Awards & Recognition

Recognizing excellence in nursing

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

Excellence in Oncology Nursing Award

Developed by our own nurses, the Excellence in Oncology Nursing Award will recognize an outstanding Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center nurse. Starting in 2025, the award will be presented annually at a program featuring a nationally recognized oncology nursing leader. The recipient will receive a certificate and cash award. Learn more

Wakefield Magnet® Recognition for Nursing Excellence 2022

The Joan H. Bilder Award

Joan H. Bilder was appointed in 1965 to the position of Associate Director of Nursing at the Weiler Division. She served until her death from cancer in 1987. Joan will always be remembered for her caring, concern, dedication to patient care, commitment to education, the many kindnesses she did for her co-workers, her sense of humor and discipline, and her devotion to the profession of nursing.

This annual award is given to encourage and continue the excellence in clinical nursing practice that Joan believed in so deeply and demonstrated in her own practice. She and the recipients are honored through this annual award that bears her name for these attributes, especially her kindness.

Joan H. Bilder Award Recipients

*2020-2022 no award was given due to COVID-19.

2023 Award Winner
Wendy Irizarry, BSN, RN - CHAM
Lisa Hoyte, BSN, RN - Weiler Hospital, Einstein Campus
Ryan Gil, BSN, RN, CCRN - Wakefield
Mary Alevis, BSN, RN - Moses

2019 Award Winner
Selena Thomas, RN - Moses

2018 Award Winner
Karen Wright, RN-BC, MS, OCN, BMTCN - Moses

2017 Award Winner
Elvia Payne, RN, CPN, MSN, MHA - Moses

2016 Award Winner
Veronica Butts, MS, RN - Wakefield

2015 Award Winner
Dana Kaye Edwards, MSN, RNC - Einstein

2014 Award Winner
Paula Ferrante, Med, RNC, IBCLC - Einstein

2013 Award Winner
Farley Villarente, MSN, RN, FNP, CNOR, CAPA - Einstein

2012 Award Winner
Bridget Kumbella, MA, RN - Wakefield

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

The DAISY Award, given to those fighting against Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, proudly honors nurses deserving of profound respect for the education, training, brainpower and skill they put into their work, and especially for the empathy with which they deliver their care. It recognizes nurses wherever they practice, in whatever role they serve, and throughout their careers—from nursing student through lifetime achievement.

DAISY Award Recipients


February 2022
Claudine Wright, MSN - Wakefield

May 2022
Justin Ryan, RN - Wakefield


May 2021
Christopher Pimental, BSN, RN - CHAM

April 2021
Jiang Chen, RN - Wakefield
Jennifer Rodriguez, RN - Moses
Amandeep Singh, RN - Moses

March 2021
Gabrielle Rendon, RN - Wakefield
Marlene Thompson, RN - Wakefield

January 2021
Sasha Morgan, MSN, RN -CHAM


December 2020
Yanil Rodriguez, RN - Wakefield
Sheela John, RN - Moses
Danique Mcfarlane, RN - Moses

November 2020
Oma Raphal, BSN, RN - Wakefield

August 2020
Dawn Maldonado, BSN, RN - CHAM
Kristen Sammon, BSN, RN - CHAM

July 2020
Loales Cruz, BSN, RN - Wakefield

June 2020
Tara Anderson, RN - Moses
Roshundia Jeffers Martin, RN - Moses
Ahou Faty Mbaye, RN, BSN - Moses

March 2020
Evegniya Duagiala, RN - Moses
Lavonne Leslie, RN, BSN - Moses
Mary Minter, RN, BSN - Moses

February 2020
Sandy Loor Gomez, RN, BSN - Einstein
Merna Mclendon, RN - Einstein
Emirjona Nacaj, RN, BSN - Wakefield


December 2019
Maxine Frith, BSN, RN-BC - Moses
Dustin Tomeo, RN, BSN - Moses

November 2019
Heather Elliot Beckford, RN, BSN - Wakefield

October 2019
Elizabeth Martinez, BSN, RN - CHAM

Nurse of Distinction Awards

The 1199SEIU (United Healthcare Workers East) Nurse of Distinction Awards honor peer-nominated Registered Nurses for outstanding achievement and commitment to patient-centered care. The culture of care recognized by the nursing awards is fast becoming the national standard. The labor-management partnership that makes the SEIU Nurse of Distinction Awards possible illustrates how nurses, and patients, benefit from effective collaboration.

