Veronica Butt, RN, MS, Wakefield Campus, received the Joan H. Bilder Award, the special nursing award given in memory of Joan Bilder, RN, MSN, to encourage and continue the excellence in clinical nursing practice that she believed in. Ms. Bilder was the Associate Director of Nursing at Weiler Hospital when she died of cancer in 1987.

Ms. Butt attained her BSN and MS in nursing from Long Island University, and is currently working toward her post-master’s certificate to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) at Lehman College. Ms. Butt’s colleagues on the critical care team of Montefiore’s Wakefield Campus have affectionately given her the nickname of “Florence Nightingale” due to her judgment, knowledge and tireless pursuit of improving the quality of care her patients receive. Ms. Butt holds an Advanced Critical Care Certificate and is an active member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and Sigma Theta Tau. She has also served as a preceptor for novice nurses, as well as students.

Nurses Week: 2016 Montefiore Professional Awards

During Nurses Week, the 2016 Montefiore Professional Awards ceremony honored the following nurses, dedicated professionals who lead their profession in education and training, clinical responsibility and  accountability for practice and research. Their passion comes from personalizing the care of every patient they encounter. 

Licensed Practical Nursing Award… Sandra Carmichael – F7B, Moses

Persaud Balwant – NW6, Moses

Novice Nurse of the Year …. Carlo Cabal – 6 North, Wakefield
Christian Castellanos – 6 North, Wakefield
Janine Jacob – 5 North, Wakefield
Mark DeJesus – 4 East, Wakefield
Silicia Allen – 4 South, Wakefield
Cassandra Castro – 5 South, Einstein
Kamal Hill – Klau 7, Moses
Carolina Hernandez – NW2, Moses
Stephanie Zittell – MICU, Moses

Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year… Ronette Shaw – 4 South, Wakefield
Kamilah A. Dowling – Plastic Surgery, Moses

Patient Care Coordinator of the Year … Sandra Young – 9 South, Einstein
Gilbert Jumpp – Klau 5, Moses
Monique Defreitas-Gordon – DOSA, Moses
Ava Benjamin – CHAM 10
Janice Wynter – NW7, Moses
Lora Smith-Johnson – F6B, Moses
Mauricia Attry – Radiology, Moses
Eileen Tierney – ED, Moses

Nursing Support Associate… Aydee Jimenez – 3 North, Wakefield
Jaime Siochi – ICU, Wakefield
Lileth Gray – 5 North, Wakefield
Martha Fonseca – 4 East, Wakefield
Constance Afriyie – 5 South, Einstein
Patricia Constanza – SICU, Moses
Ann Marie Rodriguez – NW7/NW8, Moses
Michael Baez – CHAM 10, Moses
Nemalyn Cayanan – ED, Moses
Indra (Indrotie) Somwaru – Klau 8, Moses
Vanna Nou – Comprehensive Family Care Center, MMG

Career Achievement Award… Lynette Watts – 4 North, Wakefield

Nurse Educator of the Year… Susan Sakalian, Moses
Maria Cullaro, Moses

Patient Safety and Skin Ambassador… Keturah Learmond – 9 South, Einstein

Nurse Leader/Manager... Amor Espino, ANM ICU, Wakefield
Andrea McGowan – 6 North, Einstein
Pio Paunon – Foreman 7AW, Moses
Lisa LaFalce – Nursing Resource Center, Moses
Ilene Osbourne – Family Care Center, MMG
Andrea Feitosa – Bartow Avenue, MMG
Maude Benjamin – MAP 8, MMG

Registered Nurse of the Year … Elizabeth Gordills – 9 North, Einstein
Angela Samuel – 5 South, Einstein
Diane Ziemba – NW6, Moses
Gina Benvenuto – SICU, Moses
Elizabeth Churchill – CHAM 10
Tameka Roebuck – ED, Moses
Heather Henry – Klau 8, Moses

Nursing Team Award… 4 East Rehab Med, Wakefield
6 East Ortho/Surgery, Wakefield
G.I. Endoscopy, Wakefield
Labor and Delivery, Wakefield
7 South, Einstein
NW6, Moses
CCU, Moses

Non-Nursing Coordinator… Rose Marie Miller – Klau 4/Klau 5, Moses

Charge Nurse…Karlene Bullens – 4 North, Wakefield

Nursing Research Award… Farley Villarente, ICU, Wakefield

2015 Awards & Honors

Nurses Week: 2015 Montefiore Professional Awards

During Nurses Week, the 2015 Montefiore Professional Awards ceremony honored the following nurses, dedicated professionals who lead their profession in education and training, clinical responsibility and  accountability for practice and research. Their passion comes from personalizing the care of every patient they encounter. 