Nurse of Distinction (1199SEIU) Award Honorees


Nurse of Distinction Winner
Percy Chene-Dansoh, BSN, RN


Nurse of Distinction Winner
Jaclyn Bazarnick

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Cristina Imburgia

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Monica Thompson


Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Mary O'Keeffe

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Cody Denari

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Pauline Kay Polanco

Nurse Leader of the Year Nominee
Amor Espino


Nurse of Distinction Winner
Evelin Hernandez

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Yaniek McDonald

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Mark Andrew de Jesus


Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Diana Limbaga

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Yasha Stine

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Kathleen O'Donnell

Nurse Leader of the Year Nominee
Elizabeth Dolan


Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Veronica Butts

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Jessica Camacho

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Diana Limbaga

Nurse Leader of the Year Winner
Avis Plummer


Nurse of Distinction Second Runner-Up
Ronette Shaw

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Qian Chen

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Estela Pascua

Nurse Leader of the Year Nominee
Marie Morelli


Nurse of Distinction First Runner-Up
Farley Villarente

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Raymund Garcia

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Vincentia Hyppolyte

Nurse Leader of the Year Nominee
Ketty Floyd


Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Stephanie Hrvatin

Novice Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Kareem Hill

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Kevin Bowden

Nurse Leader of the Year Nominee
Linda Rucker


Nurse of Distinction Nominee
Thomas Fitzsimmons

Novice Nurse of Distinction Winner
Lorraine Lamm

Nurse Preceptor of the Year Nominee
Bernadette Keelan

The Merkatz Family Award for Nursing Excellence in Maternal-Child Health

This award, given by the Merkatz Family Foundation, recognizes excellence in maternal-child health nursing through the identification of a nursing care problem. This recognition results in scientifically based interventions and prompts changes in nursing practices or stimulates nursing research to explore new approaches to advance the nursing care of mothers and infants.

2021 Merkatz Family Award Recipients

Mary O'Keeffe, BSN, RN-BC - Wakefield Labor & Delivery
Selina Aboagye, RN, MSN - Einstein Labor & Delivery

American Nurse All-Pro Nursing Team award

This year’s All Pro Nursing Team winner, Clinical Faculty/Montefiore Learning Network at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, put their already strong communication skills, professionalism and responsiveness to work when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. The Bronx was hit particularly hard by the virus—the hospital had two patients with COVID-19 on March 11, 2020, and 2,000 just one month later. This team of educators was tasked with developing a safe, rapid-training plan to meet surge capacity.

They created mandatory redeployment training days to “skill up” over 600 nurses within a month, including education specific to COVID-19—respiratory and cardiac care, strict infection control practices and proning. They also provided socially distanced skills sessions for central line dressings, patient-controlled analgesia pumps, indwelling urinary catheter insertion, peripheral IV insertion and line management, phlebotomy, and personal protective equipment. When the team’s classrooms and learning center conference area were turned into COVID-19 facilities, team leadership found alternate locations, many off-site, that met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

In the team’s words

“We all agree that this has been the hardest months of any of our professional lives. To the outside world, all clinicians seem to display a brave face… but the truth is we faced the same fears as everyone else. To reduce the emotional toll, we invested time in each other, each day, simply by asking ‘How are you today?’ The daily communication provided us with mental health stability, which can never be overestimated. Oddly enough, despite its challenges, this pandemic brought a renewed sense of solidarity and continues to be an enriching personal and professional experience.

“As clinical faculty, we’re not direct patient care providers, at least not by job description. However, when not teaching, we were on the units assisting our nursing colleagues on the frontlines…bringing them food and providing encouragement. We may have been the extra hands needed to position and turn a patient or assist them with an unfamiliar skill. We had many roles during the pandemic, but as nurses, undertaking many roles is who we are and what we do best.

“The education we provided and reinforced was evidenced by the excellent care our nurses provided. Thousands of patients were admitted to the Montefiore Health System over a three-month period. There is much to be thankful for and much more gratitude on the horizon. Once the vaccine has conquered the coronavirus and terms such as ‘quarantine’ and ‘resurge’ fade from our daily vocabulary, we’ll take a few deep breaths and reflect on what this past year has taught us. We’ll continue to take pride in knowing we did our best and hope that some good has come out of all of this. 2020, without doubt, was the year of the nurse!”