  • Licensed Practical Nursing Award…Jin Carrero, LPN, Abdominal Transplant, Moses
  • Novice Nurse of the Year ….Sara Difalco, Staff RN, Oncology NW2, Moses
  • Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year…Caryn Weiss, Nurse Practitioner, AIDS Center and The Oval Center, Moses
  • Patient Care Coordinator of the Year …Nicole Essien-Amanquanor PCC, Medicine Klau 4, Moses
  • Nursing Support Associate…Michael Baez, PCT, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU)
  • Career Achievement Award… Mode Andre, Staff RN, Children’s PCCU - CHAM 10
  • Nurse Educator of the Year…Maura Porricolo, DrNP, CPNP, MPH, Director, Clinical Learning, Learning Network, Moses
  • Research Nurse and Evidence Based Practice…Sheila Buchanan, CPNP, CPHON- Clinical Nurse Specialist Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, CHAM
  • Patient Safety and Skin Ambassador…Viona Gordon, Nursing Attendant, Klau 4, Moses
  • Nurse Leader/Manager...Theresa Letizia, Administrative Nurse Manager, Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU), Moses
  • Registered Nurse of the Year …Nicole Barrow, Staff RN, Critical Care CCU, Moses
  • Registered Nurse of the Year…Terisita Troncoso, Staff RN, NW2, Moses
  • Registered Nurse of the Year…Kate Pugh, Staff RN, Moses Emergency Department (ED)
  • Registered Nurse of the Year…Victoria Kiely, Staff RN, CHAM 8
  • Registered Nurse of the Year…Jeanine Slane, Staff RN, Cardiac Cath Lab, Moses
  • Registered Nurse of the Year…Zamira Johnson, PACU, Moses
  • Nursing Team Award…CHAM 6 –Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
  • Nursing Team Award…Moses OR, Staff RN’s, Montefiore Nursing Team Award…ED Lean Admit, Klau 5 & Klau 6, Moses
  • Nursing Team Award…Klau 5, Staff RN’s, Moses
  • Nursing Team Award…Foreman 7AE, Moses
  • Nursing Team Award…NW8, Moses

2014 Awards and Recognition

  • The Healing Arts Program at Montefiore: A collaboration that heals patients and nurses. Read more.

2012 Awards and Recognition

  • Montefiore Medical Center – Wakefield Campus designated a Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) facility. NICHE is a nurse-driven program designed to help hospitals become centers of excellence in caring for older adults. The designation, a process overseen by the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, is widely considered the gold standard in nursing care.

    The NICHE program aims to improve patient outcomes and experiences, promote staff effectiveness and satisfaction, provide fiscally responsible care and establish more hospitals as collaborative partners and community leaders in caring for older adults.

    In this area, Montefiore nurses are ideally positioned to lead the way in improving outcomes. Accordingly, they receive a thorough education in a host of evidence-based best practices – including medication administration, nutrition, socialization, holistic practices and discharge options – all with a focus on helping hospitalized elders.
  • Bridget Kumbella, RN, MA, BSN, receives the 2012 Joan H. Bilder Award. This annual award—given to a candidate who consistently demonstrates excellence in professional nursing practice at Montefiore—is presented by the Honorable Lawrence Bilder in memory of his wife, Joan H. Bilder, Director of Nursing at Einstein Hospital from 1965 to 1987. 

    Highly respected for her professionalism, empathy and ability to quickly recognize subtle changes in patients’ conditions and help initiate the appropriate interventions, Ms. Kumbella is a model of nursing excellence and a leader by example.

    A 21-year nursing veteran and a staff nurse in the Cardiac Care and Intensive Care Units at Montefiore’s Wakefield Campus for the past 15 years, Ms. Kumbella is a 2008 graduate of College of New Rochelle. In 2010, she earned her master’s degree from Columbia University.
  • Lydia Velez, BSN, MSN, receives the Hospital Manager of the Year Award. As Administrative Nurse Manager at Montefiore Medical Center’s Einstein Campus, Ms. Velez has worked at Montefiore for 26 years, holding increasingly senior leadership roles in Oncology, Neurology, Medicine, Cardiac Step-down, the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department.  She is widely respected for her pioneering work in performance improvement to enhance patient satisfaction and for her long-standing commitment to developing the talents and capabilities of her staff.
  • Laura Holihan, RN, RN, BSN, CPEN, is named a finalist for the Nursing Excellence Awards for New York and New Jersey in the Staff Patient Management category. Ms. Holihan is Administrative Nurse Manager, Emergency Department, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. 
  • Lorraine Lamm, RN, Wins Novice Nurse of the Year Award at the 1199SEIU League/Training and Employment Funds’ ninth annual Nurse of Distinction awards ceremony. Thomas Fitzsimons, RN, Operating Room, North Campus, and Bernadette Keelan, RN, NICU, North Campus, were nominees, respectively, in the Nurse of Distinction and Nurse Preceptor of the Year categories.
  • Joan O'Hanlon Curry, RN, MS, CPNO, CPON, Wins Dr. Patricia Greene Leadership Award from the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) at its 32nd annual conference. Recipients, who are selected by the APHON board of directors for demonstrating excellence in service to and leadership of APHON. Ms. O'Hanlon Curry was also named the 2007 Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse of the Year by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation for significant contributions made to pediatric oncology nursing and oncology nursing service. 
  • Marcia Ellis, RN, Receives Dr. Mary Guinness Professional Nursing Award.  Ms. Ellis was honored for professionalism in the field of nursing and her efforts in New York state government, lobbying for nurses' rights regarding safe work environments and staffing. Ms. Ellis—the care management coordinator in the Utilization Department at the Moses Campus—earned her nursing degree at the College of New Rochelle and a master's degree in nursing education from Mercy College.
  • The American Nurse Project celebrates the unique experiences of more than 100 nurses at work across the United States, including 12 at Montefiore. Photographer, author and filmmaker Carolyn Jones recorded nurses’ personal stories through photos and interviews. This ambitious effort gives voice to some of the roughly 3 million women and men who play a vital role in America’s healthcare system.

    The accompanying book, The American Nurse, includes photographic portraits of 75 of those nurses and excerpts from their interviews. Montefiore is proud to have been represented in this beautiful and poignant project by our extraordinary nursing staff.